Ian Bashford - known to everyone as 'Bash' or 'Bashers' - was a central figure in the Old Portlians CC from the time he joined in 1996 until his untimely death on 25 September 2016 and he will remain a key figure in our memories for as long as this great club continues.
He was 'Captain Dependable' - a very strong rider, he specialised in time trials and every season he managed to motivate himself to train and produce top class results in events every week-end. 2016 was one of his best seasons and he dominated the club's competitions once again as he has done for many years. Not many people can achieve personal bests at the age of 60.
His palmares was impressive - he had back surgery a few years ago and in the past few seasons focussed on TTs for 10, 25 and 50 miles - this season alone he managed 55.50 for a 25 and 1.57.02 for a 50.
He last rode a 100 mile TT with a very good time of 4.20 (on a tough course) back in 2012 but due to his back problems he sensibly decided that thereafter he would concentrate on the shorter distances which he did to great effect, winning the club's competitions for the 3 distances and Veteran's BAR on many occasions.
He loved doing the Duo Normand week-end with the lads - he loved the atmosphere, the camaraderie and of course the racing. He and Peter Gray had last ridden as a team in 2014 when they had posted a very good time of 1.26.35 for the 34 hilly miles around Marigny. Ian and Pete were on course to improve on that time this year despite the windy conditions, if he had not been tragically killed just 200 yards from the finish line.
My memories of Ian over the last week-end at the Duo summed him up. The day before, we all had our bikes out for last minute adjustments. As always, Ian was on hand as team mechanic and of course, being Ian, he had all the tools, zip ties for our numbers, duct tape and even spare safety pins to pin the race numbers on our jerseys. The day of the event he was very focused (as always) as he and Pete warmed up. He had his traditional warm-up cigar ('lardy) before setting off.
Ian was a central character in the Old Ports in so many ways. He always led the Saturday club runs (even in atrocious weather) which were run at a civilised pace and aimed at newer members so that they never felt intimidated. He would welcome all new riders and offer guidance to all. He would lead the way, invented many of the routes and made sure to point out hazards such as pot holes. He was also the 'go to' man in case of mechanical problems - being ex - Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), he had repaired every sort of vehicle in his 6 years with the Army.
Being ex-Army, a Police Officer and having served in the Diplomatic Protection Unit, Ian was a very disciplined and organised person - so he naturally volunteered to organise various club events over the years, including the annual Reliability Trial in the winter, as well as the Open Time Trial promotions. They always ran like clockwork when he was in charge!
At the time of his untimely passing he had recently taken on the role of Club Treasurer and Membership Secretary in addition to organising the engraving and polishing of the annual trophies for the club dinner, many of which he usually won.
He was instrumental in getting me back on my bike after injuries a few years back and one of the main reasons I decided to start racing again the year. He was a true friend, a man of principle, loyal and dependable in every respect. He will be greatly missed by us all.
Our deepest sympathies go to his widow Beverley, son Neil, daughter Victoria and the rest of his family.
Dave Hickman - President OPCC