Many records may be broken this weekend when the Tour de France comes to town.
But a 93-year-old Huddersfield woman has relived an even more astonishing achievement of her own which saw her race 100 miles to Rhyl when she was only 10.
Almondbury resident, Margaret Dutton, could easily be one of the town’s youngest undiscovered cycling talents thanks to her epic ride, which she completed in less than 24 hours with her dad, Jim.
The adventurous pair in sandals and summer clothes conquered hills, sped down valleys and discovered new villages on their unforgettable ride, which they set off on in the middle of the night one Sunday after Whitsuntide in 1931.
Their daring idea came about after Margaret was bought a Raleigh bike by her parents after she outgrew her training wheels.
Margaret, said: “I’d become obsessed with cycling so my parents bought me a bigger ride and one day my dad said that we ought to make use of it and go for a big ride.
“We decided to go to the seaside and chose Rhyl because it was our favourite place but the weekend we chose to go it just rained and rained.
“But I didn’t want that to stop us so my dad agreed that we could set our alarms for 2am on Monday morning to see if the rain had stopped and because it had, we set off.
“The odd thing was that at the time we never even considered my age, although my mum had a fit when we told her our plans-we just got on our bikes and went.
“We didn’t even wear a helmet, I just put on a dress and blazer.”
Her dad, Jim, studied maps to memorise their trail. They reached the top of Outlane just before daybreak before stopping off en-route throughout the day to enjoy the scenery, a snack, and for her dad, a smoke.
They reached the seafront at 7pm and headed to a chalet for a well-deserved rest.
Margaret said: “My dad went out to get something for us to eat but I was so tired out that I was flat out asleep by the time he came back.
“Then we got up early the next morning to head back because my dad had work the next day.”
Margaret’s last ride came in 1940 when she spent a summer with her then-serving husband, Robert, at his base in Bolton Abbey before she gave birth to their child.
She said: “Cycling was just something that I loved doing and I was a very determined girl”.
Check out Le Tour route though our area in pictures here
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