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bloomer-type pantaloons and eventually Lady Harbeton who enhanced the ‘get ladies cycling’ crusade by taking the issue to Westminster Town Hall. These were the true movers and shakers to get women into the sport. Road conditions didn’t make life pleasant for cyclists in general. The CTC made numerous complaints of the neglect of main roads, the main concerns being the mud which encouraged puddles in the winter and dust and dry stones in the summer. Although various springs etc were added to bikes the real improvements that made the difference were tyres. These changes started in 1889 with the founding of Michelin Company. Initially a company that made rubber parts for agricultural machinery and rubber brake pads, they branched out into tyres after stumbling across the Dunlop branched out into tyres after stumbling across the Dunlop ‘sausage’ a rubber tube, covered in material and stuck to the wheel. Feeling they could improve on this system they invented the pneumatic tyre – and gradually improved the puncture repair procedure from 15hours to 15 minutes. Once they had perfected the product they dropped all other rubber based products and concentrated entirely on pneumatic tyres. Val the Peach 15
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