John Beasley Senior passed away on 31st January 2017 at the age of 86. His father, also named John Beasley, founded Beasley Cycles in Richmond, Victoria in 1919 before moving the store to its present location at 127 Buckley St Footscray in 1930.
That was the year that his son John Raymond Beasley was born. In addition to a life time of work running the family bicycle store, John Beasley was Australian Road Champion in 1951 and one of very few Australians back in those days to have ridden the Tour de France.
He did this in both 1952 and 1955 and until his death was Australia’s oldest living Tour de France rider.
In 1991 his eldest son, the third generation to be named John Beasley, took over the store with his wife Vicki. However John Beasley senior kept working the store for many more years as a mechanic.
“He was a very fit man,” recalled Vicki. “He was a very moderate drinker and was always eating salad sandwiches and healthy food. He kept riding his bike until well into his 70’s then one day he went for a training ride and couldn’t find his way home.
“He had dementia, so that was the end of his riding days, but it was not severe for many years and he could still hold a conversation.”
John Beasley snr was also a life member and past president of the Footscray Cycling Club.
He is survived by his wife Elaine, five children, John, Russell, Donna, Robyn and Kellee, 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Sons John jnr and Russell were both elite racing cyclists and John has also been an international cycling coach for many years.
In keeping with a family tradition, the funeral wake was held at Beasley Cycles, with the stock cleared away for the occasion and about 150 to 200 people attending.