No doubt many readers of "C.T.C. Notes" are wondering who and what the C.T.C. is, and in what way it caters for cyclists. Hence this attempt to enlighten them, and to show that it is to the interests of all cyclists, whether they are club or solo riders, or if they just ride a bicycle for business purposes, to be members.
First of all the cost. Ten shilling per year and one shilling entrance fee; 2½d per week for the privilege of having a
powerful organisation, well-equipped with funds, and continually watching and working in your interests. Should you be under
the age of eighteen. you may pay only six shillings per year, or if any other member of your family wishes to join they also are
privileged for six shillings. The junior and family members receive just the same benefits as the other members, with the
exception of the monthly gazette; and, finally, if you join in September you get fifteen months’ membership.
And now for the objects of the club. First, the defence of cyclists’ rights on the road, including the granting of legal assistance in regard to claims arising out of accidents.
Two. — The promotion in Parliament of legislation beneficial to cyclists, and the organised resistance of anti-cycling measures. The C.T.C. has always the assistance of one or more Members of Parliament pledged to represent cycling interests and voice the club’s opinions.
Three. — The appointment of hotels, farmhouses, and restaurants, camp sites, etc., where cyclists can depend upon receiving attention to their wants at reasonable charges, in most cases specially reduced to members.
Four. — The publication and sale to members at reduced prices of maps, road books, guides, and other literature relating to cycling, amongst which is the "C.T.C. Gazette,” an illustrated monthly magazine of the road, sent free to all members paying the full subscription.
Five. - The provision of special facilities for cyclists touring abroad, including the admission of cycles duty-free into foreign countries. The club, as a founder and member of the "Alliance Internationale de Tourisme,” enjoys valuable privileges, resulting from arrangements entered into with Continental touring associations.
Six. — The improvement of roads. The club deals vigorously with cases of bad surface, dangerous tram lines, excavations, and loose metal left unlighted at night, etc., and offers a perpetual reward to any person securing a conviction for scattering broken glass, thorns, or other puncturing substances on the road. The C.T.C. was mainly instrumental in founding the Roads Improvement Association, on which it is strongly represented.
Seven. — The appointment in towns and villages throughout the country of recommended cycle repairers. In all cases, the competence of an official repairer is specially vouched for, and the touring member employing him can rely upon good work at reasonable charges.
Eight. — The insurance of cycles and riders by arrangement with the leading insurance companies and underwriters. The C.T.C. policies covering theft of machine, accidental damage, and personal injury are the most generous obtainable. A special rebate of 10 per cent. off all premiums is allowed by the club to members, whilst every full, family, and juvenile member is covered free against third party risks.
Nine. - The obtaining of special travelling facilities for members and their cycles by rail, steamboat, etc., and many concessions in ferry charges, and in the use of private roads not available to the general public.
Ten.- The collection, classification and free distribution to members of reliable information respecting cycle touring, both at home and abroad. Tours in the United Kingdom and on the Continent are planned on request, and queries relating to all phases of cycling are dealt with by the club’s enquiry department.
Eleven.—The testing of inventions appertaining to cycles, tyres, and accessories, and the issue of certificates of performance relating to them.
Twelve.—The provision of local district associations holding runs, lectures, dances, and other social events, so that members are offered all the advantages of a private cycling club without any extra fee. Every member taking up residence within the area of a district association automatically becomes a member of that association and is entitled to all the facilities it offers. The association for this district is the North Lancashire District Association, and for the benefit of members is divided into sections, Nelson being the local headquarters.
- SON OF HUD
My first intimation of the mystery of the missing campers was the sight of “Derailleur" riding down the Abbeystead road from the Trough of Bowland, with a worried expression on his face and a load of camp kit on his bicycle. Considering the fact that the camp was supposed to be at the site up the valley at Marshall Farm, this appearance was rather surprising, and his greeting, "Well, have you seen any of them ?” only served to deepen the mystery. Upon investigation, I found that the whole of the Nelson C.T.C. camping section had disappeared from the usual camp site, and had "folded their tents like the Arab, and silently stolen away,” leaving mo sign behind them.
Turning our detective instincts upon a problem worthy of Sherlock Holmes, we rode down the valley, and all at once we espied a scrap of paper fastened to the signpost where the road to Scorton turns away from the Lancaster road. Brief and unenlightening was the message, “Gone towards Lancaster.” We looked at the gathering dusk and thought of the rough crossing of the moors, the while muttering blessings on the heads of the luckless campers. We made all speed after the elusive campers, and slid down into Over-Wyresdale, and the last farm for some desolate miles. Here was another scrawled notice, "Gone towards Caton," and here we expressed our feelings with an exuberance and a fluency worthy of a better cause, for two lads, who with "Derailleur" had got a bad attack of the "hunger-knock,” had to stop at the farm for a very late tea. As "Derailleur" was carrying the sleeping bag belonging to the young lady known as the "Glaxo Baby,” who was with the missing party, he perforce had to keep on or else the damsel in question would sleep cold that night. So, with a strength born of exasperation and a desire for supper, we rode most of the steep hill to the Tower on the hill above Quernmore, and hurtled down the single-figure gradient like two "Tour de France" riders.
At Quernmore a chalked sign pointed us towards Caton, in the Lune Valley, so we stuck a note on the signpost for the benefit of the two lads behind, and "carried on as before.” Fast and furiously did we ride through the gathering gloom, for we feared that in the dark we should not be able to see the tents, and in what seemed a short time we dashed into Caton "all hot and bothered.” A local inhabitant happened to have seen the errant campers, and directed us to the farm, where we arrived just as a party of the campers were setting out for the village to see if any late-comers should turn up. Mutual exceptions and explanations! It seemed that Lord Sefton, who owns all the land in the Trough district, had refused permission for campers at the Wyre Valley end, and the party had been turned back at several places until in desperation they got the idea of riding right away into the Lune Valley.
We found the camp site all right, a pleasant hollow facing the valley, and here were the tents of our missing fellow-campers. We hastened to pitch, and were very soon (needless to say, after a good supper) watching the three lady members of our party cooking a huge supper. At least, “Jenny fra’ Darwen" was doing the cooking, and most of the rest of the camp were sitting around begging flapjacks, etc. whilst "Romany Rose" and the "Glaxo Baby" did their best to get what they could from the ravening clutches of the crowd. Supper lasted until late, and afterwards sundry members with alleged musical tastes made the night hideous, while two or three budding gladiators wrestled heartily upon the turf to the growing consternation of the owners of imperilled guy-lines. At last, at about one o’clock in the morning,
most of the campers composed themselves: to vest, or at least to silence, and two restless souls disappeared into a dark and starless night for a midnight ramble. And so at long last peace and slumber reigned, and all was quiet on the camp.
- FELL CLIMBER
Whooeee! Ten thousand fiends shrieked and gibbered in the upper air as two of us drove our way to Higherford about 11-45 on Saturday night. With demoniacal laughter they hurled us onwards, and ere the shelter of Higherford could be gained rain caused us to take refuge in our capes. The witching hour of midnight boomed out as we arrived at the meeting place, where three other members were already assembled. By 12-15 a full muster of twelve riders was complete, and, clad in capes, leggings, and sou’westers, we took the road.
Steadily we climbed Blacko, and Jupiter Pluvius, thinking to discourage us, opened the very floodgates of heaven. The rain literally poured down, bouncing back off the road with the force of its descent, while the wind, with howling glee, tore at our streaming capes In a sudden fury until it seemed they would split in twain. Then, as quickly as it started, the cloud-burst ceased, leaving a continual drizzle to cheer us on our way. Still undismayed, we passed on, and then commenced the thrilling descent of Coldweather. And what a thrill! Imagine a densely black night; a boisterous back-wind; brakes not working properly, owing to the rain; eyes straining forward into the glare of the lamp; and, lastly, a road dropping downwards for about three or four miles. However, all good things come to an end, and finally the hair-raising descent was accomplished without mishap. With all sail set, we sailed smoothly onwards into the blackness, through deserted hamlets wrapped in slumber, perhaps with one or two lighted windows showing that the occupants were not as yet in bed. Occasionally a belated car passed; a train thundered through the night in the far distance; and now and then a cow poked its head over the hedge, gazing at us with wondering stare.
At two o’clock we stopped in Settle, where some of the more optimistic ones removed their capes, as it happened to be fine. Leaving Settle, we walked up Constitution Hill, mounted, and rode on, passing in quick succession through Stainforth and Horton. Now we were on the road that leads to Ribblehead, and were surrounded by bleak, desolate moorlands, invisible in the gloom, over which at times a curlew suffering from insomnia would emit its shrill cry. At Selside the road took on rough character. Bumpily we jolted on, and soon it became noticeable that the blackness was slowly dissolving, leaving in its wake an eerie twilight. The road became easier to see, objects were more clearly recognised, and by the time we reached Gearstones, about four o’clock, it was almost light.
A halt was made here for a snack, and on resumption of the journey, the pessimistic ones who had not doffed their capes were fully justified, for it started hailing, driving against our backs pitilessly. Hastily the others donned their capes, and we toiled our way upwards to Newby Head. Ah! At last! With gathering momentum we darted down towards Hawes, speed increasing greatly, while on the bends it became positively dangerous.
At Hawes "Lightweight" and I left the club to go and order breakfast. We instructed them to loiter (they greeted this with cheers), and turning our faces towards Buttertubs Pass, we pushed on manfully. When riding became impossible, we walked; the track winding amid sylvan glades, until finally we stood at the top of the pass. Looking back, we obtained a glimpse of Wensleydale in sullen mood and even this was blotted out by dark clouds and rain sweeping down the dale. On the hills over-looking the road the clouds were very low, giving the pass a formidable aspect, until a shaft of sunlight breaking through the clouds transformed the scene magically. The whole pass seemed to smile, beckoning us on, and our spirits rose joyously, making the wretched night ride fade into oblivion. Past the Buttertubs we rode, until at last we looked down into lovely Swaledale, bathed in the rays of the rising sun, forming a sharp contrast with the morose Wensleydale we had just left. We had hardly time to indulge in the beauty of it, and, proceeding cautiously, we dropped down the other side of the pass, turning to the right at the bottom, alongside the Swale, through Muker, and on to Gunnerside, where breakfast was ordered. This village is a gem, typical of Yorkshire. Comprising a few cottages clustered under the lee of a hill and overlooked by densely wooded slopes, it should satisfy the most ardent beauty seeker.
While waiting for breakfast, we performed an early morning toilet, being joined shortly by our comrades, who did likewise. Inspecting the village, we discovered our camping section, who had journeyed there on the Saturday afternoon, just on the point of rising. This, of course, gave us the opportunity of making fun at their expense, only ending when breakfast was pronounced ready. Full justice was done to the meal, naturally, and when we trooped outside again, everyone had a sense of well-being and comfort.
We left Gunnerside with regret, hugging the Swale closely all the way. It was a curious morning; sometimes the sun shone; at other times sudden squalls of rain caused us much discomfort, but when the sun shone the dale was a veritable paradise. White-washed farms perched precariously on the hills on one side, while on the other the slopes were richly clad with verdant forests. Through it all the Swale tumbled musically, the whole scene forming a picture of ethereal loveliness which will haunt us for many a day to come.
Feetham was soon reached, then Reeth, and ten miles further saw us in Richmond. Now many a poem has been sung of Richmond’s glory, but it proved such a disappointment that we did not stop long. We inspected the church, with the shop in it: the castle, only from a distance; and casually viewed the scene from the bridge up the Swale, which has formed the nucleus of many a painter’s canvas, with ill-concealed contempt, so little did it come up to our expectations.
From Richmond we struck over to Leyburn, amid bracing moorland on which the gorse was blooming 1n golden profusion. Doggedly we slowly forced our way forward, for we had turned into the teeth of the wind, and on arrival at Leyburn in a famished state, we had lunch. Our camping toughs were also there, but they went on to Middleham, as they were going over Coverdale. We wished them joy, and promised them a decent funeral.
Once more refreshed, the ride continued (we were back in Wensleydale) in surroundings almost as magnificent as Swaledale. Riding alongside the River Ure, we passed through Wensleydale, West Witton, skirted West Burton, and turned up Bishopdale, over Kidstones Bank. And what a wind! We had to fight every inch of the way over. At the summit it seemed to take a malicious delight in impeding our progress, but we conquered and dropped down into our own familiar Wharfedale, with, I must confess, a tiny prayer of thankfulness, through Buckden, and on to Kettlewell, where we took the bottom road that goes through Conistone. We were rewarded with a fine view of Kilnsey Crag, towering in sombre splendour on the other side of the Wharf. Crossing the river, we reached the main road to Skipton again and the wind became more sideways, thus being less troublesome. We sped along in fine style, branching off at Cracoe for Gargrave. Tea was disposed of here, and the remainder of the ride home was almost drab in comparison with the beauties we had witnessed during the day. Finally, in response to those critics who are sure to condemn us for turning out on an awful night like we did, I would remind them "Something attempted, something done.”
As the wind trundled us over the final undulations, my companion hazarded an inquiry as to whether there was any likelihood of other camping company apart from that of our own particular club, and my mount swerved wildly. I recovered physical and mental balance, and bade him be prepared to share his camp-site with a few score of tents, for we were riding to the Bolton-by-Bowland meet, a function well liked by the Bedouins of the bicycle, and usually productive of record gatherings of the tribe.
We glided around a corner, and I pointed downward. Half a mile away, framed against the fresh green of grass and the more sombre timber, were a round score of tiny tents — green, white, brown — and even as we looked three more sprang simultaneously, as though conjured by some occult hand, from the earth. Then the swooping road carried us out of view, and we rode through a drizzle of thin rain into the grey village to the inn yard.
We dismounted with half a dozen other riders and unstrapped packs with them, walked across a glistening, springy field towards where, on a strip of meadow bounded by twin streams, tents stood and were being unfurled, stoves purred their lay of promise to many an aching void, and the broad-vowelled dialects of a score of Northern towns drifted uncannily out from the depths of the tents.
More and More Arrivals.
We spilled the contents of our packs and panniers. and. within a few moments had the baffled drizzle crackling malevolently on the frail, yet all-sufficient, shelters. I pawed hastily amongst my scattered kit, then, can in hand, dived-neatly through my doors into a cluster of belated club-mates who, even ere they dismounted, were demanding milk. Their two tents flickered swiftly up, and I hastened over the lea with the milk cans. Cyclists, man and maid, came towards me with luggage held tightly in their arms and "Cheerio!” coming easily from their lips, despite their rain-beaded hair and gleaming capes. Scores of brakes were squealing and feet dragging in the inn-yard, and, as I entered the inn, feeling vastly self-conscious with my twin tins, I saw the village alive with the invading. riders, vibrant with the hum of wheels, the clang of bells, and voices merry despite the grouse which some of them conveyed. And still they came.
Back in the tent again, and through the rustle of the rain and the song of the stove, new voices — singing, greeting, complaining — of still more weather-contemptuous cyclists came; still more tents arose. The vain, mocked thus into impotence, ceased, and, at the call which went around our four tents, our party passed out into the calm, sweet-smelling evening, The tight-packed huddle of machines in the yard grew apace.
The rain came again as we made our varied purchases at the little general store and emerged counting over the plentiful halfpence which formed the bulk of the change. We spent the remainder of the evening in the firelit warmth of the inn, amusing the natives by our efforts to master the tiny billiard table, drinking in moderation, commenting occasionally and bitingly upon the spectacle, often seen through the blurred windows, of campers almost hidden neath burdens of hay. I once forsook cue and glass to go hunting hay for a pair of lady club mates, My before-bed census revealed that, at Bolton-by-Bowland on that wretched night in the merry month of May, ninety-four lightweight tents; were pitched, and later came the official total of their inhabitants, one hundred and forty.
A record, this, for gatherings of this nature, and a circumstance that was naturally commented upon by the speakers who drew us, on the following afternoon, to the village green and its ancient stone cross. The speakers mentioned the figures and drew the inevitable moral from them. But I am inclined to doubt whether all of these findings, delivered eloquently to an audience of some 400, were quite accurate.
It is rather to be doubted that, for instance, this remarkable spectacle was even in the slightest way due to the industrial depression which has so cruelly ravaged our Northern shires. Good camping kit is expensive, and up to the present I have been unable to discover that cycle-camping is the least expensive form of touring. We campers were told that we were courageous beings, noble crusaders in the fight against present-day indolence and pampered living.
That, if it be true, is a dreadful thing. It implies that camping, like cycling and wearing shorts, is another glorious game which stands in grave danger of being converted into a mere "movement.” But possibly, and happily, the halo may be undeserved. We cycle campers may not be idealists, we may be just plain — well, irresponsibles, fools, what you will, Mr Non-cyclist! In that case, the sight and sound of us should convince anyone that Folly and Happiness are twin sisters, and growing with each other. Possibly this camping is just a habit with us, and draws us out, willy-nilly, wet or fine, even as does the parent pastime.
The Soul of Camping.
Let us cease fencing over this matter, Why do we camp — who do I camp? I enjoy a full night’s sleep — I have never had one in camp. Chill winds and rain are almost torture to me. I am not a strong rider, having taken to the cycle comparatively late in life, having only at the age of 22, turned my feet from accelerators to pedals. Yet I am a cycle-camper, and my reasons for being one are best summed up, deplorably enough, in an Americanism. I, through the medium of the game, “do places, meet folks, do things.”
I am living, learning, and, above all, making friends, for in our game one meets many who worship the same things, have certain feelings in common. Our friendships last, too, for many of us do not meet often enough to get to know each other thoroughly. We meet on such occasions as Bolton-by-Bowland, and shall keep on meeting. What matters wind, rain, cold, when at any moment one may have the thrill of the ritual with which these mad English cement their friendships, the back-bruising blow, irate eyes meeting quizzical ones, dawning, spreading grins, swearwords, and lastly, reluctantly (because it is so darned demonstrative) the grip?
I have been drawn to write this article through the great number of "push" bicycles, dreadnoughts, gaspiping, etc., which fond parents inflict upon the young hopeful and consequently ruin a would-be cyclist, and in the end force the sad young hopeful to turn to petrol when the first opportunity occurs.
Through being known as "one of them chaps as rides a bike,” many young boys come to confide their secret ideas on bikes and what kind they would like when pa buys one. The last case I had was a glaring example of “Bicycles that should not be bought.” The boy was about 13 years of age, sturdily built but not tall. The bicycle had a 25 inch frame, 28 inch wheels, and a three speed. To make the machine rideable, the ingenious father, who evidently must have been a tackler, had fixed big blocks of wood to the pedals. Even with this assistance the lad had to roll from side to side when pedalling. The gears in the three speed were like the machine, too big to be of any use. To mount the machine the rider had literally to climb on to it, and to dismount he had to swerve to the left and struggle to get his right leg over the frame whilst in motion, a feat which generally resulted in his hitting the ground; with the bicycle on top of him. Fortunately the machine, being an old one, soon gave up the ghost, and the father having profited by experience, bought the boy a new and much more suitable machine. Today he is a keen member of the C.T.C., enjoying the pleasure of the open road, and getting the very. best out of cycling with not the slightest wish for a motor-cycle.
But for every case like I have quoted, there are dozens, who, after their first attempt at cycling, give it up in despair, and in many cases buy a cheap second-hand motor-cycle, the running of which is often beyond their means, to say nothing of the unfortunate position of anyone involved in an accident with them, with no possibility of receiving damages.
But to revert back to the "push bike" It amazes me how many people buy machines, not only for their children, but for themselves, which are totally unfit for their use. If a person was going to buy a suit, he would not gaze into the tailor's shop window and purchase the first one that took his fancy. No! He would go inside, examine it, and then make sure that it was a perfect fit. But let him go to buy a bicycle, and he purchases the first that looks to give him a lot for his money.
To explode another fallacy. The average man or woman imagines that it is essential to have a racing machine to be a member of a club, that is to say, they must ride a bicycles with handlebars like rams horns, scorn the use of a free-wheel or speed-gear and have a saddle like a solidified banana.Let me say here that the average club member does not ride a machine like that.
Many of my readers will know Amos Sugden, better known perhaps as “Old Amos,” the veteran Nelson cyclist, who is a life vice-president of the C T.C., and is still able to attend many of the club runs, although bordering on 80 years of age. His machine is not a racer, but it is a "light weight,” built up to suit his own special requirements, and I feel confident that if you would-be cyclists would only get in touch with keen riders of experience before buying a machine you would not only save yourself a great deal of expense, but place yourself in the way of an enjoyable cycling career.
Here’s a suggestion. Write or call on the local secretary Mrs. Hudson, who will put you in touch with members of experience. By the way did you notice it, a lady secretary? Speaks well for cycling doesn’t it?
- Son of Hud.
Good Friday! 'The gala day of the Nelson section; the day which is the chief topic of our conversation for months ahead the day on which we tear ourselves to bits. It is really Georjud’s fault — in this way — every Good Friday, Mrs. Georjud allows Georjud to have a day on his own; a day which he looks upon as his annual holiday. Now the prospects of a whole day unhampered by matrimonial burdens, imbues Georjud with that jubilant spirit that is common to all prisoners who have been released from durance (I hope my wife does not see this). So, many months beforehand, Georjud gets out his maps and pores over them for hours at a time, until he has found a run worthy of this auspicious occasion. Unfortunately for his fellow-members, however, Georjud’s idea of a suitable run is one which necessitates the carrying of our bicycles over a mountain, or some similar gymnastic effort. The fact that Nemesis generally showers retribution upon him, on these occasions, in the form of aching joints or a broken bicycle frame, does not deter Georjud in the least. He rises every Easter undismayed, and asks for more — and gets it. When he has discovered a particularly hard specimen he begins to pester our runs secretary until that unfortunate official consents to include the run in the runs list. His object attained, Georjud then begins to paint his forthcoming run in colours so glowing that many of our members are persuaded to go on it. Personally, having been 'had’ on previous occasions, I always refuse to go on these annual efforts, and impress it upon Georjud that I wouldn’t go on his run for a pension, and that the short run will suit my ancient limbs admirably.
Then dawns Good Friday. I arise and sniff the holiday air, and pronounce it good. I am invigorated — I decide that it is my duty to go on the long run and see that my fellow-members come to no harm. And so it was upon this occasion. I got up early, made my preparations, and set out for our meeting place at Colne. A strong, east wind was blowing which, hindered my progress over the setts, and I was not sorry when I reached Langroyd. Several of my fellow-members were already there, and when they expressed their surprise at my appearance, I explained that my presence was due to my anxiety on their behalf, which statement they greeted with disparaging, coughs.
Georjud, who was full of the joys of spring, and one of our speed wallahs, led the way, whilst the rest of us tucked in behind to obtain all possible shelter from the wind. We toiled against the wind towards Skipton. and all was going well until a tandem came bowling past. This was not at all to Georjud’s liking, so he put all his beef into it, and gave chase. After nearly bursting ourselves we caught that tandem in Skipton, where we fell off our bicycles, and collapsed on a form. We recovered our energy in due course and proceeded once more, via Rylstone and Cracoe, to Kilnsey, where a shower of rain and hail sent us into shelter behind a friendly wall. The shower only lasted a few minutes, so we continued our journey without donning our capes. Georjud now began to feel the effects of chasing the tandem, for he began to lag behind. We waited about ten minutes in Kettlewell whilst we disposed of a few biscuits, but still he did not appear; so we started on the ascent of Park Rash without him. It is no easy matter to push a bicycle up Park Rash, especially when hampered by a strong wind and occasional showers of hailstones; but we were rewarded for our efforts by an excellent view of Wharfedale. The valley was a picture of contrast — some parts of it being in shadow and the rest in brilliant sunshine. The overhanging mass of Kilnsey Crag stood out clear and magnificent, whilst the layers of hills, rising to the horizon, were distinguishable one against the other, only by their varied shades of blue. We paused a while to enjoy the view, and then pushed on to the top. The grassy track slowly developed into a road again as we scampered down Coverdale, and our lunch place, Horsehouses, was soon reached. Here we found our friend Bookoss, clad in shorts and alpaca coat, blue with cold and shivering in the blast of the east wind. He explained that he had got up late and had chased after us. He had however, taken the short cut through Gargrave, and got ahead of us in the process; but, seeing tyre marks on the road, he had galloped strenuously onwards until he reached the top of Park Rash, where he overtook a number of cyclists — and discovered that they belonged to another club. After this touching lesson upon the evils of unpunctuality, Bookoss is now saving up his spare cash to buy an alarm clock. Large quantities of tea soon restored him to a normal state, and we had almost finished lunch when Georjud and two others arrived. It appears that Georjud had got the "knock" in Kettlewell — the hand of Nemesis — and, being unable to go any further, must needs stop there for lunch.
We left Horsehouses at two o’clock and proceeded down Coverdale to Carlton. The clouds had thinned considerably, and all the valley was bathed in sunshine, and was very pleasant to the eye. The grassy track out of Carlton that led over Carlton Moor was soon gained, and we began to mount higher, until we were amongst the heath once again. At the edge of the moor proper the track petered out, and we were compelled to push our bicycles through the heather, much to the detriment of our celluloid front mudguards. Although the going was very rough, we were not compelled to carry our bicycles — much to our surprise. When we demanded an explanation of this violation of the accepted rule of Good Friday, Georjud very cowardly laid the blame on our runs secretary, by saying that the moor we were traversing was not really the one he had intended, and that the one he had in mind would easily have come up to our expectations. Out of consideration for his wife we allowed him to live.
We reached the top of Carlton Moor at last, and called a halt to contemplate the panorama of Waldendale and Wensleydale that was unfolded to our view. But time was passing all too quickly, so we galloped down the hillside, sometimes riding, sometimes sliding, until we reached the road in the valley below. West Burton was passed without a halt and we began the long climb to Bishopdale to the top of Kidstones Bank. Georjud began to complain of a strained muscle — Nemesis again — and could hardly walk, so we lifted him on his battered relic, put his bottom gear in, and gave him instructions upon how to reach Buckden. The descent of Cray Gill was very fast indeed, and there was a distinct smell of burning rubber as our brakes screeched upon the corners. And so we descended upon Buckden — our stomachs empty of food, our eyes full of dust. We trooped into the hospitable farm that we always visit, and removed the dust from our persons in preparation for tea. Whilst tea was in progress, we — being fully aware of the wind that would help us home — began to make all sorts of suggestions for prolonging the run. We pointed out to one another that to arrive home before midnight on Good Friday was unprecedented; and we vowed that never again would we go with Georjud — he had lost his reputation.
At seven o’clock we departed from Buckden and started upon our homeward journey. In an endeavour to retrieve his lost reputation, Georjud, with tears in his eyes, implored us to go home via Mastiles Lane; hut we gently pointed out to him that whilst we were probably a trifle mad, we were not quite mad enough to do that. When we arrived at Kettlewell we took the Coniston road by way of a change, and proceeded down the east side of Wharfedale. The sun was beginning to set in golden splendour, and as it dipped behind the hills a glory of crimson clouds were left in its wake, against which the hills were picturesquely silhouetted. Skipton was reached at 8-15, and, after a few minutes halt, we continued to Thornton where we lighted our lamps. Some of those who had been on the short run were overtaken at Hague, and they were so surprised at seeing us returning home at so respectable an hour that they had to be brought round with Vimto.
I rattled over the setts into my native town of Burnley at ten o’clock, and so to bed to enjoy the healthy sleep promoted by the moorland air, in readiness for another run on the morrow.
Bumpity-bump! Crash! Here we are again, the same old crowd on the same old bicycles, pursuing the same old way over the same old cordially detested setts towards the same old meeting place at Higherford. Phew ! The time was about 10-15, as we rolled up to the forms there situated, to find a good number of members performing the weekly assault on their tyres with their usual panting and groaning. One member (no names; no pack drill) was luxuriantly lolling at his leisure on said forms, looking a veritable picture of old age. But cease this drivel; on with the business. Having rested long enough, the leader crawled off up Blacko, and we all trooped along in the rear. We had reached Blacko Bar, when a sudden April shower caused us to take cover in the lea of a barn, and J.H.G., being unable to worm his way under the shelter, had the audacity to purloin my cape. "The deluge finally subsided, my cape was restored, and we rode on. From the top of Coldweather, a glorious view of Ribblesdale was obtained, the air being very clear. Pendle reared itself on our left, and in the far distance, our old favourites Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough, were easily discernible. The whole view was set-off by huge cloud-banks, fleecy-white, mass upon mass of them piling up like cotton-wool, with occasional breaks, revealing glimpses of blue sky beyond. Then, we were shooting swiftly downwards, our tyres screaming a high crescendo, and the wind whipping past our faces viciously. Gisburn soon hove in sight, and as quickly, dropped astern; we were on the Settle road, with the pace resolving itself into a gentle potter. Gliding smoothly on, everything was in accord; the sun shone brilliantly, and the wind, creeping softly through the new budding trees, seemed to whisper "Spring is here.” Even the birds had caught the tremulous message and were giving voice; a blackbird chattered in a coppice ; rooks wheeled to and fro, while numerous small birds skimmed the hedge tops, intent on their own business. The road wound on, as roads with which we are very familiar, yet which never fails to fascinate, now rising, now falling; at times alongside the placid-flowing Ribble, turning and twisting, it led us on to Settle, where we stopped for lunch. Most of us had disposed of lunch, when two of the "disgraces” put in an appearance, bringing with them the "Womanhater,” very haggard of mien. I will not comment further on this, save to say. that they had come by way of Hunter Bark, a rough detour away from the main road. To pass the time away waiting for this trio, some of the members went touring Castlebergh, while two others, aided by a lady member, proceeded to demonstrate their hill-climbing abilities on Constitution Hill. When at last we were all ready, and the wanderers had returned, we took the road again, over Constitution, through Langcliffe, passing on to Stainforth. Here, Sarkikus decided that we should go his way, having not a bit of consideration for the ladies present. His way, of course, necessitated the carrying of our bicycles over some stepping stones, finally breaking out into an arduous and stony path, which, as “Womanhater" put it, looked like the side of a house. Laboriously we traversed our hilly path, breaking the journey for a welcome peep at Catterick Force, a small but pretty waterfall nearby. From here, the path petered out into a mere track, blossoming out later into a rideable road, and glad of the opportunity, we mounted and rode on. Soon, glimpses of Malham Tarn were caught, sparkling in the sunlight, and shortly afterwards we passed on to Ewe Moor, the official destination of the run. A stone tower caught our eyes, and as we had plenty of time 'to spare, it was inspected. It turned out to be a dis-used kiln, and great excitement was provided when J.H.C., Willmay, and I tried to climb it. Under the able direction of Sarkikus, who thoughtfully stood at the bottom, telling us how it should be done, we succeeded like Tarzan of old, in gaining the top. Thoroughly pleased with our little selves, we descended, and rejoined the others who had wandered away, to find that Sarkikus was now childishly engaged in damming a little brook that wound over the moors. And now comes the day’s titbit, that sent us into paroxysms of mirth. Two members were finding the widest places across the brook, and egged on by Sarkikus, who stood watching, a look of hopeful expectancy on his face, waiting for them to fall into the water, they endeavoured to jump across. Each time they were successful, so Sarkikus in disgust, went back to his former occupation of damming the brook. He was working industriously, when he put his foot on an insecure piece of banking, and in an heroic attempt to recover his footing, he slipped, plunging up to the ankles in muddy water, thus being hoist with his own petard. This proved too much for us, and shaking with laughter, we rolled on the grass in agony. Oh, Sarkikus! I shall never forget the dismayed look on your face as you gingerly extracted a sodden foot out of an equally sodden shoe. To crown all this, we obtained his shoe, and sailed it down the brook, where it was chased by an irate owner, hopping on one leg. He recovered it, dried it with tufts of grass, and we pushed on. The moors soon gave way to the road, which drops steeply into Malham, and here we had tea. Tea over, we were subjected to half an-hour’s exquisite torture, namely singing. At least, that’s what the chief torturer called it. When our shattered ear drums could no longer stand it, we repaired outside, where two members gave an exhibition of how to jump a hump-backed bridge at speed, providing a few thrills. We eventually tired of this, and turned homeward, passing contentedly along, as the sun, in dying splendour, stained the western horizon with vivid streaks of crimson.