Monday, July 25, 2016

John Peoples NZ Cycling Legend 1934-2016

Last week I was contacted by Sandy Nott daughter
of John Peoples, informing me to the
sad news of his recent passing.
This post is a brief homage from me to R J C Peoples,
known in the cycling world as
'Gentleman John' a real New Zealand Cycling legend. 
Peoples, who came from a cycle racing family, was
heavily involved in NZ cycling in one form or another
throughout most of his life.
His first claim to fame was being selected for the
1958 Empire Games road team.
Unfortunately he developed saddle soars a few 
weeks out from the games, although he competed
gamely, he had of course lost his peak fitness.
 1959 saw him take a great second place and 
King of the Mountains in the 3 Day Tour of Southland, 
behind an unstoppable Warwick Dalton.
Peoples, Dalton and John Bigwood 
1959 Tour of Southland.

In 1960, Peoples was New Zealand Road Champion, 
but was unable to follow this up with a ride in the first Dulux
sponsored Six Day Tour, because of study commitments.
1961 was another strong year for Peoples, culminating
in a decisive win in the National 100 mile road Championships.
In 1964 Peoples brought a bike shop,
 Wellington Cycle & Sports, which became a
indispensable shop for Wellington wheelmen.

During 1965 Peoples along with Pete Smith, and Sam Taylor
started the classic New Zealand Cycling magazine,
the first issue being May 1965, running in this format and editorial
management until April 1968.
This was the only NZ cycling magazine on the market since the
demise of "New Zealand Cycling Review" 1949-52.
These magazines are a real treasure for enthusiasts
like myself, without them great swaths of our local
racing history would have been lost.
And one of the absolute treasures of my historical NZ
cycling collection, John Peoples personal bound volumes
of New Zealand Cycling magazine.

Peoples rode two final Dulux Six day tours in 1968 and 1970.
Peoples 1970 Dulux jersey. 

During October 1967 Peoples rode a epic ride to smash the
Auckland to Wellington record by nearly two hours, taking
26 hours 44 minutes, 32 second for the ride.

 If that record isn't impressive enough by itself, then take into
account that Peoples rode into 'near gale'
  rain, hail and sleet, at one time even snow over
the last 200 miles, sometimes the wind so strong it almost brought
 him to a standstill. Apparently it was the coldest Labour day in
Wellington in 20 years.
John with his wife Dorothy during the epic
record ride 1967.
One of my personal favorite pieces of cycle memorabilia,
A school project from Peoples daughter's class chronicling
the great ride.
Love that rain beating down in the second drawing,
but a big smile on Johns face.
The Gentleman John Peoples,is a great reminder of why
the great era of amateur sportsmen and Woman has
something special about it, a little something lost in the
modern professional era.
Maybe something of it's purity of spirit?


  1. Thank you for writing about my grandad
    -Jon Peoples grandson. Of Cp

  2. Lovely story, Adrian. Great work.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to write about my Dad. I am so proud of him. I miss him but your blog brings a smile to my heart as I face the first Christmas of my life without my Dad.

    1. The pleasure was all mine, I am very happy that this small tribute has brought back to you some fond and happy memories.