AUCKLAND TO WELLINGTON. E. A. Birtles, the Australian road cyclist, set out from Auckland this afternoon with the object of cycling from tills city to Wellington, a distance of about 500 miles, in 72 hours. The roads in part are iv very bad condition, and if he succeeds in his attempt, he will have accomplished a creditable performance. The journey has not previously been attempted with the object of putting up a standard time, from, which fact it will be seen that Birtles has a stiff task ahead.
He started from the corner of Pittstreet and Karangahape-road at 1.30 o'clock this afternoon. His departt\e was witnessed by a number of cyclists, who gave him a hearty send-off. Birtles carries with bim a certificate signed by a reporter of the Auckland "Star," setting out the hour of his departure from this city, and he -will have this supplemented with the times of his arrival and departure from various intermediate stations.
He expects to reach Wellington In about 72 hours, reckoning on finishing at the "Dominion" office, Wellington, some time on Tuesday afternoon. To do this he will have to make practically a nonstop ride. He expects to take, rsfreshment to-night at one of the stations beyond Mercer o-nd will ride on with stoppages only for meals unEil he reaches Ongarue, where, if he is well within his time, he will rest for a while. From Ongarue, he will ride on to New Plymouth, whoie also he is hoping to hiive m Mhoit tusk. Ou a. prrv&a. at
rode from New Plymouth to Wellington in 17 hours and he expects to do as well, if not better, on the present journey. Birtles rides a three-speed Rudge cycle, which with baggage all on, weighs about 401bs. He rides in a jersey and knickers and the only additional wearing apparel he carries is a waterproof cape.
So far as can be gathered Birtles' sole object in undertaking these fatiguing overland rides is a love of adventure and travel. He has published a book of his experiences.
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