Peter Bryan, the veteran cycling journalist, has died. He was 89 and just a few months shy of his 90th birthday.
Peter began his journalistic career as a teenager freelancing for the weekly magazine, ‘The Bicycle’. After wartime service in the Army, he joined the magazine’s staff and became its editor. He was convinced that Britain should copy the Continent and allow massed-start racing on the roads and used ‘The Bike’ to campaign for the change. He was a supporter and early member of the British League of Racing Cyclists which led to the Road Time Trials Council (the RTTC) suspending him sine die. He never found out if the ban was lifted.
After The Bicycle closed in 1955, he helped Jock Wadley, whom he had met in the Army, found ‘Coureur/The Sporting Cyclist’. To begin with the magazine’s editorial office was the dining room of Peter’s North London home. Later, he became managing editor of The Bike’s old rival, ‘Cycling’ (now ‘Cycling Weekly’) and with editor Alan Gayfer prodded and pushed to get a monument to Tom Simpson sited on Mont Ventoux.
Peter covered the cycling events at every Olympic Games from London in 1948 to Sydney in 2000: and not without incident. At the Tokyo Games in 1964 he had managed to bluff his way into the Olympic Village to interview the British riders. Getting out was the problem. With extraordinary logic, security said that as he hadn’t been let in, he wasn’t there; and if wasn’t there, how could he be let out! He was eventually released and filed his copy.
He was cycling correspondent for ‘The Daily Mail’ and later ‘The Times’; and for more than 50 years wrote about the sport with clarity and enthusiasm for numerous newspapers and magazines.
Peter’s funeral will take place on Monday, 20 July in Bournemouth.