The Nelson section of  the Cyclists’ Touring Club held their one hundred miles trial on Sunday. The event is organised anmually purely as a reliability ride, and not as a race, the riders competing only against time, and not against one another; no special prize or official recognition is given to the fastest rider.

This year, ladies had the option of covering the one hundred miles in either eight or nine hours; gents. in either seven or eight hours; and tandem couples in either six or seven hours, not including compulsory stops amounting to one hour for meals. There were 44 entries, as follows :— Two double gent’s tandems in the six hours class ; three double gent’s tandems, one lady-back tandem and fifteen gent’s singles in the seven hours class; nine gent’s and one lad in the eight hours eclass; and seven ladies in the nine hours class. Having got these details off my chest, I will tell you of the actual ride.

The organiser had apparently ordered suitable weather, for the morning was cool and not yet marred by too much wind as we rolled up to the starting place at the bottom of Blacko village. We received our route cards, and almost wore all the gold off the timekeeper’s watch by our continual demand for the 'official' time. As is usual in these events, we told one another how ill we felt, and romanced about the late hours we had been keeping, and various other  excuses for  possible  failure. Naturally, of course, just as the timekeeper gave the word to go at 9-30, I remembered that my tyres needed pumping up, and by the time this operation was concluded, I was left at the post and one minute behind. Mounting hurriedly, I galloped into Barrowford, where the infant population encouraged me on with "Buck up! Tha'rt gerrin left:!”  However, I began to overtake the other riders on the hills to Fence, and by the time Whalley was reached, I had gained six minutes on my scheduled time. The riders were now strung out, and there was no one in sight either in front or behind as I sprinted on towards Preston, but shortly before reaching Mellor Brook I was overtaken by a lady-back tandem and "Lezly" who had started three minutes late owing to his bed not being of the ejector type. We rode on together into the headwind, and reached the first check at Halfpenny Bridge (22.1 miles), at 10-46, sixteen minutes in advance of schedule, but still behind the first bunches of riders. We rode up, perhaps I ought to say tottered up the hill into Preston, and  turned on to Moor Park Road and scampered on to Brock. Some of our members, who were engaged in the exhilarating pastime of watching the riders come past, bawled out the musual encouragement, "Be sharp, you’re getting left!”  This in spite of the dfact that we were now twenty minutes in advance of schedule; however, we did not trouble to get off and mop up the floor with them; for one reason there were too many of them. The wind was now sweeping unhindered across the Fylde plain, and it had a distingtly deterring effect upon our progress, but we lessened its effect a good deal by riding in single file and taking turns at leading and sheltering. We reached Cabus at 11-35, having covered the 36.5 miles at a little over 17 miles an hour. 

We had lunch at the Oakfield Cafe a distinctly hurried lunch, since if we stayed over our allotted half-hour we were losing our riding time. Everyone  looked very hot as they arrived, and soap and water was in great demand; our runs seeretary was heard to observe that he had sweated so much  that his washing water tasted salty ; personally, however, I preferred to dry myself with a towel.

My bosom friend Derailleur, who was checking at the lunch place, bid me an ironically tender farewell and promised to send me a wreath, as he checked us out at 12-5. "Lezly” who had dined on a massive and mysterious home-made ' confaction, which he termed a dynamite bun, was evidently feeling considerable benefit therefrom; after putting in his top gear of 106 ins., he raced up towards Lancaster at about 20 miles per hour, whilst I toddled on painfully behind. He slowed up a little to "speak a few words of encouragement," as he put it, to the driver of a Ribble express bus, which we overtook and then we zalloped on again. By the time we had reached Lancaster my one aim in life was to discover the ingredients of these dynamite buns; we had covered the ten miles from Cabus in exactly half-an-hour — poor old Sarky! We were now 35 minutes in advance of schiedule, so when we overtook another bunch of riders, we slowed down a little to cool off; but it was too good to last; a tandem came along and we all chased after it; the pace got hotter and hotter and faster and faster until eventually the tandem and "Lezly" sailed on ahead at a gentle 25 mph. and left us far behind. We were so "whacked" after this effort that we dropped down to schedule speed, and when one of the riders dropped his cape from out of his saddle-bag at the bottom of a hill, the way that the others scrambled off their machines to pick it up was a revelation 1n altruisim — unless one reconsidered 1t as an excuse for walking up the hill.

We reached Ingleton at 1-41, and from there we had a very helpful tail-wind that olew us merrily over Newby Common. The sun came out from behind the clouds and beamed down upon us, but we did not appreciate it, we were too warm; it only made us wish that we could lie in the grass and watch the cloud shadows that were passing lazily over Ingleborough, instead of galloping over the road like a crowd of speed fanatics. Buckhaw Brow was surmounted on foot, but we went down the other side so swiftly that I was afraid of my bicycle dashing on and leaving me suspended in mid-air. We rode into Settle (73.2 miles) at 2:21 p.m., this being 46 minutes before schedule, and after parking our bicycles, we went in Handby’s cafe for tea.

We did not waste any time at Settle, but started off immediately our half-hour interval had expired. We still had a helping wind and we made the most of it as We sped along Ribblesdale to Long Preston. Hellifield and Gargrave were passed in fine style, and soon we were calling out our numbers to checkers at Skipton. We were so busily engaged in avoiding the traffic in the town that we forgot to note the time. However, a voice from the rear informed us that if we could only go a little faster we could gain a full hour on our schedule and thus complete the course in six hours instead of seven.  This, of course, would not make any difference of time on our certificates, but at least we should have the personal satisfaction of knowing that we could do it.  Unfortunately, we had turned into the wind again, and consequently our speed suffered, but we set our jaws in the traditional determined manner and pushed so hard that I expected our bicycle chains to stretch like elastic. Unfortunately, one of our bunch of five had to stop to pump up his tyre, and two more decided to walk up the hill at Thornton leaving "Airingle" and I to slog on alone. I don’t think I have ever put so much energy into cycling before, but anyway it was worth it, for we achieved our object and checked in at the finishing point at Colne at exactly 4-30, and making our average speed for the 100 miles 16.6 miles per hour. Four tandems and three gent’s on singles were even faster still; one of the tandems covered the course in five hours, seven minutes. They must have had something even better than "Lezly’s" dynamite buns! The first lady to finish covered the course in seven hours five and a half minutes. Eventually, with the exception of one rider, who had to  retire owing to meechanical trouble, all the 44 entrants succeeded in covering the course within the stipulated times, whilst 20 of these finished with an hour to spare. The successiul riders were :— Six hours (tandems only) : G. Reader and. A. Reader; J. Simpson and A. Bowdin, Seven hours (tan- dems) : T. Cooper and H. Wood; H. Cleyz and G. A. Hudson ; J. Jackson and Misg E. Sugden; T. Phillips and H. Haslam. Singles : S. Leach, L. Hartley, C, Cryer, H. Blezard, H. Haslam, jnr., J. Wilson;  J. Berry, H. Horner, €. E. Davidson, M. Cliffe, R. Harrison, C. Fletcher, K. Brown, L. Dixon. Eight hours: R. Cooke, A. Burton, J. Wood, F. Edmondson, .J. Summersgill, Miss J. Entwistle, A. Fisher, C. Caddy, T. Nuttall. Nine hours : Mrs. W. Smith,  Miss H. Summons, Mrs. W. Scott, Misses M. Aughton, E. Cooper, L. Parker and M. Gill. Certificates will be awarded to all the above riders.



(Photo of the tandem team of George (front) and Arthur Reader kindly provided by Robert Reader)