Bob McLeod

Toronto, d. 3.July.1958, complications from operation

Bob McLeod 

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 Olympic team.

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 office.

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)