Suffolk’s Love to Ride Ambassador turns 100 today
World War II veteran Norman Gregory, who spearheaded Suffolk’s Love to Ride campaign in 2021 alongside his friend and fellow cyclist Norman Kelly, celebrates his 100th birthday today (26 January 2022).
Norman, who describes age as just a number, cycled over 5,000 miles in 2021 and has already clocked up 250 miles, in this, his 100th year. Norman is a proud member of the Royal Academy of Octogenarian Cyclists and is their oldest member.
A prisoner of War in World war II, Norman is one half of the now renowned Cockfield Normans who support the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust each year with their intrepid cycling stories and journeys.
Norman started his love affair with cycling as a young boy:
As a boy I was at Sudbury Grammar School and I lived at Shimpling. The grammar school and my home address were exactly 10 miles apart, so I was cycling 20 miles a day, five days a week. I was cycling 100 miles a week from a very young age. By the time I was 16, I joined the West Suffolk Wheelers and quite frequently I was cycling 100 miles at the weekend with the cycling club. Norman has now cycled 100 miles a week “for years and years and years. He recalls a particularly memorable bike ride when he was just 17. In 1939, I cycled to John O’Groats. I was away for 28 days and the round trip I did 1,750 miles. In 1939, I cycled 10,000 miles – that was 200 miles a week.
He was joined today on Parsonage Green in Cockfield by neighbours, friends and members of the media and the keep Moving Suffolk team presented him with a cake.
Norman told the group:
My top tip for cycling is to start off slowly, 1-2 miles for example and not to do too much too soon, but to just keep going and enjoy the open road.
If you don’t keep moving, you will rust!