Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page





'I CYCLING. [BY "PUMP HARD E R There are no lady cyclists at Montgomery, and the only reason I can assign for this is the fact that the necessary gallant young gentleman is con- spicuous by his absence. Welshpool is a great deal befiter off in this respect. One well-known ad- mirer of ladies has recently blistered his hands in teaching a lady to ride. That can recommend the gerrtlemen as one who will teach a lady to.mount, steer, and dismount in less time than it takes to talk, who is so elated at the honour that he makes no charge whatsoever, and who makes no objection to age. If there is one thing more than another calculated to annoy him it is the absence of lady cyclists. Cyclists who l'epetedly seek the Bois de Bou- louge for their morning's spin should take warning from the misadventure which befell a young lady, and not strike up too close an acquaintance with the first comer on a Vheel. Recently there were to be remarked in the wood two brothers, who, irreproachably clothed according to the cyclists' notion of the latest fashion, and astride of machines of first class workmanship, attracted much attention by their elegant bearing. They speedily created an impression on a young and pretty widow of independent means, who, finding the strangers very gentlemanly in their behaviour, invited them to call on her. The invitation was accepted with alacrity, and the trio were soon on very friendly terms. Unfortunately for the widow, her charming guests were none other than two in- dustrious members of the burglariag fraternity, and when they gazed round on the elegant fittings and valuable knicknacks of the sumptuous apart- ments they felt that such an opportunity for busi- ness should not be allowed to slip by. To make the job easier, the elder brother purloined a latch- key, and it was arranged that the other should get their hostess out of the way whilst the flat was being ransacked. Suspicions, which were after- wards confirmed by snatches of a conversation she overheard, rose in the widow's mind, and she had I an interview with the police, who told her to leave the matter entirely to them and say nothing. A morning's shopping in one of the big magasins and lunch afterwards at a well known restaurant was considered to be an excellent bait, and the intended victim, knowing full well that all would come right, demurely allowed herself to be taken out. Meanwhile one of the thieves, gaining admittance to the flat, went through all the drawers and cupboards, removed the contents of the numerous jewel boxes, and then, laden with a nice little pile ot plunder, and being on the point of departure, walked into the arms of two police- men, who had been watching his operations with much interest. The younger brother was arrested later in the day. On one of the prisoners was found a bottle of chloroform, and helremarked that if they had not succeeded in obtaining the latchkey they had the intention of drugging and then robbing the charming widow. On inquiry it was ascertained that the two rogues were mechanics by trade, and their chief business was carried on with stolen bicycles. This, interesting couple are now safely lodged at the depot, The fafstest rider in the English amateur ranks is at present a foreign visitor—Diacoff, the Russian, to wit. He has scored so consistently in open races as to thoroughly confirm the correctness of the form he displayed when he won the 25 miles N.C.U. championship. He wisely rides Dunlop tyres, upon which all his victories have been achieved. They were lying on the deck of a small yacht off Brighton, watching the foam as it drifted astern. Funny things, yachts and cycles," remarked one, lazily puffing his cigarette. How so ? inquired his companion. Why, a yacht holds the wind when she goes on a tack, whereas a cycle loses it," returned the other, and the silence was so dense, you could have heard a whale cough. The Philistine" who does not cycle is never tired of gloating over the mishaps of wheelmen. Even newspapers report cycling accidents with a certain amount of exultation, and usually wind up with the steoreotyped phrase—" The bicycle was smashed up." Now, I have had a pretty fair personal experience t f accidents on the road, and I have witnessed a few more; but I have never seen a machine, however jerry built, that got smashed up as the result of a fall or riding accident. I am, therefore, led to the conclusion that these vivid descriptions we are so often treated with are mere vagaries of the journalistic mind, attributable, perhaps, more than anything else to the big goose- berry season. Much has been said and written in condemna- tion of The Scorcher.' He is invariably held up as an object of detestation. Hard names and scant courtesy are liberally bestowed on him often on very little provocation. Now I will confess at once that I dearly like a good scorch, and on a quiet country road. I know of no exercise so exhilarat- ing to a man with a sharp eye and a steady nerve. The sensation of feeling the warm air play on one's cheeks and face as they rush along is most pleasing. Of course in a town or where there is considerable traffic such a thing is not to be thought of; But far from the busy haunts of men' on a nice downgrade country road it is magnificent. But the would-scorcher should never lose sight of the fact that he has no monopoly of the road, and he should keep a good look-out ahead. It is those who fail in this respect that bring discredit on the pastime. Only the other day I saw a would-be scorcher coasting down a hill not far from Aber- ystwyth, with head bent and coat-tails flying, utterly oblivious of the fact that a flock of sheep were in front of him, until, without warning, his machine stopped dead, and he flew over the handle- bars, landing right among the sheep, whose soft woolly backs probably saved him fiom severe injuries. What the sheep thought of it I know not, but I heard some of the shepherd's thoughts audibly and forcibly expressed. As for the cyclist --well, he looked rather foolish. 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 current issue. Secretaries of clubs will oblige by sending their fixture lists as soon as possible.


---+--------ITEMS FOR LADIES.



CHESS. —————"t should