This is one of the most common accidents which happens to a bicyclist, and is also one of the most easily remedied. If the handle bar is badly bent, turn the machine upside down, so that it rests on the saddle and centre-pin head, get something to fasten the straight end of the handle bar firmly to the floor, then take hold of the pedal, and standing with one foot on the bent end, press it gradually down until it is straight.
Another of the many troubles of a touring cyclist, who if he is in a lonely part of the country and has a spill, finds on picking his machine up that the crank has bent sufficiently to stop the front wheel from going round. The best way to remedy this is.
to lean the machine against a wall or post with the bent crank inside, i.e. between the wall and the wheel; then turn [the wheel until the crank is at the highest point, and, standing on the pedal, push it slowly down so that you do not bend the pedal pin instead of the crank.
(a) This is what is known amongst mechanics as a burst wheel. Most bicycle wheels will, if properly managed, spring back when pulled; this, however, is beyond the power of one alone, and is most easily accomplished by about four sitting on the ground with the wheel laid flat between them, and, taking hold round the rim, pulling steadily until the wheel springs, when in most cases it may be ridden many miles without any further bother.
(6) In most cases, if a buckled wheel is taken by two persons and twisted back, it will jump into its former position, and is often little the worse; if, however, it wobbles badly when being turned, it may be put right by slackening all the spokes, straightening the bent ones; then, casting the eye along one side of the wheel rim, the bends will be easily seen. These may be pressed straight over a block of wood on the floor or bench. When the rim is thus made straight, tighten up the spokes and true the wheel by measuring from hub to rim with a lath of wood, placing it close alongside of each spoke. All this may be done by an amateur without removing the tyre, and need cost him nothing.
Although cyclists sometimes have the misfortune to come a cropper, which is so violent as to bend the backbone until it overlaps the front wheel, yet it is by no means so common an occurrence as the accidents before mentioned; however, it is as well to know what to do in the worst cases as in the more trivial ones. Sometimes a backbone is so far bent as to make it practically impossible for anyone but a skilled workman to bend it back to its proper shape; but there are many instances when, with a little perseverance and a good deal of physical strength, one may so straighten it that it can be ridden without fear of further mischief. To straighten one then, take the backbone out of the head and put it (the head) under a heavy weight, or if you have a companion get him to stand on it, then put a stone or a block of wood tinder the place where it is bent and press down slowly, because if you jerk it you will most likely snap the backbone, which would leave you in a worse plight than before.
I have fitted to my 52 in. "Express" an adaptation of Glafscorp's light - the motor being an ordinary magneto-electric machine, worked by the hind wheel, and aided by a small pocket battery. The only drawback I find is that when the machine is at rest the light is extinguished. This is, however, obviated in a measure by the use of the pocket battery. The carbons are fed by a train of wheels actuated by the front wheel, the consumption being about 1 in. per hour. The apparatus altogether does not take up more room than an ordinary valise, and the light, to say the least, is very steady, giving about 120 candles, as shown by a photometer. The magneto-electric machine is of the ordinary type, having a rotatory magnet, and was purchased for the purpose for 175. 6d. (second-hand). Altogether the apparatus cost about 5l., and gives me every possible satisfaction, as with its assistance I can see clearly 200 vd. ahead on a dark night. (J. T.)