Eileen Sheridan: The Mighty Atom

Land’s End to John O’Groats is a classic cycle touring route. But it was also the blue riband distance among the long distance record-breaking heyday of the 1930s to the 1960s. In 1954 Eileen Sheridan, a diminutive cyclist from Coventry sponsored by the huge Hercules Bicycle Company, set a new record that stood for decades. Now 88, Eileen recounts a truly epic journey and tells the story of how she became one of the best-known, and best-paid, cyclists in Britain.

  • http://twitter.com/BillBuffalo Bill Chidley

    So timely, what with all the Sustrans fuss etc!

  • Golly

    Fabulous interview. I have to confess that I’d never heard of this genuine British cycling heroine, whose achievements are virtually unparalleled. Well done for relaying her story to a new generation!

  • davyd

    This was great. Wouldnt hear anyone speak so eloquentley these days. Sense of pure joy from her is trully amazing.

  • Martin K

    What an inspiration – absolutely wonderful -

  • sbb

    hadn’t heard of her, but instantly a new cycling hero

  • Tez

    Wonderful interview – this is why The Bike Show is the best cycling podcast.

  • Peter Hearn

    I was riding training and racing during that wonderful time for cycling. there were two main factions the NCU ( National Cyclist Union) and the BLRC ( British League of Racing cyclists).We all belonged to clubs – The NCU which supervised and hosted all the time trials . I remember the start was always very early and we were requested to wear black kit- this in retrospect one of those strange English anomalies – The so called rebel riders of the BLRC wanted to race on the road in the style of the glamorous continental stars ie Faousto Coppi, Luisen Bobet, Bartali etc.I have many memories and stories of the era which I would be happy to share – Ken Joy, Dave Keller, ( I think the first rider to break the hour for a 25 ) Dave Bedwell Less west etc Ken Mitchell one of the first riders in the English team to ride in the tour who I beet in a local criterium around the industrial park that surrounds Wembly stadium – great memories – happy Days
    Peter Hearn

  • Peter Hopkins

    No! Time trials were under the control of the RTTC (Road Time Trials Council). The NCU looked after track racing, closed circuit races and (later) races on the open road, like the BLRC.