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CYCLING. f B Y "PUMP HABDEB." ] A biker asked a farmer, Has a hidy wheeled this way And the farmer told the biker, It's mighty hard to say, From the costumes they are wearing, From the mountains to the sea, If the biker isashe one, Or the biker is a he." I have received a number of letters from would- be lady cyclists asking me for the name of the gallant young gentleman referred to in these notes a week ago. They have been forwarded to the proper quarter, but I may be excused for remind- ing my fair correspondents that he has not yet got rid of the blisters, which, he now tries to make me believe, were brought about by woiv ing too hard in his papa's garden. Xevertheless he is still pre- pared to teach u real lydies of all ages the art of cycling. Ionly hope they won't work him too hard. In the course of my wanderings I often come across some views of an interesting character, but the sight I witnessed the other evening was more instructivethau otherwise, and it forcibly remin- ded me of the words-" When the cat's away, the mice will play," for I then noticed a cyclist with his machine moored near a wall at a place where it appears whispering lovers meet, and I only regret that my presence caused the young lady to blush so. I know she would have run away had it been possible, but it was otherwise. Further on I met a near friend of the young lady, and I thiuk it would only have been charitable on the part of the young "farmer" I espied a little further on, to have offered his services. She was learning to ride. I congratulate G. L. Tilsley of Xewtown, on his success at the Liverpool meeting on Saturday, when he succeeded in wiuning first prize of the value of ten giiineas in the three miles open handicap, agains a large number of well-known cracks. The last issue of Wheeling contains the following We cannot deprecate too strongly the ap- parently growing custom of riding with the hands off the handles. It is not clever, it is not graceful, it is bad form, arid this way accidents lie." I have more than once given expression to this opinion, and also had occasion to refer to one case in partieulai. It again falls to my lot to allude to it, for tjie reason that the smart. young man has met a croyjper in consequence of this gallery play. It'is fortunate for him that he was not knocked abolh so much as the machine; other- wise I am afraid face would have presented a by no means pretty picture. Xevertheless his hands now suffer from the gravel rash." This will be sufficient readers will readily understand the amount of datnage sustained to the machine. We have often had our attention called to the fact that cycling is a boon to the city man who delights in the of botany or natural history. My enthusiasm over the former science is hardly strong endugh to impel me to dismount whenever 1 see a hedge or ditch in which one might find some interesting specimlns of flora. I love the country in a general sense. The green fields, the umbrage- ous trees, and the country lanes have a charm for me, but I do not care for much research for curiosi- ties either in the botanical or the animal world. Yet unconsciously the cyclist gets to learn a great deal more of the country, the productions of the land in many parts, than he ever thought he would know before he took to the wheel. Some oi his knowledge probably comes to him in an undesir- able fashion. Lt is ùelightfu] to lie on the grass far away from house or building of any kind, and smoke the pipe of peace, but unless one is a per- severing student of animalcula there is no special advantage to be derived from the knowledge that something of peculiarly strange construction is crawling up your arm or down your neck, or that a novel little insect fceeps endeavouring to make an uncomfortably close examination of your optic. I am reminded of these things by an incident which occurred to tf>e one day last week. A friend and myself cycled into the country, talking of hill climbing, speed poWers, gears, lever chains, handle bars, pedals, bearj,Ogs--everything, in fact, con- nected with a bicycle, and at last it seemed almost time to change the subject. Accordingly I ven- tured to ask whether he had ever come across any- thing in the way of a novelty in the animal world during his rather IODS and varied wheeling exper- ience. He was a very matter-of-fact young man, not without a sense of humour. Yes," he replied, one thing has struck me very forcibly in connec- tion with the animal world. Only terriers 'go' for the cyclist. pass a colMC'at the rate of 20 miles an hour, and he simply looks at you as much as to say he would not be working like yon are when he can lie downan sleep all day, and bigger dogs, such as retrievers and St. Bernards' ignore the rider altogether. But you always have to be on your guard for terrIers, and of these the fox-terrier is the worst. SOtne of them take no notice one day but on another occasion they come to the conclusion that it is their duty to go for your legs. Other dogs will tolerate you if you do not happen to be travelling fast, but the moment you exceed a certain rate their ire is raised. Some of them are most persistent when they mean business, and stick to you for a longtime- others give up the struggle the moment they see your foot come off a pedal. Tho bull-terrier_ sometitnes takes it into their head to go for a cyclist, and the best thing to do is to scorch for a time. The dog soon gives up pursuit, for they are never very speedy over a distance of ground." fox-terriers are the worst to deal with, and it i? generally advisable to ride slowly and speak in a coaxing way t") them. They are more likely to leavo you alone than if you attempt to kick them besides, there is a danger of over-balancing in trying to punish a dog with the foot. Wanderer" writes as follows:—"Finding myself in Shrewsbury the other day I determined upon a bit of exploration 111 the valley of the Upper Severn, and so, crossing the W elsh Bridge, I set off on the road the iirst two miles of which most tour- ing cyclists know, because it is the trunk road to Holvhead. But when I reached the first important branching of the ways I bore to the left for Welsh- pool, and began the climb which must here be en- countered. Presently, lying off to the left, fronting a short length of loop lane which for a moment leaves the road on that side, is the cosily situated inn at the sign of the Bill, and further on, towards the fifth mile, is the plce. known as Pavement Gate. A little further still is the junction called Cross Gates, and hers I kept to the left, again. At the sixth mile there was a on the left of the church at Cardeston, with the odd little octagonal tower, clad, about half-way up, in clinging ivy. Then came Rowton Castle a building the bulk of which is of modern date, well buried in the woods to the right" Rooks were clamouring in their upper branches, and a cuckoo, somewhere far away in their depths, was shouting lustily. c. Beyond this point the road lises again, and there are good views ahead and to the right. Mountains with sugar-loaf tops bein to J™ up against the sky-line, and one feels that one is leaving the broad Shropshire valley for rugged Wales, where the Severn in its infancy is cradled. After the wind- mill at the top of the hill there is a nice descent, and I sped easily down it, just making passing note that the Half-way House is for a wonder, correctly named so far as its geogra phlal position between Shrewsbury and Welshpool IS concerned. After skirting Wattlesjporough Heath, and before reach- ing the tenth milestone, the right-haud way should be taken, where the road divides, the other leads to Winnington, spelt Vennmgton on the Ord- nance sheets. My way 'ay through Wollaston, be- yond which is a dangerous descent called Garreg Hill- the first bit of Montgomeryshire. It is marked by a danger board so admirably placed that I must compliment those who erected it. With a good brake this decline can be ridden with security, while the eye may sweep over the precipitous slopes of the valley, uow grandly, bare, now richly clothed with wood. Making the intersection of the Cam- brian Railway by a level crossing, and immediately afterwards bridging the Severn, a turn to the left gives access to Welshpool, at the centre of which, just by the Cross, stands the Royal Oak, the well- appointed quarters of the Cyclists louring Club. One wishing to follow the course of the river further must leave Welshpool by the road exactly opposite the one he entered by. It soon crosses the Shropshire Union Canal, by the s:de of which lie great numbers of gigantic tree trunks, which look as if they had lain there undisturbed for many years. When in the neighbourhood of Berriew, and approaching beautiful Glan Severn, the tourist will cross the Hhiw, a right-bank tributary which conies babbling down over stones of many colours. Near Garthmill, and just before coming to Abemvale, the Severn must be crossed by a substantial bridge, as if II ontgomery were the bourne, although that town will be left some dis- tance to the eastward by a turn to the right, which enables the road thenceforward to keep company with the river. And 90, winding pleasantly with the road, the wheelman reaches Newtown, a clean and pleasant place, with broad streets, and old inns and houses, and all sorts of fine walks and climbs in its neighbourhood. Some time A will tell of a run with Xewtown as its base, but for the present I will leave the reader in the comfortable parlour of the Elephant and Castle or the Unicorn." Saddles should be chosen with a view to the roads over which they are going to be used. On such surfaces as that of the Xewtown road almost any- one can use a light, spriugless saddle with comfort; but for riding on roads that vary in surface and goodness a full roadster saddle will more than repay its extra weight. I have often noticed elderly or delicate riders using springless saddles, and suffering considerable discomfort from them, and have found on inquiry that they had bought a light machine to make the work easy, and this was the saddle that was on it." Of course, the racing type of saddle had been fitted to it to cut down weight, and the seller of the machine did not think it worth the trouble of inporming his elderly customer that springless saddles were only meant for fast riding, and were a distinct disadvantage for everything else. When a coil cr corkscrew spring breaks in a saddle it can he made quite comfortable to ride home on by simply insertiug a common beer-bottle cork into the broken coil. This tip is well known to old riders, and in the solid tyre days, when saddles were constantly breaking, many people always carried a cork in the tool bag. The accident is not so common nowadays as to make this necessary, however, especially in a land where beer bottle corks are as plenty as autumn leaves in V allom bra sa. It cannot b" too often repeated that a distinct loss of power is caused by placing the handles in the absurdly high position which is fashionable at present among a certain s"t, and which makes the rider look exceedingly like a dog set up to beg. With the arms bent up at the elbows steering is bound to be unsteady except at a slow pace, and it is. moreover, impossible to surmount hills easily, since the rider cannot get a good pull at the handles. It is curious, but a fact nevertheless, that a ride at a very slow pace is trying and fatiguing to a cyclist who is accustomed to go fast. A friend of Üle, who used to he well known as a fast rider, and is still by no means a crawler, lately went for a thirty-mile run with two or three lady novices, and came back fairly tired out. ] should not like to say how many hours the ride had occupied, and this, with the constant back-pedalling down hills, walking up them, and almost balancing on the level, had tired him a good deal more than a fast fifty would have done. There is reason in all things, and I am inclined to think that until a rider can keep up an average of at least seven miles an hour he or she had better not try longer runs than fifteen or twenty miles. That valuable chestnut What to drink when cycling has once more lifted up its head in the press. I cannot understand why people are in- capable of applying ordinary common sense to the matter. Every athlete knows, and is ready to ten his non-athletic friends, that the best thing to drink during athletic exercise is—nothing. Oatmeal water, cold tea. and other thirst-quenchers (?) may be indulged in if the cyclist likes but the penalty for this want of early self-restraint is the in- capability of riding without drink of some sort or other ever after. A little resolution at the beginning one's cycling career is all that is required. "Do not drink" while riding, in spite of the thirst and the latter win very soon disappear altogether. The writer has followed out this plan personally, and never suffers from thirst, even in the hottest weather. Xenr to check the gear of a [new machine as soon as you get it home mistakes in this par- ticular are extremely common. I recently looked oyer a machine that had been bought for a delicate girl; she found it very heavy uphill, though the gear was supposed to be only 56. On checking it I found it to be 62. It is astonishing that manu- facturers are not more careful about this matter, since nineteen out of twenty cyclists would never find out what was wrong, and would only conclude that the machine itself was no good. A big effort is being made at the present time to sell American machines in England. It is claimed that these are lighter than those manufactured in England, but it must be remembered that wood rims are generally used by the manufacturers across the herrintr pond," and also that gear cases are not fitted except to special order. Wood rims are also used by English makers, bnt not to the extent that steel ones are, and, for my own part, I should be loth to buy a machine with wood rims so long as I could get a IWestwood or a Jointless. The American machines are doubtless good ones, but I have a great deal more faith in the home article, and I cannot understand an Englishman buying an American bicycle when he can get one equally good if not better of home manufacture, and without paying any more for it. No one can wish for any- thing better than an English bicycle, provided the make is a good one, and surely a novice is not to be deceived in this respect now that the names of the best firms are almost household words. Oae or two of the cyclists' papers assure us that Royalty and nobility are taking to the Simpson chain, and although they do not say so in plain words, the inference is that the lever chain must therefore be a good one. It is perfectly ridiculous for technical papers to print such balderdash as this, because anyone with an atom of reason will readily see that ladies and gentlemen who are only just learning how to ride know nothing about bicycles or lever chains, and the opinion of a Prince or Princess on the Simpson lever is not worth tuppence." The trade papers of course could not exist without advertisements, but it is hard lines on the general public, who go to those journals for information to find that the reason for a nice little paragraph concerning such and such a tyre or bicycle is influenced by a big advertisement to be found on another page. Most of the writers in the cycling press think there is nothing in the Simpson chain, and though they may have said this in print they have never shown any anxiety to re- peat thf. statement, inasmuch as the Simpson people are big advertisers. And;while condemning the chain, would it not be more honest if such paragraphs as the Princess So-and-So using the Simpson chain were never inserted ? They are apt to convey a wrong impression. The ordinary reader, who knows nothing of the inner workings, is led to believe that the Simpson chain must be a real good thine: for notability to take to it, whereas nothing is easier than for a firm to make a present of a eyele fitted with the chain to some Royal personage, and then to send out a paragraph calling attention to the fact that this Royal personage has adopted the lever-chain. I do not for a moment say that the Sampson people would do this, and I only gue t 11s instance of how paragraphs concern- irf the adoption by Royalty of this or that idea might be o » amer], and how worthless moat of them are in sbowmn the value of anything in the market. Communications for this column should bo addressed to 1 ump Harder," County Times Office Welshpool, not. ,:<ter than Thursday in each week, to ensure publication in the" current issue. Secretaires 11 c n is will oblige hy sending their fixture hsrs as soon as possible.


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