Gary Speight was a road racing cyclist from Doncaster, South Yorkshire. He started riding at the age of 13 years old after his Dad bought him a bike from a local auction for £15 - A 25" Puch frame, which enabled Gary to ride to his (then) girlfriends house, instead of catching the bus!
Soon after he joined the Rotherham Wheelers in 1982 and began to take bike riding more seriously after riding from Doncaster to Castleton at the age of 15. He described this as "a great feeling". He then joined the Chesterfield Couriers the next year.
In 1985 he went with a local friend Steve Goff (Rutland.CC) to Belgium for a week and rode a race in Heist Op Den Berg.
He placed in the top 10 regularly as a junior and came 2nd in the regional devision champs to Glyn Shirley.
'Speighty' represented Great Britain as a junior at the Tour of Austria in 1985, chosen after placing at the Peter Buckley events in the Peak District.
He rode for the GB team in the Peace Race (Berlin ~ Warsaw ~ Prague) twice, the second time in 1995 with with John Tanner, Chris Lillywhite, Matt Stephens, Wayne Randall and Mark Walsham.
As a racing cyclist, which results are you most proud of and why?
My win in the Triptique Ardannais in Belgium (1990) and a kermesse race i won in Ooedelem, West Flanders. It was in the home town of a family who looked after me while I was racing over there. I gave the winning bouquet of flowers to Aline Versluys and Johan Teerlinke for all the hard work they did for me while I was trying to chase my dream. Also the Boone family from Gent and a pro rider Werner Wieme who also helped as I stayed with him a lot!
Which are your favourite stretches of road to ride on and what is it that you like about them?
Cape Town, South Africa from Bellville to Capetown. About 10km roughly. It is called Voortreker Road. It isn’t the nicest view around but down that road you see all sorts of life, from wealthy people to poor people living rough and the famous crazy taxi drivers. A very interesting place!
What is your most memorable moment on the bike or involved with cycling
Watching Stephen Roche win the triple. His 1987 win at Villach, Austria has got to be one of the best world championships to watch.
Do you agree with Mickey Goldmill's advice to Rocky that 'women weaken legs'?
I’d say women make mens legs stronger!
All cyclists, whether they race or not, seem to obsess over the weight of their bikes. Why do you think this is
Because they are trying to stay lean! I was one of them. Watching what i ate, cutting back on things.
What is your favorite piece of cycling kit (either something you currently own or have in the past)?
My pride and joy bike that my Mum and Dad bought me from Tony Butterworths in Sheffield. It was a blue Gureciotti with Campagnolo Super Record components on for £450, back in 1983 or 84 i think.
Until my best friend Martin Maltby (Mojo) ran a red light after the Chesterfield Grand-Prix and bent the forks right back. He’s still my friend by the way!
Cotton cap or helmet?
I never liked wearing a helmet. I preferred to get my hair blonde from the heat of the sun, or these days just my shaved head!
White, black or coloured socks?
I always liked white socks, until i raced on the cobbles in Europe then I switched to black or coloured.
Who would be/is your perfect tandem partner?
Wayne ‘The Train’ Randall.