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DIARY OF COMING ENGAGEMENTS.

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A IS IT INDOLENCE?

EAST DENBIGHSHIRE.

VOLUNTEERS AS 'SCORCHERS.'

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VOLUNTEERS AS 'SCORCHERS.' Weare scarcely surprised that the Volunteer cyclist race over Denbighshire, Flintshire, and Shropshire roads on Saturday has not been allowed to pass without a word of protest. A correspondent of the Times asks whether it has occurred to those interested that a race of this description cannot be carried out on the QUEEN'S highway without very considerable risk, both to the cyclists themselves and to the public. Mr. EUSTACE BALFOUR replied on Monday that the competition had been held for several years, without danger either to the public or the competitors, that it bad received the sanction of the late and the present COM- MANDER-IN-CHIEF, and that the arrangements for the meeting were always made in conjunc- tion with the local authorities and the police He also added that the nature of the contest, the riders covering 100 miles in full marching order and close formation, precluded what is usually termed racing speed. Now, we should be the first to acknowledge the value of the competition as a test of what may be anticipated from the service of a Cyclist Corps in case of actual warfare. "e should be the last to throw cold water on the efforts of those who are endeavouring to improve a popular branch of the patriotic service; still, we cannot close our eyes to the self-evident fact that such a race, although the teams do run along different routes, must involve a considerable amount of risk both to the cyclists engaged and the travelling public. We see that the competition commenced at Ellesmere at nine o'clock on Saturday morning, and the teams rode to Whitchurch, Wrexham, and Shrewsbury along the highway during the busiest hours of the day. The winners covered the 100 miles in seven hours, eighteen minutes, and we read that up to mid-day most of the teams kept up an average of sixteen miles an hour. This means that at various stages of the journey the men were riding considerably in excess of sixteen miles an hour, probably often at 20 miles an hour, in order to compensate for the slower pace up hills and through towns and villages. Such a speed, be the riders never so careful and skilled, cannot but constitute a menace to the public safety, whether the arrangements are carried out in consultation with the local authorities and police or not. No amount of foresight or arrangements on the part of police can avert a nasty spill if a rider going at twenty miles an hour is suddenly confronted with an obstacle in his path. That the element of danger was not absent on Saturday is proved by the report that Private MICKLE- BURGH, of the 17th Middlesex, was disabled in the return journey from Shrewsbury by being kicked on the hip by a horse that shied. Indeed, it is surprising, considering the uniform celerity with which the various detachments moved along, that there were not more casualties. Enough has, however, occurred to demonstrate that this species of road racing, albeit not so reprehensible as the road races which used to flourish under the auspices of cycling clubs, is yet fraught with peril, and as such ought to be suppressed in its present form. It would be useless to advise the Volunteer cyclists to carry out their contest on some racing track, as that would afford no proper test of their fitness for road work, but it would be comparatively easy to conduct the meeting, as many military marches are carried out, during the night or very early morning, when the roads are unfrequented. If the teams were despatched on their journey at midnight in midsummer, they would have only a couple of hours of darkness, and they would have finished their task before the roada were crowded with vehicles and pedestrians.

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CHESTER CATHEDRAL.

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