Deane William Toseland was born February 22, 1911 in Adelaide, South Australia (S.A).
Toseland began riding round 15 years old when he was a schoolboy at Wallaroo (S.A), where he would race across the limestone flats by the mines with other local boys.
Soon after moving to Semaphore (S.A) Toselands father brought him a new bike and he entered a race at the Rosewater Cycling Club, though he finished last Sid Rowe who was South Australia’s foremost sprinter took Toseland in and taught Toseland the many aspects of cycling, in the next four races he entered he won.
Toseland was a member of the Pt. Adelaide Cycling Club.
In 1927 and 1928 he won the South Australian junior championship, and was also successful in several senior titles, by 1930 and 1931 he won the Greenock Wheelrace (S.A) and he also established a record ride from Adelaide to Gawler and back in the fastest time and entered the 165-mile Warrnambool to Melbourne and secured 20th place.
In 1932 in front of a large crowd at Payneham Oval (S.A) he took the win for the 10-mile handicap which had plenty falls and punctures. Toseland won by a ½ wheel. In 1933, Toseland took out the Australian 10-mile track championship which was held at Payneham (S.A) where among his competitors was Hubert Opperman.
1934 Toseland won the Victorian Centenary 1000-mile and also the 100 kilometre race of Aces at the Exhibition Speedway, Melbourne (VIC) where he cycled victorious in front of riders from New Zealand and Internationals.
He had an offer to accompany from the Frenchmen F. Mithouard overseas, Mithouard had taken a fall during the Centenary Thousand race. “He is one of the best cyclists in Australia” said the French rider “and should certainly not miss the opportunity of trying his pace and stamina against Continental riders under Continental conditions”. Prior to Mithouard leaving, he and Toseland took a spin through the Adelaide hills. Toseland had won other principal races at Mount Gambier (S.A), Payneham (S.A) and Kapunda (S.A) and the Centenary was his first contest outside South Australia.
Sponsorship followed with the Super Elliott Professional team, alongside with Keith Thurgood, Phil Thomas and Jack Conyers they had plentiful success at all meets.
Toseland was gaining more popularity and was now a household name as his victories were placed onto the front page of the local papers.
By 1935, Toseland was at the pinnacle of his racing career, some of his other best performances during this period included the 25-mile Payneham road race (S.A) where he beat Bill Moritz, fastest time at the Woodville (S.A) Cycling Club Handicap, fastest time in the Lithgow-Bathurst-Lithgow (N.S.W) road race and also secured second place and fastest time in the 98-mile Gosford to Sydney (N.S.W) road race.
Toseland trained very hard and always spent countless hours on the road.
When he was bound to race in Beverley-Perth (W.A) he would ride to Pt. Augusta (S.A) from Adelaide where he would catch the express train to W.A at night, this was considered his training ride and while on board the train would follow up with more training with rollers which he would bring along.
Toseland was also active in tandem paced events and in 1936, an interstate cycle match was held between South Australia and Victoria at Nhill (S.A), it consisted of each state having their best riders.
The South Australian team consisted of Toseland (captain), Arne Bate, and Bill Moritz and the Victorian team consisted of H. Opperman (captain), E.P Milliken and F Stuart.
The event was won by the South Australians.
Toseland was engaged in many events throughout the cycling season, the same year he broke the record in the 100-mile Centenary Road championship shattering the previous record by 13 minutes, Toseland lost his chain during the race and lost the main bunch of riders, with determination he caught the main group and finished
in front by 100 yards.
Super Elliott cycles released the “Tosey” centenary road racer model cycle, the model was built to his own design and featured triple Cyclo gearing, optioned with 26”, 27” narrow steel rims or 28” wooden singles, Brooks saddle and was handsomely finished in a 4 coat stove-baked enamel with painted panels and lines.
Later road models included osgear french rear dropouts which became known as Tosey ends.
Six records were set in 1937 season by Toseland in his ride from Pt. Augusta (S.A) to Adelaide; Toseland fell short of 16 miles of crediting Australia in the World 12-hour unpaced continuous cycling, however he established an Australian record of 237 miles and breaking 5 other records in the process riding without stopping, loud cheers greeted Toseland into Rundle Street, Adelaide.
The year was also marked by illness due to his distance racing and underwent an operation which had him out for the Burra-Adelaide race and the Warrnambool-Melbourne event.
The following year Toseland was disqualified for six months in the Pt. Pirie road race (S.A) for failing to keep a straight line as competitor W.K Moritz was struck in his rear wheel causing injury, Toseland lodged an appeal with the board and was fined £10 and amended the penalty imposed.
Preliminary arrangements were also established by B.J Elliott for Toseland and Keith Thurgood to compete in the Wembley six-day race in the following year at England’s track racing season.
In 1939 Toseland obtained first and fastest at the epic 165-mile Warrnambool – Melbourne, he displayed perfect judgement, excellent stamina and a powerful sprint to take the win 16 lengths ahead of his fellow competitors of Keith Thurgood and W.K Moritz.
Conditions were severe and only a little over a quarter of the 247 riders were able to finish, his time for the race of 8h. 18min. 16 sec was successful to break the 44 year old record.
Toseland always remained faithful to his originating club of Port Adelaide and always insisted his jerseys were black n white
In 1940, Toseland was accepted for the AIF, Defence forces, World War II had a big impact on cycling and many other competitive cyclists had also enrolled to serve their country, during his enlistment he rose to the rank of Captain.
With a lapse of five and a half years Toseland was back in training and was soon to make a reappearance to competitive cycling, his first race would be the 25-mile open handicap held by the Woodville Cycling Club (S.A) in 1946, with many other pre-war stars racing Toseland was still off his match winning form.
With repeated failures over the two months he returned to form to win the State 50-mile road Championship.
1947 proved a successful year, his determination and training won the following 5-mile “Aces” Derby at Mt. Gambier (S.A) which he led for 10 of the 17 laps and took complete charge in the 12th lap and as he crossed the line he received a most enthusiastic reception as he rode past the stand, he acknowledged the applause and by smiling and waving to the crowd of 2000 spectators, more success at Angaston (S.A) in the 5-mile scratch race, 2-mile Burra Wheelrace, 5-mile scratch race Quorn (S.A) and 34-mile Senior handicap road race at Payneham (S.A), 50-mile Tour of the Murray held at Renmark (S.A), 150-mile Adelaide-Pt. Pirie (S.A) and the Melbourne-Benalla Road race in which “Hubert Opperman “Oppy” also competed.
His luck ran out later in the year when in the 5-mile derby at Mt. Gambier (S.A) when a dog ran onto the track and collided with his bicycle, because of injuries received he would miss the 165-mile Melbourne- Warrnambool classic, Toseland was 38 years old.
In the late 40’s he opened up his own Bicycle business in O’Connell Street, North Adelaide (S.A) called Deane Toseland cycles. He was an agent for Super Elliott, Rudge and Whitworth cycles and also branded his own model of bikes which included standard and professional bikes. The Toseland Specials were very high end builds consisting of a brazed Gothic T on the head tube; these were custom built to the requirements of the rider, it is estimated that 700 specials were built which include both road and track models.
The Toseland “Roadmaster” special being the top of the range road bike offered.
The shop later went on to sell other sports goods which also included fishing apparel, the shop remained in business for 27 years.
Toseland was also a specialist wheel builder and continued to do this well into his retirement later years.Toseland was still competing and continued his winning success.
In 1952, Toseland became manager of the S.A Cycling team, a young team which he would devote his time to future champions. Toseland was also very generous and sponsored many events, the prize for the 4 lap handicap event held at Norwood Oval (S.A) women’s event in 1954 was the Deane Toseland trophy.
When Toseland retired he spent time giving advice and a mentor to many, he was a life member of the S.A League of Wheelmen and continued riding with the SA Touring Cycling Club until the age of 82 when he took a fall which resulted in an injury causing blindness.
Deane Toseland Died May 20, 2006 in Adelaide