CYCLING AND MOTORING
The fifth annual interstate motor cycle reliability trial between Melbourne and Sydney (565-j utiles) was carried through successfully during the latter end of December, under the joint organisation of the New South Wales and Victorian Motor Cycle Clubs. The overland, route was divided into four sections, which had to be negotiated on successive days, the etages being as follows: —Melbourne to Wangaratta (147| miles), on Tuesday, December 29; Wangaratta to Gundagai (164| miles), on December 30; Gundagai to Gou.lburn (120 miles), on December 31; and Gcmlburn to Sydney (132| _ mike), on January 1. Contestants were divided into three classes—those riding machines with a cylinder capacity of under 560 c.c., those over ,560 c.c., and those using a aide-car attachment. Unpromising weather marked the start of tho run from Melbourne, and considering all tho circumstances the club’s organiser must have been gratified at obtaining 45 starters, including four side-ear combinations two “sociables.” The test was one of reliability, and not. of speed, points being deducted for breakages and for early or late arrivals at various controls. Three hills on the overland route were “ observed ” by officials to see that_ lio dismounting or assistance) to machines was given. On the first day’s run a number of riders lost points owing to slight mishaps on the bad tracks between Seymour a.nd Wangaratta, only 26 contestants coming, through with clean scoring sheets. The I’arcutfa country caused .further trouble on the second day. the track being inches deep in duet, necessitating many of the riders dismounting and pushing their machines through the bad patches. Several contestants retired on this stage, owing to broken machines, the result of sever© spills in the rutty tracks. On the third stage the roads were better, consequently fewer riders lost points, no less than 23 competitors reaching Goidburn (432j miles) without loss of points. The final stage_ to Sydney, now in cold, -windy, and rainy weather, resulted in only two more of the riders losing points, leaving 21 competitors with full points on riding time for tho full run, but as all tho machines have to bo subjected to expert inspection at Sydney, and points deducted according to the schedule scale for breakages, etc., no doubt this number will bo further reduced. In this connection H. E. West (New South Wales) was extremely unlucky, for he arrived at the Sydney G.P.O. with a clean card, but fell on tho greasy blocks in front of tho judges and broke a foot rest. The actual winners of the trial will not be known until after the judges have issued their report, but at this stage it looks as if the “ Douglas ” team, hailing from New South Wales, comprising Messrs F. Meller, E. Meller, and F. Dolando, will cany off the tea-ins’ prize, but it is hardly likely that an individual winner of tho test will be found, and there, will probably be a number of contestants tiring for first place. The most, conspicuous success wa-s that attained by the side-car combinations, three out ot the four starters scoring full points. A remarkable feature of tho run was that 19 of tho riders lost points on the first day’s run, when the machines were in a thoroughly “tuned-up” state, whilst only live more riders lost points on the remaining 417 miles of the journey. The overland route, on the whole, was in a. better condition than in previous trials. Tho t .stwas in every way a success.
Thai cycle racing is booming in the United States is evident from the fact that some £20,000 was distributed in Amnia during the past track-racing season. The Australian crack—A. Goullct—leads, the list of winnings, he having won about £1,500, in addition to a considerable amount of appearance money, bonuses, etc. F. Kramer comes second on the list, whilst the. Tasmanian champion, A. Grcnda, won about £750. Another. Australian in A. J. Clark did not do as well as usual, but the fact that ho veccives a retaining fee uf £SOO puts him well on tho right side.
The 48 Honrs Tram Track Race, held in Sydney on New Year's Ray, resulted in a win for Messrs A. M‘Death, and J. U. Atkins, of Yew South Wales. The weather was anything but favorable to life race, still some line racing was witnessed in the two-days’ contest. Sieve n teams of two riders each contested the event, the conditions being similar to rhn riding rules of the six-days races field in Australia At the conclusion of the long ride M‘Death and Atkins held a lap lead ; they were therefore called off the track, and the remaining four teams, who were .level, were left to tight out for the other three prizes The placings for second and third ■were K. A. Priestley and R, .1. Hazelton, and L. J, Orchard and R. S. Nivens. The distance, covered was 755 miles. This would have been greater, only that a temporary halt had to be called on New Year's Night, owing to tho heavy wind and rain. It would be difficult to over-estimate tho part' automobiles are playing in the greatest of all wars that is at present in ■operation. It was, of course, Jong sine? realised that motor vehicles would displace horses in the maintenance of supplies to tho front, but perhaps one, of (lie developments which was not quite so certain is the prominent part armored guncarrying cars are taking in the operations. There seems some doubt whether the main credit for this departure is duo to tho enemy or to tho brave Belgians, but so far as tho Allies are concerned the latter have undoubtedly shown that the armored ear is likely to become as dread an instrument of war as the historic chariots were to the. enemies of ancient Britain. As to the use of such vehicles in connection with, the operations that arc being carried on by the English troops, it is tho naval branch of the service that has so far led tho way. fn the hands of the Royal Naval Reserve, a fleet of machines of this type has already done, such valuable work in ’freeing many villages from the small batches of Gorman soldiers, and in putting Uhlans to flight, that it is highly gratifying to know that their number is being largely increased. The latest departure of the, naval authorities is t hatch organising a squadron of motor cyclists equipped with side-car machines, on which Scott-Maxims are to. be mounted. Three, hundred. expert riders are being trained, two for each machine, to take turns in driving and in working the gun.
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CYCLING AND MOTORING, Evening Star, Issue 15702, 16 January 1915