cycling in Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and beyond…..

Geoff Smith

It is with great sadness that I have to advise members that Geoff Smith passed away recently.  Geoff was a true stalwart of the Club, being a tireless editor of the magazine, and an enthusiast in all that he did – whether that was  cycling, swimming, or indeed anything else to which he turned his hand.  He was very much his own man, and after he moved down to Devon we missed his cheerful presence on our rides, and now we shall miss him even more.

A personal recollection from Rico Signore is attached, together with some wonderful photographs of Geoff

John Murdoch

 

Rico Signore writes:

I was very sorry to hear of the death of my good friend Geoff Smith. Having heard of his illness (leukemia) I spoke to him on the phone not that long ago and he seemed very cheerful and upbeat. So it came as quite a shock to hear he had died.

Most of our members remember him as the very capable editor of our West Surrey CTC magazine, a post which he held for several years, until he moved to the Exmouth area.

Together we organised three trips abroad which, luckily, were very successful and are apparently fondly remembered by those who took part, many of whom were Geoffs friends who attended his cycling weekends:

– June 2001 to Switzerland to Morat/Murten – Meiringen – Andermatt
– June/July 2003: Buriet (Lake Constance) – Lavin (Engadine Valley)
– 04 to 15 June 2005: Twinning trip to Rastatt And Freiburg (Woking & Guildford)

This was our most ambitious and daring trip, by chartering the Bike Express double-decker coach and trailer for the bikes – 3 nights in Bouillon (Belgian Ardennes), 4 nights in Rastatt (Woking) and 4 nights in Freiburg (Guildford). We had over 40 participants – not all cyclists, some were members of the Twinning Associations.

Returning from this last trip Geoff and I were asked: “Where are we going next year?” We just looked at each other, shook our heads and declared that we were lucky enough to have organised three successful trips  – so anybody else was welcome to carry on – which sadly never happened.

Geoff’s other great passion was of course “Jazz”. He was lucky enough, as a young journalist, to be granted an interview with Duke Ellington and became one of the great admirers of this Giant of Jazz.

These are just some of my personal and fond memories I have of Geoff.

Our thoughts are of course with Debbie and Geoff’s family at this very sad time.
Christine & Rico Signore, Jeff Banks, Bob & Pauline Mcleod, John Murdoch and all members of CTC West Surrey.

7 Comments
  1. I am very shocked and saddened to hear the news about Geoff’s passing, as I’m sure we all are who knew him as such a lively, enthusiastic and very much alive person. He was an excellent editor of W Surrey magazine; it surely would have continued had he remained at the helm.I always enjoyed our many chats awheel on diverse subjects like the Press Association and Fleet Street, the building shenanigans of Woking council and the relative strengths of Duke Ellington’s sidesmen. I was always envious of his climbing ability on a bike and was sorry I never got round to joining him and Debbie on their rides along the Devon coast. Our thoughts are very much with Debbie and Geoff’s family at this sad time.

  2. I am very shocked and saddened to hear the news about Geoff’s passing, as I’m sure we all are who knew him as such a lively, enthusiastic and very much alive person. He was an excellent editor of W Surrey magazine; it surely would have continued had he remained at the helm.I always enjoyed our many chats awheel on diverse subjects like the Press Association and Fleet Street, the building shenanigans of Woking council and the relative strengths of Duke Ellington’s sidesmen. I was always envious of his climbing ability on a bike and was sorry I never got round to joining him and Debbie on their rides along the Devon coast. Our thoughts are very much with Debbie at this sad time.

  3. Geoff’s passing seems both premature and unexpected – commiserations to his family. I knew Geoff for quite a number of years. Always very talkative and great fun to be with, his enthusiasm knew no bounds and this was always very refreshing. I only spent one extended period with him and this was at the Canterbury Birthday Rides some years back, when we camped away from the madding crowd at his suggestion and spent much of the week riding together. Whenever there was water near at hand, it took very little persuasion for him to don his trunks and immerse himself – I merely shuddered from the bank and enjoyed watching him enjoying himself. Rest in peace, Geoff, you will be missed, but remembered.

  4. I too was saddened and shocked to her of the loss of Geoff.
    I hadn’t seen Geoff since October 2010 when he joined us on a ‘get together’ ride celebrating a previous Flanders trip back in 2003. Although, Geoff didn’t actually do this trip!
    I used to ride quite often with Geoff when I lived in the Woking area. I will always remember him cajoling all who crossed his path to submit something or, indeed anything to the West Surrey Cyclists magazine!
    Condolences to his family.

  5. Yes, it was indeed a shock to hear of Geoff’s passing. He was always an enthusiastic cyclist and member of W Surrey CTC, and his contribution to the magazine was unmatched. He was editor for eleven years, far longer than any other holder of the post, and throughout this period he maintained a level of quality which has never been surpassed.
    Lynette and I went on the 2003 and 2005 holidays organised by Geoff and Rico; they were superb, and we were amongst those who asked about the next one. Yes, we shall miss Geoff, and our thoughts are with Debbie and Geoff’s family.

  6. Thank you for these wonderful memories and pictures.
    With very best wishes
    Abi,Geoff’s daughter

  7. Quite shocked to hear of this news of Geoff’s demise…he was a tough rider, but always a enthusiastic cyclist, and so obviously enjoyed the
    countryside – and hills!
    Please pass on my condolences to Debbie