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Frederick Thomas Bidlake (1867-1933), affectionately known as ’Biddy’, was a dominant figure in the cycling world for almost two generations. He was an outstanding competitor and his achievements on the tricycle were sensational.
In two 24-hour races Bidlake proved the fastest tricyclist, finishing second to the redoubtable Frank Shorland riding a bicycle. One of these contests was on the road and the other on the Herne Hill track – his tricycle record of 410 miles 1,110 yards set up in that famous Cuca Cup race still stood at the date of his death, 40 years later. He broke countless road and path records. At one time he held the whole sequence of tricycle road records from 50 miles to 24 hours, and among other records were the London to York (three times) and the 12 and 24 hours tandem-tricycle record with M. A. Holbein. In total he broke 11 Road Records Association tricycle records.
He was an outstanding administrator and represented cyclists on the Advisory Body of the Ministry of Transport when that body existed in the nineteen twenties. At the time of his death he was President of the North Road Cycling Club, Vice-President of the Cyclists' Touring Club and President of the Road Records Association of which he was a founder member and a member of its committee for 43 years. He was the father of time trial sport, the first chairman of the Road Racing Council – the predecessor of the Road Time Trials Council – and a founder of that Body. It was Bidlake who thought of the Cyclists’ War Memorial, erected at Meridan near Coventry, and he was one of the five conservators.
1934 The Bidlake Memorial Prize, instituted to perpetuate the memory of the late F. T. Bidlake. Awarded annually for the most outstanding cycling performance in any sphere during the previous year.