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Nixon, Bill: All round sound, impossibly laid back bloke. Bill was a lecturer at Dundee University and rode with Tom Robertson and the Broughty Velo boys in the 1980s. Though he’d always sport saddle bags, touring shoes, baggy wool trousers, used a giant rain cape (that would gain a small pond as it filled up between him and the bars), he could spin a gear like no one else and leave even the fittest youngsters on his day. However definitely “cried” one day on way back from Cairn o’Mount according to Tom Robertson. Despite this open accusation Bill would visit Tom and his lovely wife Agnes every Thursday evening for dinner. He’d then typically fall asleep in his chair to the sound of endless Robertson stories.

Nicholson, Jack: Late great founder of Nicholson’s Cycle Center and old boy and treasurer of the Dundee Thistle. Jack and his lovely wife also put on the Thistle reliablities over Loch na craige. The lunch stop was in a shack in the Sma Glen and I guess he’d come to some arrangement with the owner to use it. It’s an impossibly wild and lonely stop especially in 1987 in the pouring rain. That year I got a lift back to Dundee in the van because two spokes had broken. Spokes that were fixed at Nicholson’s Cycle Center the next day. The running of the shop was taken over by his daughter and son-in-law Bryn.

Niven, Eric (aka Eric ‘van der’ Niven): Legendary mile munching, bike bending strong man who exhibits the ability to be in multiple places at the same time, essentially showing quantum physical properties at the real world level. At any one point in time he will at least be riding in Tayside, probably round Loch Tummel, show up in the far north west of Scotland touring, and be in the Phoenix bar in Dundee scooping a pint. Amazing. Even more amazing than this Einstein stuff was the time he (or one of his forms) went solo round Loch Tummel (100+ miles) then dropped in at the start of the evening Knapp-Ballo Hilly TT, was persuaded somehow to ride and still finished 3rd...


 Legendary Test Hills above Kenmore (2008) by Eric Niven. He rode it so you don’t have to.


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