Charlie’s Prologue for 1923

This year is to be a golden year for weather, trade and sports – so our wiseacres say, and I see no reason to contradict them,  so all we can do – for weather anyway – is to wait and see.  But for good or bad I shall continue to spend my weekends on board the old ‘push bike’.  I shall now be a fully fledged CTC-ite, with all the privileges of that well known club.  Perhaps I shall be out touring at every available holiday time, and out riding at all hours and in all weather, for, as I have said, the call of the Open Road never wanes, and as far as I am concerned, I will obey that call.  Even now as I sit writing, I am restless to be out, and you can bet I’ll not be long.

I have become interested in a camera – I’ve not got one yet, of course – for I think that photography and cycling go well together.  Another thing is how good it would be to keep in an album a memory of past runs, and just think of the scope offered by a good film camera whilst on tour.  The camera would not be much trouble to carry, and they are, as a rule, very light, so I can’t see much against them: and, who knows? the pages of this diary could be illustrated.  I have a whole heap of places in mind for this year’s tours.

Most likely a good part of the Wakes week holiday, will be spent in trekking along steep and almost unrideable roads in North Wales, such as those between Pentrefoelas and Ffestiniog, or Lake Bala and Lake Vyrnwy via Bwlch-y-Groes.  In the short holidays in September, all being well, I shall make an attempt on Sty Head Pass in Wastdale, Lake District.  This road – or track, involves several miles of carrying but the fine views amply reward the climber.

I have been much taken up by accounts of the climbs over Lakeland passes, some of which appear to be more difficult and dangerous than their higher brethren in North and Central Wales.  But its no use building up on anything – they often don’t come off.  Night riding, which most folks don’t care for, holds a fascination for me, and there is nothing I like better at night than getting lost in a maze of bylanes such as those in Cheshire, from Stretford and Warrington to Congleton and Chester.  Once last year we had an overnight run from Morecambe to Bolton, and when we visited Preston Guild it was after 2am when we got home.  A glance through my diary for last year – 1922 – will show you that my cycling has a distinct leaning towards Cheshire.  I shall revise that this coming year, and a little more attention will be bestowed to the North of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

Well, I will chuck this and get out onto the open road.  I don’t know where to go but you can guess I’ll find somewhere.  Here’s luck for 1923, and may it be the golden year prophesied for everything.  Au Revoir.