Everything, just about, happened today. Minor mishap after mishap. Also we hear of a substitute to the eternal game of football outside cycling cafes. A game of cards, brought on by a heavy shower ! And one poor member had to return home by tramcar.
I hope Charlie’s friend kept on with his cycling career, what a marvellous start to a possible life awheel. As lanes go, the Cheshire ones want some beating. I have never actually halted in Prestbury, just passed through, but the church certainly has many items of great interest.
As this is an evening and uneventful ride, I am taking this opportunity to comment on Charlie’s directions. Living in the area for the past 47 years I am very familiar with the terrain and the distances. Although Charlie does say in his diaries that all distances are taken from a Veeder cyclometer, I think some of the distances quoted are a little bit optimistic – just in case you are following some of these diary entries on your bike.
The day turned out well, but with lots of very steep roads to negotiate. You have to feel for Charlie, no gears on his bike, but I don’t suppose his friends had gears either.
No boars were seen, but in the olden days it would have been ideal country for them. A few years ago boars were reintroduced into the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, and they are breeding so successfully they are becoming a problem and are having to be selectively culled. The main problem seems to be that they can be dangerous if provoked, and they seem to have lost their fear of mankind. I know all this because our daughter lives in the Forest of Dean !
Quite a change for Charlie today. Renold chains had set up a new factory in Manchester for the production of chains for all sorts of machinery, bicycles and motor bikes especially. Obviously an open day for cyclists was very popular and Charlie learned as much as possible about the manufacturing process.
And to round it all off, Bolton Wanderers Football Club beat the London club West Ham United to win the FA cup. Joy all round.
Charlie himself describes the day as a glorious one, so it must have been. Earlier on in this year of 1923 the Bolton section of the CTC had formed a racing offshoot, named the Lancashire Road Club, in order to compete with other clubs. The CTC did not believe that competitive events sat well with the full name of the CTC i.e. Cyclists Touring Club, so in order to enter competitive events an off shoot club had to be formed, or risk losing members who wished to take up competition.
So in 1923 the LRC was formed, and I can tell you that they are a big club still, very popular and who organise lots of races in the course of the annual calendar.
Not so much an epilogue for 1922 as a lament about the shortcomings of his bike, and his cycling prospects for 1923. Oh, and his 1923 weather prospects as well.
An interesting read, especially given the 93 years gulf between the date it was written and now.
Quite a few ups and downs today, along the road. The area of Alum Scar is very little visited, even to this day. Tucked away in a quiet area of unmarked countryside, it is a little gem. Look on your maps for Samlesbury Bottoms and follow the East direction. Our hero was very fortunate to have a volunteer repair his puncture whilst he himself took tea. Nice work if you can get it.
I must say that all of Charlie’s travels are peppered with punctures, which just goes to show that today’s tyres are much better at keeping out unwanted visitors.