Now I have come to the end of my first year of serious diary keeping. In the memory of past joys itself, there is a pleasure that is not to be denied, and the joys have been many this year. The weather has been pretty poor, high winds have prevailed, but even in splashing along in the rain I have extracted a certain amount of pleasure. A keen struggle against the wind has its benefits, if only from the physical point, and anyway, there is that comforting phrase ‘Something attempted, something done’, but the sunny days! Those wanderings through the leafy bylanes in Cheshire! That glorious day around Gawsworth and Alderley, the still more glorious trips to Beeston Castle, that afternoon’s lounge around the woods at Thelwall, and the even more effervescing three days in North Wales. Surely these speak for themselves. I have given cycling a serious trial in all weather and at all times – and I doff my hat to it. Who wouldn’t? If anyone would come with me on one of those runs they would, I guarantee, be out riding at every possible hour afterwards.
But still there is one thing – the bicycle. Mine does not suit me. It is a 24 inch frame with 28 x 1.5 inch wheels, and the whole lot weighs 35 lbs if an ounce. Yet, I cannot – to be candid – afford one which I would like. Short time at work has ruined my hopes of a new mount this year, and my last eleven shillings went in a CTC membership card. Still the old bike has done well, and this year it has carried me smoothly through 5000 miles, of mostly hard pushing, and next year too it will have to remain unchanged. After that, hopefully I will be able to take my stand as a cyclist amongst cyclists, and be able to enjoy the fruits of real earnest cycling to the absolute last stalk.
As for touring, I have nibbled at the corners, next year, all being well, (weather doesn’t count) I will take all at one bite, and change my usual holidays into a veritable nine days of wonder, only more so. I follow no schedule or route when riding, I just go where I please, whether it be 10 miles or a century, each are the same literally. I am out for the biggest percentage of pleasure at the minimum price – except of course, the price of strength. ‘The fruit that is climbed for is far sweeter than that which falls for the asking’ and I think that this applies exactly to cycling. Some of my pals have gone over to petrol, others ride when there is no wind, it is not too warm, or too cold, and when they think it won’t rain. They get about five runs in a year, and the rest of my wayward pals have fallen a willing victim to feminine charms, so I carry on myself, for I can ride almost as well alone as with a friend, besides, there is no one to lag behind or get punctures, or start a row when I propose one road and he another.
Weather clerks say that in 1923 we shall have a good year. We shall see!