A splendid turn out of members, testament to Bobs popularity, escorted the funeral cortege on it’s approach to the Bournemouth Crematorium. The Jubilee then formed a guard of honour as Bob’s coffin was borne into the chapel.
Club President, Peter Warhurst read the eulogy, speaking of Bob’s early life in Liverpool. Both Bob and Peter were outsiders, Peter moving to Bournemouth from North London, and Bob, a Scouser, arriving via Nottingham and Somerset.
Bob took up cycling in 1951, riding for the Melling Wheelers before his work with textile giant Courtaulds took him to Nottingham. Bob met his wife to be Barbara and bike racing took a back seat as family and career took over. Bob, now father to Alex (1974) and Katrina (1975) joined Derby Mercury CC and returned to racing in 1977 before work took him to Wellington in Somerset.
Despite a busy life Bob found time to study for an Open University maths degree, while still racing with Exeter Wheelers. Local cycling archives show “Bob Wareing, Exeter Wheelers, 230.460 miles” in the Poole Wheelers 12 of 1980.
Aided by his degree Bob landed a job with a major insurance firm in Bournemouth and moved to Christchurch in 1982. Joining Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers, Bob rode a 12 hour event virtually every year from 1982 until his retirement from racing in 1996. His greatest distance was 238.743 miles in 1989 aged 54. Records show Bob rode his final race in 2003 aged 68.
Bob is revered and remembered with enduring affection by all Jubilee members for the many years of work which he put into running the club’s Tuesday evening time trial programme. “All accompanied by a smile and a helpful manner, every rider liked and respected him”. Peter went on to say “Bob also earned a reputation for his mastery of the laptop computer and the production of all sorts of charts, statistics and obscure competitions. Looking back it would perhaps not have surprised us if he had set up a race limited to only those whose mother-law had been born on a Friday”
In recent years Bob underwent heart valve surgery also suffering (in silence) with irregular heart beats but did not let this stop him having a gentle ride on his bike most days. Incredibly Bob’s meticulous records show, that despite his age and health he covered 923.3 miles in 2016 bringing his life’s recorded mileage to 316,196 miles, awesome. As Peter says, “We are all fortunate to have had Bob in our lives and hope that he is now somewhere where he can ride his bike always gently downhill and with the breeze behind.”
Robert “Bob” George Wareing
7th September 1934 – 25th May 2017