Los Angeles Riding Good, Trade Slow

HOP skip and jump exercise was used for warming-up purposes in a Covina orange grove, by Los Angeles Motorcycle Club members, Sunday, March 29. It was an incident of their regular run. The proposed run to the San Gabriel River had been abandoned on account of washouts. The 35 miles to Covina were covered easily, in spite of a couple of dabs of rain. The picnic lunch was eaten under and near an umbrella palm by the members and their ladies. Orange-eating preceded and followed it. Going and coming, a fresh wind was tempered by the fragrance of the orange groves and gum trees. On the way back the party got more rain than was quite comfortable. It was the second rainy day for March. The early morning had some of the zip and aroma of an eastern autumn morning in the woods.

Something about anti-motorcycling prejudice: On the way to Covina, a “lady” in an automobile smiled sneeringly at another woman (no doubt her equal as a real lady, and well dressed, with fur about her throat) who was in a side car of the smaller type. The temptation was to heave a brick at the supercilious one. On the way back, however, “Pop” Martin and the writer met two motorcycles, each with a choice bit of femininity on the tandem. Though the breeze was pneumoniously fresh, the first girl leaned away out, obviously to, display an unusually full expanse of pink wishbone, while the second one startlingly exposed a shapely left leg transparently covered with a gauze white stocking, with an equally diaphanous white garment-union-made, apparently-beneath the hose from the calf up to the knee. It was enough to make the orange blossoms blush, and one could hardly blame women occupants of many passing automobiles for making caustic comments.

The road up Mt. Wilson which is to be widened and which was considerably disarranged by the recent dampness, may be open April 15. The Los Angeles Motorcycle Club has a run up the hill in prospect. For a party of 25, special meal rates at the hotel are available if advance notice is given. The road toll cannot be reduced.

A new hill to climb-up Cerro Gordo street, at the end of the Echo park trolley line. Surveyors watched the 1914 R-S two-speed carry two riders up its unpaved surface, which they said had a grade of 27 per cent. It is steeper than Quintero, anyway, and much rougher.

Alfred Le Roy, the young Frenchman with no legs and only 1 1/2 arm, who starts for the East April 13, sits in his side car and handles his Thor two-speed twin with ease enough to make a regular motorcycle rider envious. He is 23 years old. Eight years ago the “safety first” movement was still young, and he got his lesson in a railroad wreck. Still, after leaving the hospital was when he began to save some money by selling things on the street and not playing the races, etc. Two years ago he bought a motorcycle. Since then he has owned four others. He has ridden to San Francisco, San Diego, Bakersfield and other places. On one ride to Bakersfield, while admiring the scenery, he struck a big rock and was bounced out. The machine, with the little 15-inch crutch and roller skate in the side car, went on for a quarter of a mile, then overturned.

Le Roy steers with a straight rod, with the stump of his left arm. His right arm has a hand, with which he operates the spark, throttle, air, clutch brake and two-speed. His motor has a hand crank for starting. He hits it up with the fastest of them on the road; in fact, is regarded as a hard one to stay with. In rough stuff he seems to have an actual advantage.

While figures show that poor people are untying the stocking and putting a large total into savings banks, and people with a little more to spare are buying small-priced bonds in the East, the big supply of easy money is still in the reservoirs and has not been freely distributed. Good times are still “coming.” Some dealers claim to be doing very well, but most of them agree that they might be doing much better. March bank clearings exceed those of February by $15,000,000-within $450,000 of those of March, 1913, and $14,500,000 ahead of March, 1912.

Those who are a few blocks removed from the “congested district” are feeling the slow circulation the most; which seems to show that even a motorcycle, concerning which a prospective buyer may be supposed to do some studying, sells more readily if it is on sale near where the prospect is.

In 1910, according to the national department of agriculture, Los Angeles County was first among all the 2950 counties-of the United States in the value, at the farm of crops raised that year. The value was $14,720,000. Considering how much of Los Angeles County is inhabited by city people, it is remarkable. What did it? Climate. That is what gives the whole coast big advantages over other parts of the country. Think what this will mean when the coast territory is fully settled and industrially organized.

The traffic manager of the Union Pacific came here recently in connection with the prospect that that company may finance the extension of the Salt Lake road from Los Angeles to San Diego. He predicted a population of 1,000,000 for Los Angeles within ten years, and many large factories.

In Los Angeles, in March, there were 281 hours of actual sunshine out of a possible 371.4. Nineteen days were clear; seven partly cloudy, five cloudy. There were two slightly rainy spells. On March 27, 28 and 29 a bit more than 1-100 inch fell.

The freight agent of one railroad, says the shipments of automobiles into Los Angeles for March showed an increase of 50 per cent over last year. About 1000 came during the month. Yet auto dealers say trade is slow. The boom days in that line are over.

E. W. Keller, of the Joerns-Keller Agency is at last receiving machines from the Thiem factory, from which he recently returned after spending weeks there personally supervising a number of improvements. He states that within the past week he has received about a dozen machines and disposed of all of them immediately-two-speed twins, mostly, at the $185 price. The so-called baby single, 3 h.p., is also equipped with the two-speed. More machines are on the way.