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ILEDBURY READING ROOM ANDI…

[Au. RIGHTS RESERVED.] BIBLE…

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SEQUEL TO TEACHERS' STRIKE.

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I ACROSS THE TABLE. I

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I CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE…

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I CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES. I [BY CELERITER.] I THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR PROBLEM. THE TOURIST TROPHY RACES. My notes of a fortnight ago on the above subject have called for some criticism and a good deal of support from my corres- pondents. I have to thank those who sup- port my views, and those who are my critics I must try and convince that my views on the subject are correct. One correspondent says he is led to believe that I am out with the idea of banishing all heavy motor traffic from the roads. Such an idea never entered my head, and I should indeed have been foolish to have thought of such a thing, for the heavy motor traffic has come to stay, and it is likely to increase by leaps and bounds in the near future. My point is that the roads as a whole are not yet built to with- stand the present heavy traffic, and until they are sufficiently strengthened, as they must ultimately be, the legal speed 6hould be enforced in order to save the roads from the excessive wear which is to such a very great extent due to the excessive speed of these vehicles. I have all along pointed out that the coming of the heavy motor car must be looked upon as a blessing in disguise, for it will hasten the arrival of the perfect road. It is hardly necessary to go into the dynamics of the question as to whether a heavy vehicle travelling at high speed does more harm to the roads than a similar vehicle travelling at a slower speed. Those who have studied the question can only come to one conclusion that the fast vehicle does the most harm. Any reduction in speed which will tend to save the roads must be of advantage to the heavy vehicle owner him- self, as well as to other road users, for a heavy vehicle driven over a pot holey or wave formed road is more likely to be damaged than a lighter and better strung vehicle ridden over the same road. With regard to the speed at which these vehicles may be driven, the figures I quoted for vehicles weighing over 6t tons refers to heavy motor cars drawing trailers, the speed of which must not exceed 5 m.p.h., as I stated. I might have added that if the axle weight exceeds six tons the speed must not exceed 8 m.p.h., and for the heavy motor car weighing more than three tons and having steel shod wheels instead of being rubber tyred, must not travel more than 8 m.p.h.. One correspondent seems inclined to think that the speed I mentioned in connection with the brewer's dray and the motor bus must be inaccurate. I can, however, vouch far the absolutely accurate reading of my speedometer, as I frequently check it against the milestones and the watch. I am informed by the owners of several heavy motor vehicles, weighing well over 5 tons, that they can easily touch 40 m.p.h on the level road and of course more on a slight down grade. Up-to-date steam waggons with rubber tyres can also easily attain 25 m.p.h. on the level and of course still more on a down grade. Heavy motor vehicle owners must re- member that they form only a small pro- portion of the treffic of our roads, and more important that they pay practically nothing towards the upkeep of the roads as compared to the amount paid by private vehicle owners via petrol tax. One correspondent raises the question as to whether the heavy motor car, going at a moderate speed, wears "the roads more than a light pleasure car going at a high speed ? This is a fairly easy question to answer. The light car travelling at a high speed sucks up the dust and loosens the upper surface of the road more than a heavy vehicle by reason of the suction it causes w hen travelling fast, and also the surface is partly loosened by the action of steel studded tyres when these are fitted. This loosening of the upper surface, how- ever, is not nearly so serious nor as expensive to repair as the damage to the foundations caused by the heavy vehicle. When the road is tar grouted or even when the surface is tarred the loosening action on the surface is non-existent so far as the light car is concerned, but here again, the heavy vehicle breaks through and soon destroys both surface and foundation. As proof of these arguments, it is only necessary to go along routes which have for some years had a large amount of ordinary light car traffic, but which now carry a number of heavy vehicles and a motor tbu.. service. A comparison of the road service of to-day with that of the pre-'bus days will soon convince the most doubting critic. There is no shadow of doubt that the heavy vehicle does infinitely more harm to the roads than the light pleasure car, or, of course, the still lighter motor cycle. I take as my authority for this statement suck eminent road engineers as Colonel Crompton. Mr Percy Bulnois, C.E., and others. This being the case, I am firmly of opinion that an open authority should in the interests of all road users, including the owners of heavy commercial vehicles or motor-'buses, and. in the interests of the ratepayers, restrict. these heavy vehicles to the legal speeds, at any rate until such time as the roads are built to withstand the pulverising effect which they at present cannot resist. THE TOURIST TROPHY RACES. The preliminary ru les for the Tourist Trophy Races, which are to be held in the Isle of Man on May 19th and 21st, have now been issued. So far as the private rider is concerned, the most important addition to the rules this year is that which compels manufacturers who intend entering the machines for either race to lodge a specifica- tion of the machine and all its accessories with the A.C.U. not later than April 27th. Makers must also give an undertaking that they will list and sell to the public for at least six mouths after the races machines similar to those which were entered in the races. This rule will have a very far- reaching effect and must add immensely to the value and importance of the race from the private rider's point of view. It has been the practice in the past for makers of accessories, such as tyres, belts, carburetters, etc., to offer bonuses to riders using their accessories, irrespective of whether the standard machines sold to the public were fitted with similar accessories or not. The result of this system was that as a rule riders took ad vantage of the highest offer, and machines were in many cases fitted with accessories made specially for the race, which were not nearly equalled by the standard productions which in themselves were far inferior to the accessories of other makes, fitted as standard by the motor cycle manufacturers. Knowing this, private riders and pros- pective buyers did not attach much import- ance to the winning of the race by any particular machine, because they knew it differed very greatly from the standard machine offered to the public. Now all this is to be altered, and the value of the race as a guide to a prospective buyer will be in- creased tenfold now that he knows practic- ally standard machines with standard fittings will be used by all who enter. Possibly the rule will be rather hard on the riders who will lose their usual" per- quisites," but being good sports the majority will put up with this, knowing that the new ruling must be of benefit, not only to the public, but to the trade as well. The A.C.U. cannot be too highly praised for having adopted this rule. Another useful rule which is framed more particularly in the interests and for the welfare of the riders themselves, is that which stipulates each machine must have at least two security bolts and a bolt valve on each wheel. Many accidents have occurred in the past through tyres blowing off the rims and causing the wheel to jam. The addition of security bolts will considerably minimise the risks. In order to prevent the possibility of any competitor discarding the security bolts when repairing a puncture during the course of the race in order to save time, it is laid down that any machine finishing without the complete security bolts will be disqualified. Another rule in the interests of the rider is that which says no competitor will be allowed to compete unless he has completed at least six laps of the course in practice, and one of these laps must be covered in not more than one hour in the case of the senior race, and in not more than 1 hour and 10 minutes in the case of the junior race. Racing helmets must be worn, and also ear rolls, the matter being necessary to enable the rider to hear the approach of an overtaking machine. The length of the Senior race will be 225 miles, divided into 6 laps of 37 miles each. The Junior race will be 187 miles, divided into 5 laps of 37 miles each. Engine for the Senior race must not exceed 500 cc. capacity and those for the Junior race must not exceed 350 cc. which is the same as last year. It is interesting to note that no restrictions have been imposed on two stroke machines. The Manx Government have just issued some new Bye-laws in connection with the race, which are designed primarily to prevent the rowdyness which was present during the week of the 1912 races. The bye-laws are similar to those enforced last year, which prohibited carrier riding even with a sidecar attached, and which prohibited any riding at all on the Sunday preceding the races without special permission from the Chief Constable. Machines and riders have to be specially registered on entering the Island. In view of the excellent behaviour of all motorists on the Island last year, the regulation might have been slightly relaxed this year with advantage to all concerned including the Islanders themselves.

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