It needed a complete new back wheel, that’s what ! Reading this story again I always think back to a Saturday afternoon of my youth, riding with two friends. I had been perplexed about the clicking coming from my front wheel and despite stopping twice and going round the spokes, I failed to find the source of the noise. I wasn’t to be perplexed for much longer. Going downhill at a fair speed riding behind my friends, the front hub collapsed and I was thrown to the ground over the bars, landing on my chest. I was so winded it was several minutes before I could speak. The cause was cracking between the spoke holes and when the hub had had enough it just gave up.
I limped with my wreck of my bike to Clitheroe railway station to get a train home and whilst waiting for my train my friends were advised by a porter, who had been taking a keen interest in the bike, wheel and bent forks, “That it was the weight that had done it”. Thanks Mate !
I thought all our followers would appreciate a little bit of a change over Christmas, a little lightening of the tone of this Website. So the attached page strives to achieve that I hope. This story is buried deep in Charlie’s many boxes of papers, and significantly is not in his hand, but typed, something I have to say Charlie never did. So its attribution to Charlie is not sure, but hey, its Christmas let us just enjoy the moment. Incidentally, Margaret is the name that Charlie’s wife was christened with – on her birth certificate – but as we know, she is called Jo in these journals, and during her later life was introduced to me, and always referred to, as Peggy.
Due to his hastily repaired rear wheel of yesterday, it was agreed when he met up with Tom Idle that they would take it easy to avoid any mishaps. Can you credit that they spent the day blundering around the Delamere Forest, here and there, and racked up 80 miles. I don’t think Charlie could take it easy on a bike whatever the need. I have a feeling that we haven’t heard the last of his rear hub.
At the beginning of 1924 Charlie had worked up his drawing ability to start to include sketches in his journals, and for true accuracy those sketches should have been included by yours truly. But I didn’t, then, have the skills to copy the pics onto the web site but I am in a position now to put that omission right. Now I am revisiting those drawings we have regrettably missed this current year (2016) and inserting them into the original page(s) just as Charlie had included them in his original journal.
To make life easier, there are 17 missed illustrations which should have gone with the previously published pages this year, and I intend to re-run all 17 pages, now with their associated illustration, on Thursday mornings at 10am for 17 weeks commencing on the 12th of January 2017. I hope this meets with your approval.
We learn two things today. Charlie had a penchant for climbing cliffs, as those of you who have bought his books will recall, and here he is attempting a quarry face without much thought for his safety. Much more interesting is the statement that his rear wheel hub was found to be broken on his return home. But we then learn that after much struggling he managed to make it ‘go’ for tomorrow.
Now that is a real poser! Let’s face it – a hub is a hollow shaft with holes to receive the ends of spokes – not much to repair there. Should the spindle snap (always carry a spare!) then again nothing to repair other than replacing the spindle. So what on earth could he do to make it ‘go’? Answers invited please.
We have all had these moments I am sure, when the mix of vehicles on the road creates a dangerous situation, mostly we get by with a sharp intake of breath, but occasionally, only occasionally, a serious accident is caused.
I suppose you could say that that is the lottery of life ! We nearly all get away with it, sadly some don’t. We can be thankful that nothing untoward occurred today.
I bet you thought that we were making progress with the naming of Charlie’s various cycling companions, but don’t you believe it ! Today we are almost back to the dark ages, with two Bills – one brought by Charlie and one brought by Tom Idle. Never a surname to help us, we struggle on. Don’t you worry about it Charlie, somehow we will muddle through.
The Page following this Post covers old ground in a way, (Beeston and Peckforton), but I would ask that you read it with a fresh pair of eyes. Tom Idle had brought along a budding new cyclist called ‘Bill’, fodder for the CTC it was claimed, and so Charlie and Tom set out the route today to encourage him to take up cycling seriously. So I thought it would be interesting to ask our readers to try and read today’s page as though they were on their very first visit to the area, and viewing all that is described for the very first time.
(I play these mind games myself. My wife and I have had many holidays in caravans in France, but on the return ferry from Calais to Dover I always go on deck and try to imagine what visitors from afar would make of the cliffs and surroundings of Dover as we near the coast, with Dover Castle dominating the skyline, unlike Calais with its boring flat lands and a large chemical works).
Do not let Charlie guide you on a new route during the hours of darkness – you will probably regret it ! When you actually read what they did to get to the Tunnel in the first place, well, you wouldn’t do it on a very dark night, would you? What gets me is that this Tunnel is not the first time he has been to it, so why the problem to find it ?
Today was dominated by ‘the Gale’ which had blown up the previous night and caused massive damage and misery across the North of England. But it didn’t stop our intrepid pair, struggling along in what were still windy hours. Another successful day.
And the gruesome history of Lancaster Castle gets a mention.