Three blokes that excited us kids in the 60s were Patto, Gordie and Perko. There were more but these were the ones that adorned my inside cover of my old cycling scrapbook.
|From the inside of my very tattered scrap book.|
Perko, Gordie and Patto.
Patto eventually took us down to the track and watched us ride the velodrome and later Alec took us back home. The memory has lingered, not for what we learnt which was nothing, but because we had the opportunity to meet the great man.
As a year or two went by, I was selected in what was to be the first under 16 year old Australian Championships being held in 1966 at the Kilkenny track in Adelaide. In the team was Gordon Johnson, Daryl Perkins, John Bylsma, John Hine, Hilton Clarke and Jeff Linden in the seniors.
The juniors had a future world sprint champion in the Victorian team by the name of John Nicholson, with John Van Beek and a fellow club member of mine, John Rush.
Lindsay Love from Leongatha and myself were the Juvenile or Sub-Junior team members.
To be part of the team was the opening of the doors to some
friendships that exist almost 50 years on.
In those early years, these names proved to be mentors and an inspiration on the State Teams that I competed in. (1966/1968/1970) Both Hilton Clarke and Daryl Perkins have been influential during my Masters years.
But back to Patto - how good was he? Four World Titles, three in pursuit and one in the sprint, totally different disciplines and unheard of in today's specialisation in the sport. Patto was the supreme all rounder. He could sprint, pursuit, ride scratch races and was a fantastic scratch maker in handicaps. He would have the crowd out of their seats in those last two laps of the big handicap races.
|Dazza still involves himself in the sport helping our new talent.|
Those years at the Brunswick velodrome were magical.