Syd Grivell was born in 1891, South Australia (SA).
Grivell was one of the best known racing figures in the early part of the century; he was a regular competitor in racing events in South Australia. Grivell began riding in 1904 and didnít have the best start to his racing career, for long time he was regarded as a “dud” but eventually proved to be one of the best all-round performers in the state.
In 1907 Grivell entered in the Burra to Adelaide and impressively to finish ninth and not limit himself to SA he competed in Victoria winning the Ballarat Wheel race in 1909, the Federation Handicap at Shepparton followed runner up in the A.N.A Great Wheel race.
In 1912 Grivell again entered the Burra to Adelaide road race and among the entrants was champion record holder Don Kirkham from Victoria. Kirkham completed the course in 4hrs. 30mins, 18secs but Grivell rode the race of his life to finish the course in 4hrs, 50 mins, and 40secs after starting 22 minutes later than Kirkham, Grivell won the event and also broke the record. Grivell also added the 80-mile Barnet Glass Race from Clare to Adelaide to his growing list.
Bad luck followed in December 1912 when Grivell entered the 25-mile racing event at Prospect (SA), with sultry weather conditions and 51 competitors, Grivell who was one of the scratch men found that his back wheel had been tampered with, He fixed it up and decided to race but had travelled only about seven miles when the tire blew out and was forced to withdraw.
Grivell was averaging a dozen victories each season and by March 1915 Grivell had 25 fastest times recorded to his credit and had won over £500 in prizes.
Grivell also had an active interest in official affairs of cycling and on the 19th August 1919 Grivell and his brother “Curly” were involved in the formation of the Payneham Cycle and Athletic Club (SA); with Grivell elected as secretary of the club.
Its opening hosted the clubs first 10-mile road race with a field of 24 riders, the course was twice around Glynde-Tranmere with the start and finish at the Duke of Wellington Hotel, Payneham. A juniors race of 5-mile was also held and the Club became affiliated with the League of South Australian Wheelmen.
In the months to come Grivell proved a success to the club and and gave prizes to racing events of First, £2, Second £1, Third 10/ and other awards. Grivell continued to race and win many victories in six-day races and handicaps.
In 1923 Grivell won the Christmas mile race among a crowd of 600 spectators at Payneham Oval (SA) and received an ovation as he was a favourite among the crowd.
Grivell and Vic Elliott (member of Elliott bros. cycles) were working together to bring the Payneham cycling club more into the public limelight, with the organisation of road and track events during the season, realizing the need for more junior races they became invloved with more “colts” events in the Payneham district as they saw the future of cycling layed in its youth.
In 1924 Grivell left Adelaide to transfer to Mount Gambier (SA), Grivell left the Payneham club that he help start which had now grown immensely in its first years, Grivell left to act as a representative for Elliott bicycles but was still actively competing in racing events.
Grivell eased off cycling around 1930 and in 1943 amongst many cycling officials a toast was raised to Grivell and described as the little pocket Hercules of the road.