Wednesday, February 08, 2017

The Scorcher


Although it would have been difficult for Pringle to look other than a gentleman, with his slim athletic figure clothed in the sweater, the cycling suit, and the cap and badge (especially the badge), he presented a fair likeness of the average Sunday scorcher. The manners of the tribe he fortunately saw no necessity to assume. 

To perfect the resemblance, the scorcher being comparable to a man who shall select a racehorse for a day's ride over country roads, it was necessary to "strip" his machine, so, removing the mudguards and brake, and robbing the chain of its decent gear-case, he substituted the "ram's-horn" for his handlebar.

R Austin Freeman and John Pitcairn – The Adventures of Romney Pringle (1902)

The scorchers are still with us but I'm not so sure about the gentleman cyclists who looked down on them with such disdain over a century ago. 

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