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THE CHORLEY HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY

Notes from the Archives

Transcript - Fifty Years Cycling - from Chorley and Leyland Advertiser Oct 29 1932.
Reminiscences of Weird Machines and Doughty Riders.

The story of the bicycle was the subject of an address to the Chorley Rotary Club by Mr. W. M. Gillibrand, on Monday. The weekly meeting was held at the Royal oak Hotel, and Mr W. G. Berry was in the chair.
LEARNING TO RIDE THE BONESHAKER DRESSED FOR THE OCCASION CHURCHWARDEN TRICYCLISTS
OUTSTANDING EVENTS DAY TO REPAIR PUNCTURE SEVEN MILLION CYCLISTS
OUTSTANDING EVENTS.
There were three outstanding events of my cycling days when I rode the tall bicycle. The first was an inter-club race with the Adlington Cycling Club. The course was from the four lane ends, Euxton, round by Bamber Bridge, finishing at Rookwood. We did not know at the time, but it turned out that there was a very bitter feeling between two prominent members of the Adlington club, one of whom rode a kangaroo bicycle, then just out, and the other an ordinary. The result was a keen race between these for first and second places, with myself a poor third.
A protest was made against the kangaroo rider because he jumped off his machine and ran up the hills with it. When he reached the top, he vaulted into the saddle and was away at once. This was considered an unfair advantage, but the protest was not allowed.

The second outstanding event of this period was the selection of myself to pace G. P. Mills on his attempt to reduce the road record from Land’s End to John o’ Groats on a tall bicycle. My distance for pacing him was from Euxton to Garstang. G. P. Mills rode the whole distance with his saddle bolted to the backbone of his machine, which had solid tyres. He knocked three and a half days off the record. But his predecessors had made fairly long stays at houses of refreshment along the route, while he took it seriously, and halted as little as possible.

The third outstanding event was my winning of the one and two mile local bicycle races from scratch at the athletic sports, then held on what is now the Coronation Recreation Ground. The previous year I had beaten both the cup holders, but only came in second in each event. I may say that in the third year the handicapping committee doubled all the starts, for if you won the cup twice in succession they became your property. Needless to say, I did not win.
The disadvantage of a tall bicycle for a growing youth was that one outgrew it, consequently my tall bicycle consisted of in rotation, a 48 inch, 50 inch, 52 inch, and 54 inch roadster, and a 56 inch racer. The latter weighed 24˝ lbs. and had half-inch tyres.

Soon after the invention of the “kangaroo” safety bicycle, J. K. Harley brought out his “Rover” bicycle with chain driven rear wheel, this machine was the fore-runner of the bicycle as we know it to-day. I had several of this type of machine with solid tyres until Dunlop invented his air tyre.

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