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A RECORD-BREAKING BICYLE RUN., Issue 8055, 4 November 1889
A RECORD-BREAKING BICYLE RUN.
394 MILES IN LESS THAN FIFTY
On Sunday, 11th August, at midnight, Mr A. M. Donaldson, of the Edinburgh Amateur 8.C., started from the general post oiiice of the Scottish capital with the intention of creating a new bicycle record between Edinburgh and London. The previous best preformances were a bicycle record made some four years ago from outside of London to Edinburgh, when the distance was said to have been done in two days nine hours; and again, a little over a year ago, when Mr Alfred Nixon, of London, rode from Edinburgh to Barnet, eleven miles from London, in Blightly over two days nine hours. These performances, on account of tho meagreness of tho proofs, were never passed as record?. During the week before last so much rain fell that it looked as if tho ride would havo to bo postponed ; but an arrangements had been made at many parts of the route for guides a start was resolved on, and Mr Donaldson accomplished tho full distance in two days six hours fifty minutes, whilo to Barnet his time was exactly two hours less. DESPITE OK VOMITING FITS, THE RIDER I'KOCEEDS. The * Bicycling News' records the run at length : - breakei" was mounted on the "Rudge" safety bicycle presented to him by the Scottish CycliDg Meet guaranteeing clubs six weeks ago. Up to Dunbar so far t'ne road was a regular quagmire, and the twenty-eight miles took exactly three hourc. The roads then improved slightly, and from Berwick to Belford the road was in decent order; but immediately after there was a change, and the thirty-four miles to Morpeth was a repetition of the Edinburgh to Dunbar road. Near Alnwick there was an incident which very nearly put an end to the ride. At the foot of a steep hill, which Donaldson was rushing at full speed, there was a herd of cpwe, and these were only noticed when fifty yards off.
• Almost by a miracle the rider got through i, safely, although he graued one of the animals l with his handle-bar. After dinner at Dari lington (155 miles) Mr Donaldson had a i vomiting fit, and for the next twenty-four . hours his stomach would retain no solid food, i and he could take nothing but soup and custards, most of which was ejected in ten i or fifteen minutes. This wa3 terribly trying. i TAKES SLEEP IN TKN MINUTES' SNATCHES IN DAMP HEDGES. With a ten minutes' stop at Boroughbridge (100 miles), Donaldson was off at five minutes to elevon, intending to cover, if possible, 200 miles in twenty-four hours. Unfortunately, a wrong turning was made, and a milo and a-half had been traversed before the mistake was discovered. Three miles riding was thus thrown away, and the 200 miles was then an impossibility. Regaining the main road, the rider sat down by the roadside for a five minutes' rest, fell fast asleep, and awoke in an hour and a-half, so that it was a quarter to two ere Wetherby (202 miles) was reached. About three o'clock it seemed as if the ride would have to be abandoned. No fewer than seven times before Doncaster (234 miles) was made a ten minutes' sleep was indulged in on the damp grass by the wayside, while the pacemakers kept watch, and tho pace degenerated into a mere crawl. However, Doncaster was reached before eight o'clock, and left at nine. For nine miles the road was like a billiard table, and, Donaldson coming round again, the nine miles to Bawtry were done in 40min. The road thence to Grantham was indifferent. Again there was a spell of fifty miles alone, and the temporary return of " form " Boon disappeared. HE PLUNGES HIS HEAD INTO EVERY WATERTROUGH. Grantham (twenty - eight miles) was reached before three o'clock. Barely had he started when Mr C. W. Brown, of London, rode up. Mr Donaldson had accompanied him from Edinburgh to Berwick ten months ago when he was on a similar errand, which had proved futile on account of adverse circumstances, and he reciprocated by accompanying the Scotchman for the last 113 miles of the journey. Without his assistance the Scotchman would not now have held this record. After passing through Stamford tea was waiting at Norman Cross (316 miles) at half-past seven. For the following sixty-five miles the roads were in magnificent order. Freshened up by the tea and feeding well, Donaldson rode the first six miles from Norman Cross in the remarkable time of Buckden (331 miles) was reached before ten o'clock. Some soup and rice pudding were taken, and a start was made at a quarter past ten. With the darkness an almost unconquerable sleepiness came 00. Twice Brown had to let Donaldson sleep by the roadside for ten minutes, and at every water trough they came to his head was plunged in, Five miles from Biggleswade (347 miles) a ten minutes' sleep on the road was indulged in, and a local man who had joined the company was despatched to the Ivel Hotel to order food. So fast was tho pace for these five milea that the messenger was all but caught. HIS FRIENDS HAVE TO SHOOT TO KEEP HIM AWAKE. After a tepid bath and more Bonp and jelly, at a quarter past twelvo (Wednesday morning) Brown and Donaldson re-started. The effects of the bath soon wore off, and the awful drowsiness returned to Donaldson, so much so that Brown had to keep close to his charge, and whenever he began to swerve —an indication of his falling asleep—shout to him. Hatfield (373 miles) was reached at 3 40. The Coffee Tavern people were wakened up, and a cup of that beverage about as thick as porridge kept the eyes open to Barnet (381 miles). Mr R. Oakley was there ready at five minutes' notice to ride to tho post office on a tricycle for the purpose of better clearing the traffic to London. The road thither was indifferent macadam, but once there the streets afforded splendid goiDg, and the post office was reached at ten minutes to seven on Wednesday (week) morning. The distance was at least 394 miles. HE LOSES HALF A STONE AND SLEEPS FOR TWENTY-IHREE HOURS. Mr Donaldson took the precaution to thoroughly prove his ride, and, in addition to the testimony of his partner, had his proof book signed twenty-seven times on the route, many of the signatures being obtained at out-of-the-way places, so that it was a simple impossibility for him to have taken the train at any point. His tendency to sleep was partly owing to his having but three hours' sleep on Saturday night, intending to sleep a'l Sunday afternoon. On Sunday afternoon he went to bed, but was unable to sleep. This, combined with the terrible ploughing through mud for about 150 miles, and his stomach going wrong, told sadly against his time, and he is confident that he may yet do the distance inside of two days, but will not try till somebody has lowered his record, He lost half a stone in weight on the journey. His average day's work was 170 miles, and the roads for nearly half the distance could not possibly have been worse. At the conclusion he slept, save for a break of two hours, from nine on the Wednesday morning till eight the next morning,—' Pall Mall Gazette.'
A RECORD-BREAKING BICYLE RUN., Issue 8055, 4 November 1889
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