Harold Perry - A Brief Cycling History

Club member Harold Perry died last year after a short illness. Harold was born between the wars in Subiaco near Daglish Station. As a child he rode around Subiaco and to the river and beach, often on bikes that were far too big for him and consequently lasted for many years as he grew into them.

His older brother Charlie and brother in law Stan Cook were talented cyclists. Harold followed in their footsteps and joined the Subiaco Floreat Cycle Club. He particularly enjoyed criterium racing. He raced as a junior and continued until he was posted to Wyalcatchem by the bank he worked for.

On his return to Perth after stints around the wheatbelt he and Judy bought a house in Mt Pleasant and set it up for their young family. Harold was the original cycling commuter from the southern suburbs. He crossed the river at Canning Bridge and rode along tracks, down Melville Beach Parade past The Pagoda and Royal Perth Golf Club to the Old Mill and then across the Narrows and into the city where he worked. 

He rode and swam every day and on weekends would often spend many hours riding off in the wide blue yonder - along the beaches, up in the hills to his twin brother’s house in Kalamunda and out through the backroads of Jandakot and Baldivis to Jarrahdale and beyond. He often rode 28” wheels on gravel roads and tracks where mountain bikes are used today.

When his kids were young he started picking up frames and parts from the tip and made up bikes for the whole family. Kerbside pickups, especially in the infancy of the bulk rubbish days, were a gold mine and many of his 120 bikes were acquired this way.

Harold prided himself on his simple maintenance programme. He had a theory that if he shared the load between lots of bikes then they would never wear out. He didn’t want to see any cycling history lost to landfill. However, rather than restore one or two to pristine condition he preferred to coat the 120 bikes liberally with oil and locate them wherever possible around the yard.

Harold and Judy both enjoyed being members of the Historical Cycle Club, which they joined shortly after it’s inception in 2000. Harold recently served as club treasurer for 7 years. He particularly enjoyed the displays held in country towns.

Harold also rode for many years with the Over 55’s Cycling Club and passed his passion for riding to his two sons Greg and Adrian.

Harold was a lifelong prankster. From flattening pennies on the train tracks near his childhood home to the mischievous note hidden behind his otherwise very proper tie at club meetings he looked for the bright side of every situation.

With thanks to Adrian Perry

Harold introducing one his grandchildren to the joys of the road

Harold introducing one his grandchildren to the joys of the road

Vale Peter Wells

Club member Peter Wells died at Fiona Stanley Hospital on Monday September 13th. He was 88.

Peter was a founding member of the club. He had been club president for many years, a role he only recently reired from. 

Those who knew him will remember him not only for his his passion for WA made bikes, but for his passion for the club. His contribution to the club was immense; aside from his years on committee he was responsible for the newsletter and organised many of our rides and displays. His mechanical knowledge and generosity with expertise to club members was second to none.

Funeral details;

20 Sep 2016 10:00AM Sacred Heart Catholic ChurchDiscovery Drive Thornlie

20 Sep 2016 1:15PM Fremantle Cemetery

It is my sincere hope that as many club members as possible attend to pay tribute to a man who gave so much to his fellow members. 

On a personal note it was Peter who introduced me to the club just 5 years ago, an introduction that I’ll always be grateful for.

Robert Frith, club president

Peter visiting ex member Patrick Leverett in Melbourne in 2010. Photo courtesy Patrick Leverett.