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CYCLING NOTES.

The cycling public is prone to fickleness as regards gears, or, in other words, the size of the sprocket. Last year everyone seemed bent on getting a high gear on his machine, and it is not an uncommon sight to see a rider on the road with his machine geared to about 100. It- also became a fad with women. At present there seems to be an inclination to return to the low gear. It is agreed that high gears (above 77) are best for speed, either on the track or on hard and level roads, while lower gears are better for those who wish to get the benefit of cycling as an athletic exercise, fpr general road work, particularly in hilly sections, A low gear is particularly useful for riding amid the traffic of city streets, or wherever quick and full control of a bicycle is necessary. No sound argument, experts claim, can be advanced in opposition to the low gear—about 70 to 74—when healthful exercise is a leading consideration. So far as easy control of a wheel is concerned, the lower gear is the proper thing. There will always be the rider who wants full racing equipments, such as a high gear and the rani's horn handlebar, but local dealers contend that there is pretty sure to be a reaction as regards gears.—The rider with the low handlebar, who bends over until he resembles an interrogation mark, is not so frequently seen on the roads as before. This improper style of riding is no longer a fad, and the cyclist who equipped his machine with the ram's horn handlebar simply because he thoughtpeople considered him a racer is beginning to realise the foolishness of riding in a cramped position. Eight out of every ten machines seen on the road at present either have upturned handlebars or a bar that is straight. The grips are about on a level with the saddle. This enables the rider to assume the proper position—one that gives the lungs and heart full play to do their work. With the handlebars in this position the rider bends slightly forward. The machine is also more easily controlled.—American paper. The costliest bicycle in the world has just been finished at a gun factory in Vienna, It will cost 500,000 gulden, which is a little more than £5,500. The owner is a South African diamond king and mine owner, who will present the machine to his wife on her next birthday. The frame alone cost 1,800 gulden, and'at the last Vienna Exposition it was admired by thousands. The South African millionaire was so shuck with the exquisite beauty of the wheel that he bought it, and had'it inlaid with precious stones and diamonds on every possible part. A. K. Walters, of the London Polytechnics, has in Paris just smashed a score of records. In twenlv-four hours he rode 634 m 730\'ds. which'is 'lßm 390 yds better than 'Cioidaug's famous ride of 616 m 340 yds at the 'Crystal Palyec in September, 1897. Cordang's' ride was behind a wind-shield. Walter?* performance was in the open, paced by motor tandems, fourteen of them in ail. The accomplishment of this record was in the 80l D'Or twenty-four hours' race. Walters says that if his opponents had pressed him lie could .easily have touched the 650-mile mark. There was a cycle parade at Lock wood, close to Huddersfield (England), lately. The prise went to a lady representing Little 80-peep. She had a tiny carriage in front of her cycle, and on this was a live lamb resting on natural grass ! ~■,„., The Vienna correspondent of the ■ Daily News' describes a wedding which took place near there the other day. The bride, who js a well-known cyclist, and the bridegroom, who is a repairer of cycles, the bride's page, and about'2oo gpests rode to church on bicycles. The gentlemen wpre dark blue clothes, white caps, and favors ; the bride a cream skirt, black silk stockings, and buckled shoes, a white blouse with orange b'ossoms fastened in her white leather belt and in her white cap. The bridal bouquet was attached to the cycle. The bridesmaids wore white and the bridegroom white flannels. Every wheel in the procession was decorated with leaves and flowers. After church the party took a long spin out to a country hotel, where the wedding breakfast was given. Is bicycling fatal to marriage? The question is raised by a breach of promise case at- Leeds, where' the defendant gave the extraordinary excuse that he had been led away by bicycling companions. Previously the couple had visited Douglas and the North of Ireland togethe/ but we are npt told whether it was on the wheels or not. We should have thought that, so far from discouraging marriage, the proximity induced by the whirling wheel, and the freedom of intercourse enjoyed by a couple who can ride awav from all unnecessary third parties, would have caused a favorable inclination towards matrimony, We leave it to others, however, to collect experiences on the point. In this particular instance it is to be presumed that- the exercise encouraged the inclination to matrimony, but. unfortunately, with the wrong woman.

It is expected that the bicycle combination known as the American Bicycle Company, ivcfinlly organised with a capital of eight million's, will cause a change in the prices of wheels nest year. One of the objects of the combination is to maintain a standard price for good bicycles. Dealers claim that the present season's bicycles have been sold at •'ridiculously low price*," lU)d tliuy say that the market has been demoraliaed, None of the men interested in the company will speak of prices for next season. It is intimated, however, Unit there will be no reduction. At present the .so-called " highgradu" bicycles are selling for £lO and £l2, Two yearn' ago the price demanded for these wheels was £ls and £2O- - final contest for the Century Cup took place in the presence of 30,000 spectators at the Crystal Palace during the month of August. The distance was 100 kilometres (62° miles 246 yds), and the result was the defeat of the 'holder, R. Palmer (England), by E. Bonhours (France). The first-named led at the start, and commenced to beat British records at eight miles. At fifteen miles Bonhours went to the front, and, after covering 34 miles 740 yds in the hour, began to beat world's records at 36 miles. Sixtytwo miles were 'covered ,by JJonhours in the world's' 'record time of lli 48min 35 2-ssec, and the fuH in lh 48miu 50 3-ssec. Palmer was beaten i>y npiuty two miles and a-half. '■ ' " At the Thames Ironworks Sports at Canning Town the quarter-mile, standing start, unpaced record, was beaten by W. H. Boyjngton (Thames Ironworks C.C.) and F. Bartley (South London C.C.) by a fifth of a second. Their time was 28 2-ssec. Creeping tyres—or, in other words, a tyre that becomes loosened from the rim—causes a rider a great deal of worry, and sometimes a long walk home. The cement used to fasten the tyre breaks away through continuous riding, and the tyre begins to creep or gradually works itself around. Then, without any warning, it suddenly becomes deflated, and upon examination it is found that the creeping of the tyre has torn out fjhe valve. If it is a single-tube tyre a new .valve can .be adjusted, but there is not always a repair man on hand. A double-tube tyre is made practically worthless if the valyg is torn out. For single-tube tyres there ure valves made just to remedy such a mishap. If the y»lve is properly adjusted the lyre is practically mj good as new again. A rider, to avoid all this tttH!»te. shpiild remove the tyres from time to time and scrape off the old cement from the rim, and then put on a fresh supply. The machine should be left standing an hour so as to allow the cement to become properly iiardened. The best time to do this is on the njght before a proposed trip. Major Bairstow, of Garrow Bill, Heslington, Yorks, died at Wejburn, near Maldon, on August 8, from fracture of the skulj, the result of a cycling accident. While he was descending a steep hill near Castle Howard Reformatory one of the tyres of bis machine gave way, and he was pitched violently over the handle-bar on to the road,

Dr Fowler, deputy-coroner for Croydon, held an inquest on .August 8 on the body of Frederick -George Ford, aged eighteen, clerk, of 94 Canterbury road; Croydon, who, on the Sunday previous, wus thrown from his bicycle and killed, his neck being broken, j The jnrv returned a verdict of accidental . death, and attached no blame to anyone. The Berlin correspondent of the London 'Standard' writes as follows:—Every. | where one is beginning to recognise the fact that cycles are no longer articles of luxury ! and pleasure alone. They are now utilised j in all branches of trade, as well as for; the ; post, the telegraph, and the press, and are ■ looked upon as an indispensable and excellent means of communication. The cycle is a boon to countless people of all classes, especially those who are chained to their desks by their respective callings, for by the use of their cycles they are enabled to obtain fresh air and exercise in the morning and evening, and thus fortify themselves for their work. In recognition of this fact some German towns have decided to facilitate cycling by having special paths made for the sole use of cyclists, in and outside the towns. When one remembers the practical qualities of the inhabitants of the Hanse Towns, it is not surprising that they should be to the fore in this respect. The Hamburg Senate, for instance, lately distributed the following proposition among the town representatives, who, after expressing themselves for the most part in favor of it, handed it over for further examination to a committee of nine :—" Whereas, some time ago the citizens requested the Senate to introduce the making of special paths for cyclists, and, whereas, a suggestion relative thereto had been made to the Senate by the First District, the Senate has now determined, in consideration of the progress of the times and the increase of the traffic, to make special cycling paths. The assent of the citizens has, it is true, not yet been obtained, but will doubtless be given. It is impossible to make such paths in the central portion of the town, owing to the large amount of traffic and the narrowness of the streets. It is planned that cycling paths should be made in the main streets of the new parts of the town, except when they are already provided with asphalt, wood, or square-dressed pavement, and to continue them as far as the boundary of the Hamburg territory." The following' is the plan suggested : In cases of b«ctly-paved 'streets a strip of about one metre in breadth shall be taken up all along the kerbstone and rendered jiracticable for cyclists, but in the case of only partially paved streets cinder paths shull be laid down at the side, and, where possible, on both sides of the street; these paths are for the sole use of cyclists. The total cost is reckoned at 243,p00 marks, which sum will be spread over several years, so that perhaps in four years all the new parts of the town of Hamburg will be provided with cycling paths. Several of the London suburban theatres now state on their programmes that " bicycles are stored free of charge." An Knglish racing expert, in discussing the racing situation, says : " Just as in Kngland the thinnest of thin lines divides the amateur from the professional, so it is found on the Continent, Hut the same old farce is still persevered in, and championships arc promoted for the different classes. Willi the object, presumably, of increasing interest among competitors and adding glamor to (lie title of champion, it has been the custom to include a race between the mile amateur champion and the mile professional ehajnpion at these international gatherings. These have invariably been failures. At Cologne Protin and Banker both claimed the honor; at Copenhagen Reynolds rode i\ milk and watery race against Bourillon; while at Vienna last year Banker refused to turn out against Albert, the winner of the amateur championship. No better success was associated with this year's meeting in Canada, for we read that ' Major' Taylor, probably the fastest man in America at the present moment, refused to turn out against Siimmersgili unless he was paid. This the officials refused tp do, and so the Yorkshirema u rode over, and can now claim the one mile championship of the world, which, under the circumstances, is a somewhat barren title." '

j '• These bicycle people," observed the Bull, rather bitterly, "make me tired." "Do they give you the laugh?" asked the Ox. <"Laiigh?" exclaimed the Bull. "Laugh! •; Say! To-dav a young person with a red 1 skirt and a bevel gear wheel crossed my pasture, and when I took after her the way I flie laughed at me would simply jar you. | Why, if I didn't know my pedigree by heart I I should certainly have thought I was an j Irish hull. Actually!" The unnatural strain put upon the human constitution by long-distance cycling has a ' glaring example in Miller, the six-day mari vel, who has won most of the long-distance contests in America within the last few I yeaiv. Miller calculates that in twenty-four j days of racing he averaged only an hour's j sleep a day. In the last six-days event he , won—at San Francisco—in order to capture the winning purse, he was forced to he content with only four hours' sleep. Such a man must indeed possess superhuman endurance and stamina, but even he will assuredly pay the penalty later on. And now one of these unnatural six-days' races is being held in Canada for women.

WORLD'S CHAMPIONSHIPS MEET INO.

By the Vancouver mail full particulars have been received of the World's Championship Meeting at Montreal on August 9 to 12. For the One Mile Amateur Championship B. Goodson, the New South Wales representative, was beaten in the second semi-final, He was beaten by nearlv four miles in the 100 kilometres (62 miles 573 ft). He won the Five Miles Amateur Handicap from scratch by only half a wheel. Just before the start of the Five Miles Professional Handicap some miscreant stuck a pin in the tube of Major Taylor's wheel. He tried to race with it, but had to give up at the end of two miles, Major Taylor, tho winner of the Mile Professional, refused to race Summevsgill, the winner of the Mi|e Amateur, as there was no money prize. The United States representative easily won the Saltonstall Trophy, for most points in ull championship events. The meeting resulted in u net profit of nearly £6OO. Results:— One Mile Brown 3, One Mile Amateur Championship of the World.—Summersgill (England) 1, Peabody (America) 2, Caldow (Scotland) 3. Time, lmin 43 2-ssec. Half-mile Professional.—C. R. M'Carthy (St. Louis) 1, Major Taylor 2, Nat Butler 3. Time, lmin 0 l-ssec. Half-mile Amateur.—Wilson 1-, Drury 2, Goodson 3. Time, lmin Bsec. Two-mile Professional Tandem. Butler Brothers 1, M'Carthy and Bowler 2, Taylor and Casey 3. Time, 3min 47 3-ssec. 100 Kilometres (62 miles 573 feet) Amateur Championship of the World.—John A. Nelson ■(Chicago) 1 (time, 2h 4min 13 l-ssec), Ben Goodson (Sydney, Australia) 2, Geo. W. Riddle Man.) 3. 1 Two-hitfe Amateur. —J. F. Moran (Chelsea, Mass.)'i;'John Caldow (Scotland) 2, W. A. Ladue (Cold Sprang, N.¥.) 3. Time, 4min 3Ssec, One Mile Professional Championship of the World—Major Taylor 1, Tom Butler 2, Nat Butler 3, Angus M'Leod 4. Five-mile Tandem Pursuit Race (Professional).—Nat and Frank Butler. Time, 9min 69 4»sse2j. Five-mile Handicap (Amateur).—Ben Goodson (Sydney, Australia, sera toll) 1, J, Caldow (Glasgow, Scotland, scratch) 2, Alf. Sherritt (Brantford, 75yds) 3, C. P. Boisvert (Montreal, 75yds) 4. Time, 13min 33 l-ssec. One-third Mile Amateur.—J. Caldow (Glasgow) 1, C. P. Boisvert (Montreal) 2, Goodson (Australia) 3. Time, 42 3-ssec. One Mile Amateur Record Trial (paced by motor, to beat world's amateur record, lmin 39sec).—J. Drury (Montreal), lmin 43 4-ssec (beats Canadian amateur record of lmin 54sec. Two Miles Professional Handicap.—Major Taylor 1, T. Butler 2, C. M'Carthy 3. Five Miles Amateur Tandem Pursuit.,— Hooper and Nelson 1, Ingraham and Moran 2, £}oo4son and Caldow 3. Five Miles Professional Handicap. Coleman 1, M ; &arj;hy 8, IBoake ?. " "JACKY" ON THE BIKE. "The men who rent bicycles are always glad to hear of the arrival of one of the vc/-"' 1 ? '■'■ •'•" ravy at Washington," said a warrant cfiicer of the Detroit, the other day at the -iV-vy vhere the gunboat was tipd :,;{). "'•' See' those!, fellows going toward the i-iuti?" continued .he) pointing, with, the end of his pipe tp half a dpzenjackies walking away from the dock. "In less than an hour all of them will be scorching up

and down the streets on bikes. The sailor* man's favorite recreation on shore is bicycleriding, and Washington is his favorite place to indulge, in it. Nearly e>ery man on the Detroit is a good rider, and the few who don't know how are anxious to learn to steer a wheel. Those boysnave shore leave to-day, and they are going to. a place where a wheel can be rented. Tney will spend the whole day riding over the- city and out into the suburbs. It's that way everywhere we go. As soon as they get leave they are off to hunt up a bicycle. It is only of recent years that the wheel has become popular in the navy, and how it came about I don't know. A sailor takes to a new idea quickly, and now lots of fellows that used to put in their time ashore guazling beer and giving trouble when they came back to the ship spend their money renting wheels. It's fine J exercise for them, and their money is better ! spent than if it went to boost up the profits jof a gin-mill. The boys all like to get to Washington, because the streets here afford the finest bicycle-riding in the world —at least that part of the world we visit. Yesterday there were twenty of the men from the Detroit ashore, and sixteen of them went for a spin over the smooth asphalt pavements. They returned to the ship last night on time, and all the better for their long ride. Before the bike became popular the programme would probably have been eight hours of carousing, with a watch in the 'brig' to follow. . The officers encourage bicycle-riding among the men. First, because it is good for the men physically, and serves to keep them away from drink. The only trouble they ever have is an occasional jar with a policeman about a burst of speed, for a sailor, after a long cruise, feels free from constraint once he gets mounted on a wheel, and he is scorching before he knows it. The police are very kind, however, and I don't remember that one of our crew was ever arrested for failing to observe the laws governing bicycle - riding. Washington ' Star.'

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18991014.2.36.12

Bibliographic details

Evening Star, Evening Star, Issue 11062, 14 October 1899

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3,226

CYCLING NOTES. Evening Star, Issue 11062, 14 October 1899

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