Here’s a small selection of engaging readers’ letters…
AT THE moment we are practically all novices in motor cycling. There are a few experts, and one of the greatest troubles I have found has been that these experts are, in many cases, so very expert that their advice is of singularly little assistance to the average man.
They rattle off a number of strange terms which we do not understand, they omit to give vital instructions, and then excuse themselves by the offhand remark that “anybody would know how to do that”, forgetting that it is often the simplest and most obvious thing which escapes the attention of the novice.
THE FOLLOWING appeared in a daily paper a few days ago: “A horse attached to a carriage bolted in Bompton Road on Monday evening, collided with an omnibus, knocked down two cyclists, and then fell and broke its neck. One of the cyclists was killed. A coroner’s jury yesterday returned a verdict of ‘accident’.”
If the accident had been caused by a motor cycle or carriage, probably they would have written long leaders about “The Deadly Motor” or “The Motor Derby”.
Arthur M Kipky
DO you not think that the present is a good time to stir up motorists to form a real fighting society, or to greatly strengthen and wake up the existing one, if there be one? It is important that the first cases under the new act should give good and favourable precedents. The society would not have to be content with getting cases dismissed, but should prosecute and persecute the enemy. The last would soon be heard of trumped up cases.
IT HAS come to our attention that certain motor cycle manufacturers are making disparaging statements with regard to the easy win which our motor cycle secured in the Phoenix Park speed trials. If any of the gentlemen wish satisfaction and are open to a sporting offer, we are quite willing to arrange any match or series of matches with a view to giving them an opportunity of avenging their defeat.
Whilst writing we cannot refrain from expressing our astonishment at the unsportsmanlike and petty jealousy which prompted some of the competitors to get our motor bicycle disqualified on a technical point at the Castlewellan trials which followed the Phoenix Park trials, and the only explanation at which we can arrive is that after having been once so thoroughly beaten they were afraid to try their chances again by the side of the victorious Gamage motor bicycles.
WA Gamage Ltd
I HAVE noticed in the last few issues of your excellent paper a great cry out from a number of drivers of motor cycles as to punctures. I do not think motorists sufficiently appreciate the value of self-sealing air-tubes, or some may think them an unnecessary expense.
I have a 1903 3hp Quadrant motor bicycle with Clincher A1 motor tyres and self-sealing air-tubes, which I have driven nearly a thousand miles, and have not yet had a puncture, on roads which, as many of your readers will know, are mostly made of flint, and are very bad and loose in many places.
I stand 6ft 1in and wEigh close on 15 stone (no lightweight). The object of this letter is to point out to motor cyclists the great advantage I myself have had through using self-sealing air-tubes, and I am convinced that if motor cyclists used the best self-sealing tubes more than they do they would not be so worried with those awful bugbears – ‘punctures’.
I may mention that before I used self-sealing tubes on other motor bicycles I had punctures on almost every journey.
Sydney R Vernon
IT WOULD not be much trouble for drivers of cars to carry a few, say, ½lb bags of red confetti with them. On discovering a police trap, nothing would be easier than to run back a hundred yards or so and empty one of the bags onto the road. This, as a warning to drivers, would be of more use than the amount of red tape that exists at present.
WILL YOU kindly say whether it is possible to obtain any kind of instrument for indicating the speed that a motor car or motor cycle is travelling at, and, if not, would there in your opinion be a demand for a reliable indicator? If such a thing is on the market kindly let me know where I can obtain particulars of same and greatly oblige.
[The editor reassured his correspondent that AW Gamage of 125 Holborn, London EC, could supply a ‘speed indicator’ marketed as the Metroscope.]
CONSIDERABLE PROMINENCE has been given recently, in the motor cycle press, to the subject of motor cyclists of the fair sex and the machines they ride. It must be obvious from some of the photographs published that there exists some difficulty in obtaining, or disinclination to use, machines which are especially constructed for ladies’ use. Presuming this to be correct, I think all who have an interest in the sport and pastime must view this state of affairs with some alarm. I plead ‘not guilty’ to being a prude, but do consider a woman loses her self-respect and the respect of all right-thinking people by some of the exhibitions which of recent years, and more especially recent months, have been thrust before the gaze of the public. I daresay no one of the male sex, has taken more interest in motor cycling for ladies than I have, and some of my happiest hours, during many years’ experience of the pastime, have been spent with clubs which encouraged lady riders who rode ladies’ machines.
The Dreadnought, BEF
OF LATE we have seen some frightful illustrations of ladies in the press (thanks not in The Motor Cycle), some of them wearing riding breeches, other times they hold themselves up to the public ridicule wearing a suit of gentlemen’s overalls, whilst one lady was actually standing on a gentleman’s machine performing acrobatic tricks with her feet in the air—almost standing on her head—and to have this sort of thing thrust before the public gaze is most degrading and certainly does injury to the pastime. If a lady is to lose her self-respect in this way she should not make a public exhibition of herself, and if she cannot do the pastime any good, well, she should not do it any harm, for it is just this sort of thing that causes many who hitherto were contemplating joining our ranks to give up the idea in horror and disgust…I appeal to the press to reject any photographs in future of ‘the lamb in wolf’s clothing’, and once this nonsense has died a natural death, aided by public ridicule, then the pastime will be largely taken up, and our friends will look forward to an outing with us just as in the days of the push cycle…I have always advocated an open frame, so that I could sit my steed with gracefulness and always look womanish.
SIR—I AM at present engaged in designing a steam motor cycle, and, having a large workshop in which I can work, would be glad to hear of anyone interested and willing to experiment with me.
SIR —ON THE CHESTER ROAD NEAR STONEBRIDGE I was resting by the roadside when three testers came along on two-stroke machines. The leader looked curious in the distance, and seemed as if his hat were over his face. To my surprise, he was riding backwards, his handle-bars behind him. He nodded to me as he passed at 20mph, and that threw him out and upset his balance. His bicycle ran up the bank, down again, and wobbled across the road, and the rider, evidently forgetting his position, tried, to steer his back wheel, and ran up the opposite bank. No damage was done, although he narrowly escaped being run over by his two companions. He then rode to the top of the hill, turned his machine, got on again backwards, and came blinding along at, I should think, 25mph.
[We publish the above letter, not because we share our correspondent’s admiration for the rider referred to, but because we hope it may be a warning to others to avoid such pernicious practices. The rider endangered not only his own neck, which may be of small consequence, but also the life and limbs of anyone who might have been using the road in a proper manner. We trust that the’ police will rigorously put down dangerous driving of this kind.—Ed.]