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1887 Cycling Sketchbook

Page 24 The Road Race of the Liverpool Cycling Club

The Xtraordinary (1st sketch) had the saddle further back than the ordinary to try and reduce the not inconsiderable risk with the standard ordinary of taking a header over the handlebars. It also had treadles instead of pedals.

This race appears to have been an evening one from Liverpool to Cronton (see map below), where the competitors celebrated at an inn, perhaps the Unicorn. Leaving at 11.30 pm they sheltered from the lightning at 'Swift's', which was probably The Ship Inn, Rainhill, the long-time landlord of which was a Peter Swift. In 1829 Rainhill was the setting for the famous Rainhill Trials, which were held to find a locomotive for the Liverpool and Manchester railway, the first passenger service in the world. The Trials were won by Stephenson's Rocket and in the 9th sketch Walt playfully depicts the Rocket chugging through the stormy night.

The road race of the Liverpool Cycling Club: 12 miles in 45 minutes

3 cyclists on ordinaries, 3 on tricycles and one on a safety bike

4 on safety bikes and one on a trike

my little bicyclette climbs Prescto best and I am second as we pass Swifts

After the race we are thirsty and dry (drinks being served)

We use the empty box in which our lamps came as a collecting box: total receipt 0d

I sit next to the fair tea server at Cronton and drink 13 cups

We drink everybody's health

We leave Cronton something after 11 pm

We stay at Swifts to avoid the lightning until 2.30 am and take a comforter (a bottle) with us

Getting off to light pipe

3 or 4 am: the rain at last

Map showing places visited on local rides



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