Bicycle race (1874)

Bicycle race

On Monday last the race for the captaincy and sub-captaincy of the Middlesex Bicycle Club took place from Bath to London, – a distance of 106 miles. The start was from the front of the abbey and all the competitors were up to time. Mr Sparrow (who accompanied the race) started them at eight minutes past 5 o’clock, and, owing to the great number of people assembled there was some difficulty in passing through the crowd. In a few minutes, however, they were out of the town and the running was very sharp. Walker and Tyne were leading. Some of the competitors had to dismount and walk up Box-hill. They all passed through Chippenham at the rate of 14 miles an hour and Calne (19 miles) was reached in 1½ hours. They passed through in the following order: – Walker, Leaver, Tyne, Percy, Goulding, Spencer and Pearce. No stoppage was made until Marlborough was reached (32 miles), Walker, Tyne and Leaver coming in together, the distance being got over in 2¾ hours. Spencer here passed Sparrow and Goulding. From Marlborough to Newbury (18 miles) Walker and Tyne led the way. At Hungerford, Goulding’s machine gave way through striking a large projecting stone while going down hill. After an attempt to repair it he got as far as Thatcham, where he was compelled to take the train for London. Walker and Tyne performed the journey from Bath to Newbury (50 miles) in 4¾ hours. Leaver and Percy were making good time as far as Woolhampton, but soon after Leaver dropped behind, and was passed by Spencer at Reading. Walker soon after made a spurt and Tyne saw no more of him. At Twyford Spencer overhauled Percy and they had a smart race as far as Colnbrook, where Percy stopped to rest. The arrivals at the Club-room at Kensington were as follows: – Walker, 3 13; Tyne, 3 50; Spencer, 5 12; Percy, 6 38; Leaver, 7 35. Walker had been somewhat jaded at Hounslow, but, upon his arrival at the goal, he started, after a few minutes rest, to meet the remainder of the competitors. The time made by Walker is one hour less than the fastest stage coach ever performed the journey from London to Bath in, and is also the best bicycle travelling on record, the pace of the winner exceeding 10½ miles per hour, including stoppages. Mr Sparrow, the starter, although upwards of 50 years of age, followed the competitors on his bicycle and performed the whole journey in 15 hours, including stoppages.

The Times, Aug 08, 1874; pg. 12

Leave a Reply