Gordon Mead 1925-2023

CTC Coventry club member Gordon Mead and some of his cycling-related adventures
Lifelong cyclist and stalwart of Cycling UK member group CTC Coventry, Gordon Mead has passed away at the age of 98. Club chair Bob Tinley recalls a much-loved and dedicated club member, and his love for hills

Sadly, I have to report that Gordon Mead passed away on 4 September 2023 at the age of 98. Gordon was a lifelong cyclist, learning his way round the lanes of Warwickshire when he was evacuated to Aston Cantlow during World War II. After the war he became an important and enthusiastic member of CTC Coventry and at various times has been secretary, treasurer and chairman of the club. In latter years he was our honorary president.

Gordon's love of touring started very soon after the end of the war, when he embarked on numerous tours with Bill Lightfoot and Ray Hudson. They would be away every weekend, leaving at lunchtime on Saturday after work and returning late on Sunday, mostly staying in youth hostels. On longer tours they explored every corner of the UK.

They also went on extensive tours on the continent, travelling by train to their favourite area: the Alps. We shouldn’t forget that at this time much of the continent was still in a devastated state after the war and there was not the network of hotels we take for granted today.

He climbed all the well-known and less well-known – passes in the Alps on a three-speed bike, at a time when most of those passes would not have been tarmacked as they are today.

Gordon never lost his love for the hills and joined us on an Austrian tour in 1995, when we saw our first gap in the clouds as we got on the plane home from Saltzburg. Until a couple of years ago Gordon would decamp to Denia, in Spain, for two months’ cycling with a group of long-term friends.

Back at home, our Winter Clubroom season would not be complete without Gordon's inimitable slide shows. He never really embraced digital technology, but would show his slides using a pair of projectors which faded out the picture from one projector and faded in the next picture for the other machine. Well, that was the theory anyway, and it provided additional entertainment on the night.

Gordon was a lifelong supporter of the club, only giving up cycling a few years ago when his knees threw in the towel. He was a huge asset to the club and will be sadly missed. I will always remember my first ride with the club when Gordon went out of his way to be welcoming.

There is much more information about Gordon’s full life on CTC Coventry’s Veteran Voices Collection, where the article on Gordon is number one.