|Charles Shannon, 'The modeller', lithograph, 1891: a portrait of Thomas Sturge Moore|
When I came to help him with the press, he would sometimes propose a cycle-ride, and we would set out from 8 Spring Terrace, Richmond, through Leatherhead, always alighting to admire the old bridge, on through Dorking and Guildford, where the second hand shops would be visited to discover satin-wood, not yet "the rage," so that fine pieces could be picked up cheaply. Or we went to Hampton Court, and he would examine the Titian intently, as though he had never seen anyting like it before. "The fresh eye is the seeing eye; the eye that thinks it knows all about it only recognizes, never discovers."
|Titian, 'Portrait of a man (known as Alessandro de Medici)' in Hampton Court (from: Charles Ricketts, Titian, 1910, plate xxxvi)|
Moore and Shannon made frequent long cycling trips, such as those to Wells and Marlborough (April 1901) and to Salisbury, Glastonbury and Winchester (August 1901). Paul Delaney wrote:
Not long after this Shannon began to teach Ricketts to ride a bicycle. The old machine that had served to teach Sturge Moore and Shannon was passed on to him. With his haste and impatience he had no more aptitude for the bicycle than the piano, but perhaps he minded not being included when his two friends went off ther frequent cycling trips. He certainly missed Shannon. When Ricketts was "wicked", Shannon used to threaten to go off cycling with Sturge Moore. On his first lesson, in July 1901, Ricketts did "unexpectedly well", and in August he was still "improving wonderfully". Shannon even bought him a new bicycle. But by October the next year the bicycle was for sale and Ricketts's cycling was over: "I collapsed with nervous exhaustion at Cambridge", he told the Fields, "& I fear shed tears upon the Trumpington Road & for the first time the bike has passed into history." From then on, when Shannon "biked", Ricketts "trained". Shannon cycled and played ping-pong or tennis but the only exercise Ricketts took was walking.'(**)
|Advertisment for cycles (1901)|
|Illustration from Isabel Marks, Fancy cycling (1901)|
(**) J.G.P. Delaney, Charles Ricketts. A biography. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1990, p. 156-157.