Toronto, d. 3.July.1958, complications
Cycling Champion Bob McLeod Dies
Toronto Star, July 3, 1958
Bob McLeod, an all-round amateur cycling champion of the 1930’s
died in Western Hospital this morning following an operation.
Funeral services will be arranged later.
McLeod was all-round Canadian amateur cycling titlist in 1933,
British Empire champion in 1934, and was a member of Canada’s 1936
The 1930’s produced some of Toronto’s best messenger races. Many
telegraph messengers of the time were racing enthusiasts. Like many
messengers today, they rode fixed gear racing bikes with no brakes.
Three of those messengers worked for Toronto’s Canadian National
Telegraph (CNT). Bob McLeod, George Crompton and Wesley McLean raced
each other and were members of the Maple Leaf Bike Club.
At the 1933 Canadian Cycling Championships Bob McLeod won all three
official races (half-mile, mile and two-mile) and George Crompton
finished second in the two-mile race. In June 1934 Crompton, McLean
and McLeod finished second, third and fourth in a championship race
at the Canadian National Exhibition track.
McLeod represented Canada at the 1934 British Empire Games
(Commonwealth Games). He surprised the world by beating a very
strong field to win the premier cycling event of the games – the
10-mile race. In addition McLeod came second in the time trial.
When he returned home McLeod received a hero’s welcome. He was
carried up Bay St. in flag draped chair by a large group of Toronto
messengers (including Crompton and McLean) to the CNT messenger
All three CNT messengers continued to race each other in 1934 while
trading victories at various distances. Crompton and McLeod would be
crowned Canadian champions in 1936 and they would go on to represent
Canada at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. McLean was hit by a car and
killed in 1934.
In 1999, McLeod was named one of the top 25 Canadian cyclists of the
20th century by Canadian Cyclist magazine.
- from Toronto
Messengers –A Brief History (Part 1)