By Michael A Green
The Langdale Lightweights family are keen cyclists and will often be seen commuting to the shop for work, taking part in group rides and competing in various cycling races. But the story of the Langdale tale begins with my father, Brian Edward Green, in 1975 when he started building frames.
He was born in Leicester, and the only child of Lol and Hilda, as a working class family their means of transport was either by bicycle or on foot.
As a child Brian loved spending hours exploring the countryside on his bike. And packing up the bike bags for a day's ride to the coast with his two mates Ron Parks and John Tallis. Which usually ended up with the whole street looking for the boys due a puncture, delaying their return, or stopping the night in an old barn and returning the next day.
As a plumbers apprentice, my dad saw a grass track cycling meet at Abbey Park in Leicester.
Watching the likes of Colin Hearth (I had the pleasure of becoming friends with Colin Hearth, who became the Canadian Track Coach. And coached my childhood cycling hero Gordon Singleton.), Bill Duffin, Owen Blower, Lionel Crompton and Ray Dring he was overwhelmed by the speed, the banter, the crowds and the girls watching and he thought I need to be part of this.
My Dad joined Leicester Forest, and quickly caught the attention of the East Midlands Clarion head coach Benny Foster, with his curly hair and his colourful jackets he promoted the National Track Championships at Saffron Lane, Leicester in the 70s. My Dad became a very good track rider winning many races, the prizes of which were sold off by his Mum to help pay for equipment and fund racing.
One story I was told was of "Pinky Green” (my Dad's racing name), his debut at Nottingham's track league, he won the last race of the night, the 5 mile scratch, by breaking away and soloing to the victory. Apparently it was a lucky win because he was the new face. So, the following week he came back and won the 5 mile again, this time from the bunch sprint. "Nice one Dad!"
National Service, meeting Anne and having a family put a stop to my Dad's racing. Many years later still a keen cyclist he picked up a second hand Paragon track frame, and decided to have a go at building his own frame. As fully qualified plumber and heating engineer, he was master with a brazing torch and metal tubes.
The first Langdale was produced in our garage, in Calverton. Proud of his work my dad took it to Henry Lloyd Cycle Shop and A and C Sports who gave him orders for new Frames. Not long after he decided to give up his job at Skerritt's of Nottingham and open Langdale Lightweights in 1977.
I am often asked why is the shop called Langdale Lightweights?
...Well he spent a lot of time riding as a youth in the Lake District and particularly liked Langdale. And he was building Lightweight framesets.
We have been part of the story for local talent, helping to unlock their cycling potential, throughout our 43 year history. Fulfilling dreams of achieving National Titles, Commonwealth Titles, World Titles and competing at the Olympic Games.
Over the last few years we have been supporting Under 23 elite triathletes Sam Dickinson and Jimmy Kershaw. Between them they boast; British Titles, European Titles and World Championship Medals.
We supported Captain Ryan Perry (REME) during the 2015 and 2016 Time Trial Seasons.
During these 2 seasons in on the British Time Trialling scene we had to increase the size of the trophy cabinet! We won National Titles across various distances including the 25, 50 100 mile events, by breaking various course records in the process. Ryan became the CTT Champion of Champions and achieved podium places at the British Cycling National Time Trial Championships. Ryan was also awarded the British Army Sportsperson of the Year.
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