Page:The Cycle Industry (1921).djvu/83

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69
THE TRADE AND RACING

of racing increased to a remarkable degree. This may have been partly due to the fact that the introduction of the pneumatic tyre sychronized with the increasing popularity of the safety bicycle, or it may have been caused by the extreme competition that was in existence at the time between rival tyre companies. Previous to the pneumatic tyre the bicycle maker bought solid and cushion tyres from firms who left the advertising of their wares to occasional announcements in trade journals and depended for trade on the reputation they had gained among their customers the cycle manufacturers. Not so the pneumatic tyre manufacturer, who commenced in an astute manner to advertise every win made on machines fitted with his tyres. Thus, the competition that previously only existed among cycle makers was increased by about 100 per cent. Men were racing to advertise tyres just as much as machines.

The tyre trade element in racing penetrated to the important club road races, and when pace making was permissible teams of pace makers were sent out to assist the best men to win. The competition became so fierce, and the speed on the road so high, that the governing bodies were compelled to step in and prohibit paced road races.

All such events are now unpaced, which means that each rider has to make his own pace, i.e. he must not shelter behind another and so gain an advantage by having the air resistance cleaved to enable him to ride in a partial vacuum.

Track racing and road racing are very different, and it is not by any means certain that a successful rider on the track will be a consistent winner on the road. Track racing requires a lot of judgment as well as speed and dash. On the road there is no finessing for position in sprints for the tape, when speedy men are often left