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On the Trail with the C.T.C. - c1930

If any of my readers had perchance found themselves in Settle on Sunday last, about the time when one is usually seated with legs under the table partaking of the mid-day meal, they would have seen a crowd of cyclists, all with the "do or die" expression on their faces, busy pumping up tyres, unstrapping saddle bags, and they would also have seen one other cyclist with a smile on his face talking to "Phyllygott," a young lady who is hoping to be a cyclist some day.The smile may have been for the said young lady, but I think it was because he had been delegated to lay a trail of dye for the crowd of cyclists to follow. Whatever the smile was for, it soon vanished. And now to enlighten my readers.

The North Lancashire D.A. are the proud possessors of a shield which is competed for annually by the sections, and on Sunday the competition took the form of a cross country trial. Fourteen riders had entered from the Nelson Section and fourteen from Blackburn. Georjud, having been promised help by an old member who had fallen from grace and taken to petrol, elected to lay the trail from the pillion seat of the motor bike. Starting about ten minutes before the trail, Georjud swept through Settle to Giggleswick, placing half of the dye on the road, and the other over his person. From Giggleswick he continued past the Grammar School on the road to Eldroth, turning right for Rathmell, and then after half a mile plunging up a rough cart track which wandered like a snake over the moors to Whom. Here the trail turned down a corkscrew bend to Hozley, and then plunged again into the moors, leading out eventually to Tosside. From here the trail ran down to Grunsagill, and then; as if to really merit its name as a trial, proceeded on a river bed, miscalled a road to Hiles, finally emerging into civilisation at Paythorn Bridge and finishing a couple of miles farther at Gisburn. Here, the timekeepers, Messrs. Nutter and Blezard were waiting for the competitors. The course measured out to be eighteen miles and it took the winner 1 hour 27 minutes to complete the round.

But to continue! As the competitors started arriving, snatches of news came in as to how other riders were faring. "Derailleur,” one of the "three graces,” thought it a good opportunity of testing his front wheel, and found it wanting. Arthur George took a large boulder for the road and dived into the ditch, "Non Stop" lived up to his name and didn’t, till he found himself about ten miles out of his course. "Lezly" took about twelve more of the riders to a lonely spot far from the trail in order to tell them of the different birds he has found at Austwick, and finally after the timekeepers had decided to retire for the night it was found that only 17 riders had completed the course. The Blackburn Section won the trophy, being the only complete team to finish. Two prizes were awarded for the two best individual times for the course, and these were won by R. Elliott and N. Nutter: of the Nelson Section. Mr, Smith, the chairman of the D.A. Committee handed the trophy and prizes to the recipients and afterwards everyone turned out for the blood of “Georjud," but he, desperate to escape was last seen doing about 50 miles per hour on the pillion of the motor bike in the direction of Settle, racked by the thought of (a) being caught (b) being killed in the process of escaping, and (c) wondering if he would find his faithful bicycle where he had left it at Settle.