1899 09 17

1899 09 17      A Long Cycle Ride

Local Cyclists Trip to London and Back

Mr J Saunders, of Catherine Street, Salisbury, and Road Captain of the Cycling and Athletic Club, performed on the 15th inst. a cycling feat of considerable interest to local cyclists, and which certainly entitles him to the position he at present holds in the club.

He rode to London and back in the day, covering a distance by cyclometer of 170 miles all but 100 yards. The record for this journey stands to the credit of the late Charlie King, and Mr Saunders, it should be stated at once, made no effort to lower the record. He undertook the journey for the sake of doing it, and was eminently successful. He left Salisbury a little before 4.30am, and encountered a strong head wind for the first twenty miles, when the wind dropped as the sun rose. Basingstoke was reached at 7.45 where a halt of half an hour was made for breakfast. After that the weather was very favourable for about half a dozen miles, but the north east wind sprang up again, and blew with great force. This made the forty miles to London one continual grind. Another halt of half an hour was made at Bagshot, and Hyde Park Corner was reached about 12.35. Here several friends met Mr Saunders and a rest was taken of about an hour and a half. Leaving again at about 2 o’clock with the wind at the back cycling at once became a pleasure. Bagshot was reached at 3.25. Here another halt of an hour was made. The riding to Basingstoke was good, that place being reached at 5.50 when a stop was made for tea. Basingstoke was left behind at 6.25, and a smart ride home was experienced with a few minutes halt at Andover. Salisbury was reached at 9.25.

Mr Saunders was kindly accompanied the whole distance by fellow club men. Mr R Rowland undertook the whole journey up, Mr W Spurr going as far as Basingstoke. On the return journey Messrs A Oliver, W Meatyard and W Smith were with him, and both these and the other cyclists helped him not a little. Some idea may be gathered as to the effect of a strong wind either for or against a cyclist, when it is stated that Saunders found that in the most exposed parts of the roads on the first half of the journey, a speed of about eight to ten miles an hour was enough, twelve miles an hour exclusive of stoppages being about the pace, while on the return journey the whole of the riding was done at about 16 miles an hour. A rather circuitous route was taken between Andover and Basingstoke to avoid a very bad piece of road at Hurstbourne. Mr Saunders rode a model “O” Road Racing Premier, which behaved splendidly throughout.

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