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by cliftoncc Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:38 am
As we're sure most people will already know, Pete Smith died recently.

Pete was a Life Member of Clifton Cycling Club and enjoyed a pretty illustrious cycling career with an impressive palmares. Along with fellow Club Members, John Watson and Roy Cromack, he represented Great Britain as part of the 4-man Time-Trial Team at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico and went on to ride for professional cycling teams. You can read an article about the 1968 Olympics Here. Pete started cycling again in retirement and, no matter the weather, was an almost-constant feature of our 10am Saturday Club Rides and never lost the style that made him such an exceptional cyclist. We all miss him dearly, still expecting to hear the voice say "See you next week" as we approach the the junction where he'd turn for home at the end of a Club Ride or see him hone into view on one of his regular loops. Our thoughts are with Margaret and the family at this sad time.

Pete's funeral will be held at 1pm on Tuesday the 27th. of April at York Crematorium. His family have asked if riders from Clifton C.C. can lead the funeral cortege from the house to the crematorium. Obviously, we are still under COVID restrictions and riding will have to be undertaken in accordance with current guidelines.

The service at the crematorium will be limited to 18 people (family only) but there is space to gather outside in the crematorium grounds. For those not attending in person, the service will be streamed on a webcast and can be accessed by visiting Obitus Funeral Services

The login details are...

Username: weya1575
Password: 602524

Pete's family have requested no flowers for the funeral itself but, instead, tributes to Pete and/or a donation to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance can be made by accessing a link from the Funeral Director's Website, you may have to search for the name Peter Smith, depending on how you access it.

They have also kindly said that they plan to hold an outdoor "picnic" in Pete's memory, again with social distancing in place, on the grass area by the side of Millennium Bridge in York after the funeral.

Many thanks to everyone who has already said that they will ride as part of the funeral procession and/or attend the outdoor event afterwards. If you require further details or wish to take part then please email info@cliftoncc.org

John Watson, his fellow Olympian, captured the essence of Pete's spirit in a heartfelt tribute...

"It is with immense sadness that I have to inform you all that Pete Smith passed away following a tragic road accident. Pete was out on his bike, on his own, on Monday, when he collided with a stationary vehicle. I am utterly devastated.

I was only talking to Pete a week ago. He told me that he and Margaret were going to Lanzarote for a month in November, and that he was still riding his bike three times a week. Pete was my best friend, best mate, the one I always looked up to, and wanted to emulate. I owe him so much. How lucky was I to have him and Roy Cromack at the same time. Pete was 3 years older than me, and when I started cycling at 18, he immediately took me under his wing. We became inseparable. Although we would train in a group, if the weather was inclement or some bad weather winter week-end, there would just be the two of us- we never missed- riding side by side, in all weathers. We would ride the early season 2-ups, which escalated to the 4man 100Km Team Time Trials for the GB team in the Mexico Olympics in '68, and the Worlds in '69.

I've said this so many times before, that Pete was ALWAYS the strongest rider in the many events we rode with all the different riders who tried out for the various teams. He was never a "Show Boater". He'd just do longer turns on the front, no problem!! He would never take credit from Cycling Reporters or the Media at the finish. Pete was a CLASS ACT in every way. Roy always said that Pete would have slotted easily into the Dutch team who won Gold in Mexico. Pete was Old School Cycling, starting with the Clarion and the CTC, before joining the Clifton CC. Apart from when he was a Pro at Clive Stuart and then Raleigh, he always worked full-time, as a Joiner. He worked for a Company, 14 miles from his home in York. Of course he rode there and back every day, before coming out training.

I could write so much about Pete's career but will single out one week-end in the early season of '69, that epitomises his legendary status. We travelled to Lancashire on Saturday, and in the afternoon rode a 60mile Road Race. We finished 1st and 2nd. We then drove down to Essex, and on the Sunday he won the Essex Grand Prix. I was 2nd. After the race we made the 5 hour journey back to York, arriving back after 11pm. Next morning he was back at work at 8am,having ridden there in pouring rain. This was the legend that was Pete Smith!!

I have so many more memories, that maybe I will re-call later, but for now l feel utterly shocked, devastated, and so sad,

My thoughts are with Margaret and all the family.

RIP mate,
John"

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