Joe Jones was born in Wales in 1944. He came to Canada, on the Empress of Scotland, in the mid 50’s to begin a new life in the “Land of Opportunity”.
Prior to coming to Canada, Joe had never experienced train travel. He had been a passenger in an automobile on not more than 5 occasions. His only exposure to television, in his Welsh village of Llangollen, was watching the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 on a very fuzzy black and white TV.
Joe, who resided with his adoptive mother and uncle, describes himself as shy and withdrawn with a heavy Welsh accent in his youth. With few friends at the time, he decided that he was going to focus himself on being as fit as possible through sports. He attended Don Mills Collegiate Institute in Toronto where a teacher, Mr. Bell, inspired Joe to be the best athlete he could be.
While working in a sports store, Joe met Ken Smith, the President of the Ontario Wheelmen’s Association. Ken recommended that Joe compete in a cycling race. From that point forward, Joe was committed to the sport and went on to achieve many successes. He competed on many well known international cycling teams including Britannia, Pedale Adriatico, Abruzzi and Caber-Vittor Ski. Canadian Cyclist magazine cites Joe’s 10th place finish in the prestigious British Milk Race as a significant achievement. The grueling race of approximately 1500 miles with a very strong field of international competitors was quite a challenge and Joe was the first Canadian ever to be invited to compete in the event. After winning the Canadian road racing championship, Joe was selected and participated as a member of Canada’s cycling team that competed in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. He competed in both the Individual Road Race and Team Road Trial competitions. He also enjoyed successes in competing in stage events through the mountainous regions of Quebec in the Tour Du Lac St. Jean, L’Alpin Du Quebec and the Tour du St. Laurent races.
He is a past winner of the Omnium Cornelli and Montreal’s Madonna Di Pompeii races. Joe has many other distance and trial race successes. Some of his favourite memories are of circuit track races in Delhi and Norfolk, Ontario where he captured championships on multiple occasions. In 2000, Canadian Cyclist magazine recognized Joe Jones, with honourable mention, in its’ list of the top 25 Canadian Cyclists of the century. The selection were based an individuals dominance in their discipline, level of competition and international results.
Joe Jones was described by the magazine as a “dominant Canadian road racer of the 1960’s”. Joe is a retired teacher but has continued on as a Home Instructor in Whitby. He is also a support worker for an agency that assists individuals with exceptional needs. He has five children, Erin, Rachel, Michael, Shelby and Marlon progressing in their secondary and post secondary education. Joe enjoys boating, fishing and woodworking. He has a passion still for cycling and spends time refurbishing and fixing bicycles.