Eastern Daily Press

February 11, 2000

Uri Geller pays tribute to man of “huge power”easterndailypress

World famous spoon bender Uri Geller last night told how he broke down in tears when he heard Bruce Bursford had been killed.

Uri, an author and TV celebrity, has worked with the Norfolk-based Ultimate Bike team for several years, offering advice to Bruce on applying mind techniques to his immense physical strength.I am just shattered. He was the kindest, purest, most powerful and loving person I have ever known. “When I heard the shocking news I just broke down and cried.” Uri, who said he would attend the funeral, said:

“Bruce was such a gentle person for a man who had such enormous power and determination. He was such a pure man and I was amazed by his love for everyone.”

‘He loved his family and to me the news is so devastating. “I can only explain that God wanted him as an angel.” Uri, eastbrucepicwho has one of Bruce’s bikes on his wall, had worked closely with Bruce in films and world record attempts and said:

“Everything was going his way. Bruce did everything for the challenge rather than monetary gain. Not many people in Britain break world records and we are so proud of him. Everyone wanted to be around him because such a nice person. To wake up and go into the Iiving room and look at the bike and feel that he is never coming back is devastating.”

“I called Tracey and I talked to the chidren and they were very, very understanding despite being so young”. Uri said he had, Bruce’s personal Lloyd, adding: inseparable.”

Uri said he had also spoken to Bruce’s personal trainer Cefyn Lloyd, adding: “They were inseparable.”

Word Record Cyclist Killed
By IAN CLARKE

Tributes last night poured in from around the globe for Norfolk world record- breaking cyclist Bruce Bursford who was killed as he trained on the A47 for another endurance feat.

The popular 41-year-old Dereham father of two, who held 10 world cycling records, had everything to live for. The last letter he opened before going out on his final cycle ride was from Prime Minister Tony Blair, congratulating him on his record-breaking achievements and on getting his pioneering speed age cycles into a display at the Millennium Dome.

Mr Bursford was due to be celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife Tracey today and he was still on a high after completing a major deal for distribution of his bikes in the USA, Canada and Mexico. World famous Mindpower coach Uri Geller, part of the Bursford Ultimate Bike team, led the tributes to the sportsman and designer, whose amazing machine was capable of reaching speeds of more than 200mph but weighed the equivalent of four bags of sugar.

Mr Geller told the EDP: “I am just so shattered. I broke down and cried and could not sleep last night. Bruce was such a gentle person for a man of enormous power and determination. His achievements were immense.”

Mr Bursford was alone on a training ride heading back to Dereham along the A47 southern bypass near Easton on Wednesday afternoon at about 2.20pm. Police said his cycle was in collision with a seven and a half tonne Ford Iveco flat back lorry owned by construction firm Lowry and driven by Darren.

Greenwood, 35, of Toftwood, Dereham. He was not hurt but was badly shaken. PC Sue Dewing said the weather had been good at the time of the accident and the road had been dry. A Norwich inquest was yesterday opened and adjourned. A postmortem examination showed Mr Bursford died from multiple injuries. The hearing was adjourned to a future date.

Mr Bursford had been due to return home at about 3pm to meet his daughters, Samantha, 10 and Jade, 6, from school. He had no documents on him and it was mid evening before his identity was confirmed.

He regularly cycled along the road, as part of a five-hour-a-day training routine for his record bids. His trainer and riding partner Cefyn Lloyd said: “He trained harder than -anyone I have ever worked with. He was like a brother to me and this is so tough.” Agent Nick Larner said: “He was a unique talent and the fastest cyclist ever. Bruce was totally dependable and would give you his last pound.”

Mr Larner said Bruce had been thrilled by the letter from Tony Blair and also the distribution contract for selling the Ultimate Bikes and equipment in America.

“Everything had just come right for Bruce. But he will not see the fruits of his work. He loved his family dearly and he will be so badly missed.”

Mr Bursford’s love of cycling started at a young age and he was English schoolboys National Grass Track champion. He broke his first world record in August 1995. Anyone who saw the accident ring PC Dewing on 01603 768769.

Gentle Giant : Bruce BUrsford, who has been killed in a road accident.
Gentle Giant at peak of career
By Ian Clarke

Bruce Bursford was at the peak of his career as an extraordinary sportsman and inspired designer.

The gentle giant proved during a career which saw him break 10 world records and become known around the world, that it was possible to be quiet and calm and passionately devoted to reaching high speed at the same time.

Cycling was his love from a young age but Bruce wanted more than just a gentle pedal around the countryside. He was determined to develop a lightweight machine reaching previously impossble speeds for two wheels and pedal power.

Bruce spent four years developing the £1 million Ultimate Bike – which included technology usually used in US spy planes and space-bound exploration shuttles. The development largely went unnoticed until he broke the world speed cycling record in August 1995 as he reached 207mph on a rolling road.

He was not without his doubters, who questioned why he had to ride on a rolling road and not on a normal

Gentle Giant : Bruce BUrsford, who has been killed in a road accident.
Gentle Giant : Bruce BUrsford, who has been killed in a road accident.

carriageway.

But Bruce attracted media attention across the globe and as world record after world record started to fall, he was taken more and more seriously.

Demand grew for copies of the bike which cost up to £25,000 each – and the enterprise which Bruce had founded expanded.

Despite the high-profile record bids and increased pressure in the business, Bruce remained a quietly-spoken and modest man, who made sure he spent as much time as possible with wife Tracey and daughters Samantha and Jade.

He was also totally focused on maintaining his physical fitness and would train for more than five hours a day and eat 10,000 calories daily.

Bruce was a big and powerful man with thighs measuring 34 inches. Last year Bruce achieved a lifelong ambition when he broke Chris Boardman’s time trial record on a road in Wales and was preparing to tackle the world hour endurance record.

The technology industry recognised his genius as a designer and he won praise as his creations were displayed in the Millennium Dome.

Much more was to come from Bruce until he died doing what he loved doing – training to get even better.

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