John K Starley was handing
over a state-of-the art bicycle to the organisers of the Coventry and
It was a far cry from the
basic frame that his great-grandfather John Kemp Starley invented in
Coventry in 1885.
JK Starley, whose Rover
company later switched to making cars, would have been impressed by
the technical innovations on the two-wheeled machine.
The hi-tech bicycle will be
used in a draw for donations for the charity race, which is being held
The Land Rover XCB D-26, which
has front suspension, hydraulic disc brakes and a 21 gear transmission
system, was made by Stratford-based Pashley Cycles.
Managing director Adrian
“This region has made an
immense contribution to the evolution of the cycle and we are
pleased to donate one of our specialist hand-built models to help
raise money for local good causes.”
For every £10 donated towards
the event, fund-raisers will get a ticket for a chance to win the
bike, worth £1,500.
The Cyclethon, organised by
Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber and the Coventry Mercia Round Table,
gives money to local projects including Coventry Age Concern’s
advocacy project, Walsgrave Hospital’s neo-natal ward and a campaign
to eliminate prostate cancer.
Mr Starley, aged 65, a former
chief electrical engineer in the Royal Navy, who now lives near
Stratford, said he could remember a childhood spent tinkering with
”My father, JK Starley III
would give us various bicycle parts and I can clearly recall owning
a Rover tricycle and making a bike with a steering wheel instead of
”It is somewhat poignant
that I am here to see a Land Rover bicycle being donated to the
Charity Cyclethon as it was my family who in 1885 established the
Rover safety bicycle, leading to the formation of Rover cars.
“I hope this bike helps to
not only raise the profile of the Cyclethon, but lots of money for
local charitable causes too.”
The Cyclethon starts and ends
at the Chamber’ base in Binley Road, with the first pedals being
pushed at 2pm. Entry details from Ronnie Cocker on 024 7665 4262.