Merseyside Wheelers veteran Bob Memery was one of the first cyclists to embrace strength training - and found he excelled at it
By Keith Bingham
Bob Memery, 83 year old president and life member of the Merseyside Wheelers and a former British weight-lifting champion, passed away on 30 October, after suffering from vascular dementia for some years.
A stalwart of the Merseyside cycling scene, he organised the Merseyside Wheelers Invitation Hilly Time Trial for 21 years – an event won by such stars as Chris Boardman, Sean Yates, Dave Lloyd and Rob Hayles.
Memery first took up weight training to help him in his cycling endeavours after winning his own club’s championship.
He became so good at the weights that he eventually took a silver medal at the World Powerlifting Championships in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA in 1973 – at the grand old age of 42.
He also won the British Championships a number of times, setting many British records in the process – including a dead lift of over 600 lbs.
“Bob Memery must have been one of the earliest competitive cyclists to incorporate strength training into a cyclist regimen,” recalls weight training compatriot Tony Fitton.
“In fact, not only did he embrace strength training, his training was just about taken over by it as he enjoyed the challenges it offered whilst still maintaining a more organisational role for cycling road races.
“Bob was an early pioneer and premier champion in National Strength Championships. He was seven times British National Champion from the late 50s to the early 70s.”
Bob Memery’s funeral will be held at St Agnes Church, 82 Huyton Hey Road, Huyton, Liverpool, L36 5SQ on Thursday, 6 November at 10.30am.