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I Klvixr.T.





CYCLING NOTES. I T B Y "PUMP H A R D R "I I A walk of an evening along any of the public roads leading from Oswestry will prove to any- one to what extent the present boom in the cycling trade is supported from this town. On almost every road cyclists are to be met with in | dozens, while in the quieter roads the novice may be seen striving to become master of the wayward movements of the front wheel. Starting, usually, from an elevated part of the road he gets into the saddle after hopping along on one foot for a dozen yards. He goes all,right till the force he has gained is spent, then he begins to wobble from side to side, and after a few fantastic gyrations settles down in a most unbecoming and undignified manner. Nothing daunted, however, he resumes again, and after a few evenings you may meet him (or her) on the main road swelling the ranks of the votaties of the wheel." The rush for shares in cycle companies and the rise in the price of cycle stock have had one evil effect. Nine-tenths of the cycle riding population have taken to inventing things. The patent papers are full of statements regarding new tyres, new gears, new wheels, new everything pertaining to'a cycle. Many of these will reach the flotation stage, the vendors and promoters will reap a fortune, while the poor shareholders will suddenly awake to the fact that they have backed up a use- less and stupidly conceived idea. But I suppose it is no use telling the public to beware. Money has been made out of cycle inventions, and there- fore any cycle invention is good enough to invest in. Athletes have one great foe to guard against in after-life, and that is raus •ular rheumatism. It attacks a large proportion of them, and once in its grip escape is difficult. In the case of cyclists, wounds, especially about the knees, render one particularly susceptible. Athletes cannot be too careful of draughts or damp, especially the latter. I make no apology for introducing the well-worn subject of second-hand bicycles yet once again, because I receive more inquiries about this than almost any other cycling topic. It appears to me that the first ideaoi' every novice who cannot afford the X20 to zE25 necessary to procure the best in the market is "something second hand." I have on Irequently in these columns given my opinion as ¡ regards the common sense of buying halfworn-out machines; but as there are people who will have nothing else, a word or two of advice addressed to them may not come amiss. In the first place do not write to a busy friend in town requesting him to look out for a good second-hand bicycle for you as he knows all about it, and you are sure he will not mind obliging you." rie will probably mind very much indeed and if his relations with you do not allow of a prompt refusa', will swear at your request with surprising fluency, what time he sets about the almost impossible task. The truth is that second-hand machines are hardly to be got at all just now. There is something very like a famine in bicycles, caused by the sudden and enor- mous demand of the present summer; and even a new machine cannot always be had, unless the buyers stickling at price, weight, or even make. Second-hand cycles, on account of the demand, are selling at prices out of all proportion to their value. It is indeed a golden time for those who have old machines to sell; but buying is quite another matter, unless the would-be purchaser happens to know of some friend who is willing to do a deal" with him. Long gaiters for feminine cycling wear are practically "out" now, both for rational and skirted costumes. The warmth of the early summer has made them almost an impossibility for riders who ever leave the park avenues for the ups and downs of roads; and besides public opinion has decided that they are ugly and ungraceful. In winter they have their uses, but the wearing of long gaiters purely as au extra covering is a thing of the past. Among the many things that the new rider wants to know is the extra effect produced by removing one's mudgards in dry weather. He is generally rather sceptical as to the result, since he cannot see that the two or three pounds saved are likely to make much difference in riding. The weight, as a matter of fact, does make quite an apprecible difference, but that is not the main point. The real saving lies in the freer running of the wheels. The I mudgard lies close on the wheel and compresses the air all about it and the faster the machine is driven the harder is the current of com- pressed air rushing under the mudguard and braking the wheel. When the guards are removed, the wheels are not boxed in, and run with decidedly more freedom. I do not advise the jog- trot, take-it-easy style of rider toremove his guards under the impression that things will thus be made still easier for him. The slight difference is ease felt at a slow pace is certainly rot worth the risk of a drenching in mud and water. It is only when the rider aspires to a certain amount of speed that there is really any reason in the removal of mud- guards. The number of really aged men who now cycle is remarkable. Only the other day I was talking to a clergyman of seventy-five or more who had just taken to the sport. A man or woman who is reasonably active, and not inconveniently stout, is never too old to ltarn to ride. I must strongly deprecate, however, the practice of buying standard patern machines in the care of aged riders. A man of seventy is certainly not fit, in most cases, to drive a 60in. gear; 56in. is far more likely to suit drive a 60in. gear; 56in. is far more likely to suit him, as he will probably not desire to scorch. The cob type of machine introduced by J. K.Stanley is very suitable for old cyclists. When the anti-cyclisfc commences to write against his pet aversion lie generally loses his head, Just nov there is a correspondence going on in one of the Irish dailies which has already afforded some gems of literature and unique examples of ignorance and intolerance. One individual suggests that cyclists should not be allowed to exceed the pace of a cab on the street, which is generally about five miles an hour; while another is of opinion that cyclist should not be allowed to be on the road at all, but should have paths aud tracks for their own exclusive use and the third makes the inate suggestion that cyclists should be compelled to ride twelve feet from the curb, thereby actually encouraging that grossly careless class of pedestrians who rush across the streets without looking round. These worthy people are evidently still under the influence of a Rip Van Winkle slumber. They fail to recognise that all the world, except themselves and a few others are on wheels, and that the bicycle has become a necessary of life and is used as much for business as for pleasure. At Wood Green, on Saturday, the 25 miles amatenr championship of the National Cycling Union was won by M. Diacoff, a Russian cyclist, of the Catford Club, in Ih. 5niin. 154-sec. The five- miles professional championship was won by J. Green, Northumberland C. and A.C., in 15min. 19 l-5sec., and the one mile amateur championship by P. W. Brown, Polytechnic, in 3min. 23 4-sec.—At Olympia, on Saturday night, J. Michael made fresh records for five, eight, nine, and ten miles, covering the last-mentioned distance in 19 min. 58 3-sec. The annual meeting of the Llanidloes Cycling Club, which was formed last year, was held on Monday at the Trewythen Arms Hotel, Mr Smout, J.P., in the chair. The meeting was convened for the purpose of appointing officers for the ensuing year, and the following gentlemen were appointed —President, Mr J. Smout, J.P. vice-presidents, Messrs A. J. Morris, J.P., and G. Edmunds; treasurer, Mr R. M. Davies; secretary, Mr J. F. Griffiths; captain, Mr D. H. Owen; deputy captain, Mr Fred Williams. The committee con- sists of the officers together with Mr W. S. Morgan (Bank House) and Mr William Rees (Long Bridge street). The weekly run is to be held on Wednes- day, and night runs are also to bejarranged. Other small matters were left to be considered by the committee. It is to be hoped that all those who have their cycles will become members and also that all members should make an effort to be present at the runs as well as punctual to the time, so that no inconvenience may occur, and the members should be more united. If this is done I have not the least doubt that the ensuing season will be a successful one. Let us bear in mind that United we stand, divided we fall." Communications! for this column should be addressed to Pump Harder, County Times Office, Welshpool, not later than Thursday in each week, to ensure publication in the currcnt issue. Secretaries of clubs will oblige by sending their fixture lists as soon as possible. Light up this evening at 9-10 o'clock; next Saturday, 9-15. -0-



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