Former member Roy Winstanley contacted us from Australia with his memories of The Excel as a 16-year-old back in 1970, just after the club's 50th anniversary. If you worry about the state of your bike, this should provide some inspiration.
Here's what he had to say:
I just came across the Brighton Excelsior web page and was reading the club history. I was a club member in 1970, we used to meet in the canteen of the Hove bus depot. The Sunday rides those days were more touring oriented. We used to meet either at the Old Steyne or more frequently the Red Lion at Shoreham. The usual ride would consist of country roads in the morning and finding a pub for lunch (I had to buy my first set of darts). After lunch we would go cross-country on bridleways and footpaths. Afternoon tea was either a cafe, or a country pub was booked to put on sandwiches (at five a clock when closed). Another activity enjoyed by some members was rolling boulders in Lewes chalk quarries [not advised in 2019-Ed.] I was sixteen and my bicycle was a work in progress that I was always updating with second-hand parts. One of the club members had a new Gillott frame built with Nervex lugs and a custom paint job. However, he was hit by a car and the frame got a slight bend in the top tube which he claimed on insurance. I bought the damaged frame for five pounds and used it for years. It was very common for club members to visit Mrs Cook's Cycle shop in Hove on a Saturday morning to buy spares and chat. It was an Aladdin’s cave to a young cyclist and we often got a cup of tea. In summertime trails and road races were held on Shoreham bypass and there was track racing at Preston Park. I had an old track bike and used to ride to Preston Park, remove the front brake and lamp brackets and then race. I was never any good but it was fun (prizes included vouchers for Mrs Cook's). One of the club members had a tandem and once took me around the track; absolutely frightening, never again! I have fond memories of Rick and Val Stringer* on club rides, they gave encouragement and advice to all us youngsters. Club members used to wear knitted jumpers with twin yellow bands, mine is long gone. But I still have my club shirt, so many good memories I could not part with.
*Rick and Val are honorary life members of the club and Rick is still our official Club President.