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CYCLING. fRY "PUMP HARDER. "| It seems strange that knights of the wheel," whose pastime is so dependent on the weat'er, -shoutd be able to have too much, or rather too long a spell of sunshine. But it is true of the cyclist, as with others, that they can have too much of a good thing. In this case too long a spell or hot weather has had a bad effect on the surface of the roads, and, therefore, the showers of rain which we have had since I wrote last week's notes have been welcomed by the wheel-world in common with the rest of the community. In fact, it has been almost a treat to don one's mackintosh and feel cool and refreshing air which the rain has brought as a change to the blistering pavements and du,ty roads. This has been a wonderful season for May blossom, and as the flying wheel takes its rider along, the road-side hedges have given off a fra- grance so heavy that one might be inclined to think it could be bottled like die darkness of Pempeii. I have often sat on a certain gate over- looking Meifod with mine steed reclining in the ditch, and noticed how the whole countryside showed up great masses of white blossom, orchards and hedgerows vicing with each other in beauty. By the way the rider that likes to take it easy" is very partial to gates, and I must say that they arc a great institution" in a lazy ride. To perch oneself on a five-barred gate overlooking a nice stretch of scenery, and to smoke tho pipe of peace in quiet contemplation of the mundane work!, is decidedly better for the moral and physical welfare than the average method of spending time by the average young man. A good many cyclists are still using the '95 lop valve, which was superseded rather kite in the same year by the pattern now generally in use. It can best be described in the terms of the old rhyme When it is good, it is very, very good, and ..vhe!) it j" bad, it is horrid." So long as the valve is in perfect order and properly used it, is delight- fully easy to pump; the air goes in with small exertion, and the tyre fiils rapidly. But alas It very seldom is in perfect order. Its most common trick is a habit of becoming rigidly fixed in its place and, as necessity demands that it shall be slightly pushed in before commencing to pump, if the air is to go in easily, this is rather awkward, and entails much labour in getting the tyre tight. To remedy such a state of affairs it, is necessary to deflate tho tyro and take off the cover, when the inner part of the valve will be exposed, and can be loosened. On the whole I think it decidedly better for a eyenst who is using his last year's machine to get the valves changed. The cost will be about four shillings. I carefully watched the motor cycles which were put through their paces at Cat ford between the events at the Simpson chain match, and I must say that 1 was not very favourably impressed. The oil driven one ridden by Mr Duncan was most complicated in appearance, and appeared to vibrate terribly. The Kane-Pennington motor ran more steadiiy, but emitted a noise like a steam engine, and did not travel very fast. One tricycle was on view which ran steadily, but at a moderate pace. It seemed a most complicated affair, and terribly heavy. The gear case has almost become a necessity on road bicycles, in consequence of the general desire for narrow treads. A narrow tread entails very little clearance between crank and chain, nd if the latter is in the smallest degree slack there is a tendency to swing out over the end of the crank when back pedalling. This generally results in a broken chain and twisted f-amo. J speak from sad experience. I am exccedingiy careful about the adjustment of nv chains, and yet I have had this accident happen to me twice—once when on a triplet and once on a tandem. Needless to fay such an accident could not occur were (1, gear case fitted. A good many people now use puncture-proof inner tubes, and others are desirous of doing Some particulars may therefore be useful. The extra cost is about 10s per wheel and the protection from ordinary puncture is complete. Of course if a broken bottle, or a big knite blade, or anything of that sort is encountered, the tube will collapse but such mishaps are rare in comparison with thorn or nail stabs, against which the tubes are quite effective. As to the loss in speed, there is certainly a little but I do not think the ordinary touring rider is likely to notice it; and speed- merchants" have long since decided not to use punctnre-preenting devices of any kind. On the whole, I should not advise protected tyres for general use; only for those riders who are ex- treme.y nervous about punctures. Repairing is really a trifling matter nowadays. If a cyclist finds the ordinary pattern of saddle, and more especially the hammock variety, very uricorrifoi-table, it. is worth while trying whether a semi-racing saddle, with very little spring, will not solve the difficulty. There are some people who prefer this type of saddle to all others for use on ordinary roads, though the average rider does not generally care for it. It gives an exceedingly steady seat, which is especially valuable uphill; and for those who are not sensitive to vibration it is usually found comfortable. When teaching a lady to ride, do not make the mistake of trying to instruct her in monn ing as soon as she has got her balance. Mounting is better put off for a day or two until the new rider is pretty steady in her steeiing it is not the spring into the saddle that is difficult but the proper steering of the machine at the start. On no account should the pupil begin by mounting off steps and curb- stones. This is a habit that once acquired is extremely (iifficult to get out of, and often causes mortification to its victim, when she is compelled to wander about helplessly in a public road looking for somewhere to get n p. "Verax" is, I trunk, intent upon covering too much ground in the course of his six days' tour. To visit Wootton Baesett, Aberystwyth, Stratford- on-Avon, Marlborough, and Oxford in that order in the time would be impossible; but I will try to sketch a round which will include them all in the course of the shortest journey compatible with the conditions he names. It hardly matters which way round he goes, but, starting from Birkenhead, I will assume he first makes for Aberystwyth via Chester, Wrexham, Oswestry, Welshpool, Newtown, Llanidloes, and Llangurig. He could either return from the coast to Llangurig again, and so get the fine bit of Wye between chat place and Rhayader, or he could reach a.hayader direct by the Devil's Bridge route. Then he should drop down to Builth, and make for Brecon, on no account taking the short road over the moun- tains, but going round by Llyswen iustead. The way thence to Abergavenny was described in detail in these Notes" on Juno 6. Continuing, the tourist must be snre to take the Raglan route to Monmouth, and he can then drop down to Chepstow and book for Bristol by the Severn Tunnel route. This will not only save time, bur, avoid Gloucester, which it is perhaps wise to do at present. I should now recommend that Wootton liassett be rencheJ bv way of Bath, Chippenham, and Sutton Benger. Although 1 do not know the cross road through the last-named place, I feel sure it will ba better than the climb over Derry Hill towards Bowopd and I li(- deviation through Calne. There is no mistaking the road from Wootton Bassett to Marlborough, and the way thence to Oxford lies through Hungerford, Wantage, and Abingdon. Stratford- on-Avon, Worcester (by the reverse of M. L.'s route), Ludlow, Shrewsbury, Wem, Whitchurch, Chester, will be links in the homeward run. e ought to haveour rights and privileges preserv- ed, and now that the Right Hon A. J. Balfour, M.P., has consented to be the president of the N.C.U., and it is evident that he will be a powerful figure- head to protect the. interests of cyclists in Parlia- ment and official circles. It is one of he best features or possibilities of the "cycling craze," as it is cailed, that ic will make a large number of people in sympathy with the pastime of cycling, and particularly amongst the upper ten," who had hitherto treated the pastime with a kind of snobbish superciliousness that threatened to produce some very awkward and restrictive legislation against cycling. As it is, we are not out of the wood. and it behoves all riders to observe .the law as it affects them, and to be particularly careful when riding.through towns or crowded thorough- fares. 1 have seen several riders go through the main streets of Welshpool at a far too rapid pace, and as they simply do it to "show off," 1 always feel a sort of contempt for them. It is such actions as this on the part of a few foolish ones that will bring about legislation to crib, cabin, and confiti(I the pastime as a whole. A cyc'ists' club is about to be formed at Lhn- brynmair. There are about 50 riders in the district, and there is a, feeling amongst them that a club should be formed, ana a meeting will be called at an early date to put things into order. There are some excellent roads in this district, and the run from Talerddi to Rliiwsaeson, a distance of five miles is as pretty a run as you can find. Another fine spin can be taken along the valley to Llanid- loes. Travellers on the line can catch a glimpse of the valley as they pass the Llanbrynmair Station. In the distance the hills can be seen lining the valley the whole of the way, and no more bracing climate can be found than that which exists amongst the hills of Llanbrynmair. If yon are a lover of soli- tude, and wish to indulge your thoughts far enough away from the hum, of bugtf life, take a spin â this ralley and you will soon find yourself in the heart of the hiils, free to meditate as long as you care to do so without interruption. Our country police are awaking to the fact that they can travel quicker on a machine than they can by walking. In the case of following an accused person, the officer who possesses a machine is lucky and t his week a case occurred at Machynlleth of a tiamp absconding from the Workhouse potato-field without having done his task. One cannot blame a tramp for leaviug his work when the porter had gone away, for the Workhouse regulations say that vagrants must do a certain amount of labour but they do not say anything about the tramp taking charge of his own person when the official in charge had gone out of sight. This is, by the way, because that tramp was quickly nabbed by P.C. Jones, also by the way (side), who with the aid of his machine, ran him down before he had reached Cemmes road. Communications for this column should be addressed to Pump Harder," County Times Office Welshpool, not latter than Thursday in each week, to ensure publication in the current issue. Secretaries of clubs will oblige by sending their fixture lists as soon as possible. Light up to-night at 9-10 o'clock; next Satur- day at