Meet the first East Anglian to cycle 25 miles in an hour - and down the A47 from Norwich to Yarmouth

Hethersett pensioner Terry Grint who set the Norwich-Yarmouth and back cycle time trial record in th

Hethersett pensioner Terry Grint who set the Norwich-Yarmouth and back cycle time trial record in the 1950's.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

For motorists, it is a journey which - at the wrong time of the day – can still take the best part of an hour.

Hethersett pensioner Terry Grint who set the Norwich-Yarmouth and back cycle time trial record in th

Hethersett pensioner Terry Grint who set the Norwich-Yarmouth and back cycle time trial record in the 1950's.PHOTO BY Submitted - Credit: Submitted

But for cyclist Terry Grint, the 20-odd miles from Norwich to Great Yarmouth could be tackled in around 50 minutes.

Mr Grint, from Hethersett, held the record for the route for two decades, one of a series of cycling titles he claimed in a glittering career in the saddle.

Now 83, he has recalled his cycling feats to the Evening News after it was announced that the first leg of the 2016 Aviva Women's Tour, in June, is to finish in the city centre.

Mr Grint, who ran city firm Fitt Signs and Graphics before his retirement, first jumped on his bike at the age of nine, in the midst of a Second World War blackout.

Hethersett pensioner Terry Grint who set the Norwich-Yarmouth and back cycle time trial record in th

Hethersett pensioner Terry Grint who set the Norwich-Yarmouth and back cycle time trial record in the 1950's.PHOTO BY Submitted - Credit: Submitted

With a candle inside a jam jar hanging from his handlebars guiding the way, he delivered dirty washing from a local restaurant in Costessey to a laundry in Norwich. It may have been a unique introduction to cycling, but it certainly proved effective.

Taking up cycling seriously at the age of 18, Mr Grint went on to become one of the top amateurs in the east of England.

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'I was the first East Anglian to break the hour for 25 miles, which in the cycling world is the equivalent of the four-minute mile,' he recalled.

'I was also the first East Anglian rider to do 50 miles inside two hours and I was the eastern county 25-mile road champion two years in a row.'

https://infogr.am/yarmouth_norwich_bike_ride

For two decades he held the record for riding from Norwich to Yarmouth and back, completing the round journey of around 40 miles in one hour and 38 minutes.

So impressive were his performances that he was dubbed the 'revelation of the year from East Anglia' by Cycling magazine.

But, just as his career moved towards its peak in the early 1950s, it was brought crashing to the ground.

'I had an appendix operation which went a little bit wrong and I just never regained what I had before,' he said.

'The story finished up quite nicely actually; my wife Janet used to come visit me in hospital after the operation and then we ended up getting married.'

Did you enjoy a successful sporting career? Email joshua.hanrahan@archant.co.uk

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