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FEMALE SCORCHERS.

A RIDE OF THREE HUNDRED MILES. [From Our Special Correspondent.] London, September 24. Although I can by no means be classed as an anticyclist, the abuse of the wheel is becoming such that it calls for some protest. Accidents have been of such frequent occurrence lately that one can hardly pick up a paper which does not contain the account of one or more serious and very often fatal mishaps. Inquests held on the bodies of those whoso lives have ended through falling under bnseß or running into stone walls show that these accidents are generally the result either of incompetency or gross carelessness. If the really alarming death rate is to be overcome something will have to be done in the way of passing a law makiug it compulsory for cyclists to succeed in an examination beforo granting them a license to ride on the roads. Another matter of importance is the way that cyclists abuse their health' in attempts to create records. This applies more to women than to men, because they undergo no thorough training. A flagrant.case is just-to hand from the United States. A thres-hundred-mile ride 'in twenty-four hours, including stops for meals, was organised. The route was through Millburn, Rahway, and Plainfield to New Brunswick, then back again to Rutherford, when two hundred miles would be covered. Those who were in condition to ride the third hundred had to get as far as New Brunswick and back to Ruthetferd again. Among the eighty-seven starters were seven women and their pacemakers. Two of them completed the journey first. Tho accounts from the American papers are really, despite the serious side of the question, amusing, so I append the following version of the ride: There was considerable rivalry among the women. One of them dropped out early in the race, leaving Mrs W. J. White, Mrs Fredcrickson, Miss Tillie Hummel, and Miss Mabel Clark to ride it out. Three of the women wore bloomera, Mrs White for the first time. When asked about her costume she laughed and said: " Catch me wearing skirts on a rida of this kind. I guess not! I'm going to try and ride 300 miles, and don't want anything to bother me." The only accident that happened to the four on the first lap to New Brunswick was to Miss ClnTk. Nearing the town she took a bad header, which necessitated the use of a lot of lint and witch-hazel at the first stop. She is the youngest of the four, but accepted her injuries bravely, and started with the pacemakers when they left for Rutherford. All the women were riding with the pacemakers and seemed fresh. After the second hundred miles Mrs White was seen in a restaurant after eating a hearty lunch. She did not seem in the least fatigued. " I feel first-rate," said the wonderful little rider to the reporter, "and unless I meet with some serious accident I will finish the 300 miles in time. The road 3 are fearfully dusty and full of stones, and I think the ride during the night will be a trying one. I met with one accident during the first century. Miss Clark, who was ahead of me, fell, and I rode over her. My husbaud had his chain broken, and I don't know where he is." MODERN " HEROISM." Two women rode into Rutherford, K.J., exactly at seven o'clock, the first of their sex to gain a record for three hundred miles. They were Mrs Hattie White and Miss Tillie Hummel, both of New York. The women were the heroes—tha word "heroine" will have to be abolished—for they kept close to the pacemakers all the way. One of the five women who started on the triple century had a special interest in the finish. On Sunday morning, when the bicyclists had reached Plainfield on the first circuit of the first hundred miles, Miss Mabel Clark, who was riding close to the pacemakers, fell from her wheel in abad piece of road. Following Miss Clark was Mrs White, who ran over the prostrate woman from heels to head, and in consequence was herself thrown. Mrs White quickly remounted and continued on her way. " Three men also ran over me," said Miss Clark, "and nobody stopped to ask me if I was hurt. I think two or three laughed at me, and all were out of sight in a minute. I was bound I wouldn't give up, so I got on my wheel, though I felt as if I had been flayed alive, and scorched after the crowd. I caught up with the run, and went fifty miles further, but I had to give up when within sixteen miles of the first century." Mr White, who also made the run, picked his wife up in his arms, carried her into the restaurant, and placed her before a newspaper reporter. Miss Hummel entered the headquarters unsupported ; but she is a single woman. She took a seat beside Mrs White, and both vigorously plied their hats as fans. Their clothes were covered with dust, which i powdered their hair grey. Mrs White wore ' . bloomers ; Miss Hummel divided skirts.

• -_A MARRIED WOMAN S AMBITION. Mrs White signed the following statement:—l feel elegant and not in the least exhausted. I rode right behind the pacemakers all the way. I haven t slept since Saturday night; but I will get a triple bar for this. ' I believe in the bicycle for women, but lam not "a. " new woman." 1 love my husband best and my wheel next. I guess I hiye.put them in their proper places in iny-affec-tion. _ \;. . Mrs White says bloomers are the proper attire lor a long run. " I came from Providence, R. 1.," shesaia. "My husband is the captain of the dub. \\ e have no children. This is my longest run, and I share with Miss Hummel the credit of making a new-record for women. I have ouiv been_wheeling for a little more than a year or so?'-' Did you have any. compunction when you rode over M.is 3 Clark?"-Bhe was asked. "Not a bit, .was the reply. '.'l simply wanted to recover my lost ground. The excitement of the run takes all sentiment Out of the question. I made my Drßfoßnturv' last year, soon after I. began to ride; It was«: Century Wheelmen's run. I. can keep house, but I would rather not, as it takes me too much from my wheel, so wo board. I eat whatever and whenever I like, and- do not go into training." Mrs White's wrists were bandaged with.lmen. In explanation she said her wrists became strained by constant holding to the nandje-bar.

• WHAT DOCTORS SAY. The doctors hold somewhat different opinions of.' the results of such extreme exertion as the wheelwomen niusthavemade to accomplish the task they set themselves. Medical men all agree that from such trials, though ihjury may not show iinme-' diately,.it is a general rale that later in life harmful effects become apparent. Dr Edward C. Spitzka said: "I don't care to generalise; hut much depends on the individual. It is much'a matter of condition, and some persons might ride S'JO miles without immediate bad effects where others could not ride 100." Dr Cvrus E'teon sal A : , Such rides as that 300-mile run are suicidal, and I cannot understand how sane' peoplexan do the thing. It is reasonable to kuppose that the cyclers who engaged in this trial were in good physical condition and trained for it, but even then it was a great strain on the nervous powerof the.riders. Supposing that all were in equal condition the women could stand it quite as well as the men, and, having escaped so far, no immediate bad effects can be looked for. The Svrain of such rides is apt; however, to result in neuros'henia or nervous exhaustion, and the harm done will last through life. Every person has so much nervous strength in reserve, and if he or she goes on a physical spree and exhausts that in foolish exertion, the natural result is that he or she is left a physical bankrupt. Overdrawing on the nerve-power makes invalids."

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18971120.2.27.5

Bibliographic details

FEMALE SCORCHERS., Issue 10476, 20 November 1897, Supplement

Word Count
1,364

FEMALE SCORCHERS. Issue 10476, 20 November 1897, Supplement

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