AMONG THE WHEELMEN - Track to Be Used in the Tournament. - A Matter of Interest to Racers. - San Francisco Chronicle, 19 Jan 1895
AMONG THE WHEELMEN
Track to Be Used in the Tournament.
A Matter of Interest to Racers.
Cyclers Anxious to Resume Tours Awheel in the Country - Club Notes.
HEELMEN, owing to the inclemency of the weather during the past week, have been obliged to forego the pleasure of a riding trip over country roads. Indoor amusement has continued unabated, and unless the rains soon cease and allow the cyclers a chance to ride, even the pleasures of clubroom life will fail to have attractions.
Probably the most interesting event soon to take place, and which at present is consuming the entire attention of the cycling fraternity is the indoor cycle tournament. Although the sub-committees have been appointed but a few days, the many questions asked by the hundreds of wheelmen would tend to show a decided interest in this enterprise. The prize committee will, in many instances, offer as prizes orders for merchandise according to the amount stipulated in each class by the League of American Wheelmen. In thus offering orders, instead of pieces of jewelry, they are most decidedly catering to the wishes of local racers.
In many of the Class B races a racing wheel will be offered as a prize, as it is found that the men composing this class will more readily ride when such a prize is in prospect.
The committee also contemplates offering orders for a complete suit of clothes as a prize in the class B races besides numerous articles of jewelry. This will also be done in the class A races, which will prove a valuable prize to the winners.
Last season race promoters offered gold watches and diamonds as prizes, but a prominent cyclist who has been in touch with the racing element expresses his opinion that the future race-meet managers will take the precaution to consider the wants of its talent, and in lieu of watches and jewelry will supply wearing apparel and bicycles.
Arrangements are now under way by which the track at Central Park will be put in first-class shape and the talent allowed to train thereon. The committee will announce training privileges later.
C. W. Coulter will ride under the Olympic's colors during his stay on the Coast, and may possibly ride as one of their team in the Relay race. At the smoker last Saturday night Coulter was presented with a badge of the Olympic Wheelmen.
Tandems are the fad of this year, and many prominent wheelmen are talking of riding the two-header. Among them may be mentioned Chief Consul Charles K. Melrose and his wife, ex-secretary-treasurer of the league, W. H. Toepke, and his sister, and also J. B. Carey and wife of San Jose. Undoubtedly tandems will be much sought for this season.
George P. Wetmore of the Bay City Wheelmen will buy the entire interest in the business which he now manages, and branch out for himself. This will demand his complete attention and cycling circles will temporarily lose an ardent worker.
The record between Los Angeles and San Diego now stands at fourteen hours and five minutes, the time made by Messrs. Charles E. Rose, Oscar Lane and Bert Reed on the 2d day of January. The former record was held by Oscar Osen of the Garden City Cyclers of San Jose, who covered the distance in eighteen hours and forty minutes last May.
The California Cycling Club has just purchased a new home trainer, which will soon be in position in the gymnasium to enable members to prepare for the relay team. It is the club's intention to secure competent member to act as a manager for the team during training.
The Garden City cyclers are happy in the possession of a "mascot" in the shape of an immense St. Bernard dog.
The San Diego Wheelmen have elected new officers as follows: President, Dr. C. N. Leonard; vice-president, E. A. Woodward; secretary-treasurer, C. W. Judd; captain, C. H. Edwards; first lieutenant, C. L. Williams; second lieutenant, E. H. Bagly.
The many times postponed run on ordinaries of the Olympic Club Wheelmen will be held to-morrow, weather permitting. The run will leave the club promptly at 10:30 A. M. under command of Captain A. C. Thornton.
Bob Long of the Olympic Wheelmen has temporarily forsaken his wheel and is engaging in the perilous game of football, playing left tackle for the Olympics.
The Imperial Cycling Club announces its intention of holding a try-out to select a suitable team for the relay as soon as the roads will permit of riding. At present it is expected that the team will be made up from Messrs. Byrne, Barley, Hurst, Edwards brothers, Reynold, Jagelind, Conger and Cadenich.
The opening night of the Garden City Cyclers' new clubhouse will take place about the latter part of this month.
The Pavilion races will introduce the new handicapper, R. A. Smyth, this being his initial attempt.
Ravlin and Carey rode up from San Jose last Saturday night through the rain and over the muddy roads to attend the Olympic smoker, Carey left at midnight to complete his century, but Ravlin gave up the idea and took the train Sunday.
Club smokers at present are the popular form of amusement. To keep up this form of entertainment the Garden City cyclers will entertain their cycling friends on the last of this month. Then comes the smoker of the Imperial Cycling Club on February 9th, at the clubrooms on Golden Gate avenue, to be followed by the Reliance Wheelmen, who will entertain their friends with music and cigars, about the second week in February.
It is estimated that there are 1,000,000 bicycles, valued at $80,000,000, in use in the United States.
The advisory Committee selected by R. A. Irving to assist him in the promotion of the cycling tournament at the Pavilion consists of the following well-known members of the cycling clubs:
F. D. Elwell, who designed the track to be used at the Mechanics' Pavilion during the cycling tournament, states that a novel feature of the track will be the method of laying the floor on the curves. Strips of Oregon pine, 1x2 inches, laid on edge, will be built to conform with the curve of the track, so that a rider keeping an even distance from the pole will be actually riding on one strip, thus causing a minimum resistance to forward impulse, while at the same time the resistance to side slipping will be considerable from the fact that the strips will be laid very slightly apart, producing a corrugated effect on the tire. The floor of the Pavilion will be utilized for the straight-aways and the curves will meet it with an invisible joint.
The maximum banking will be 39 degrees and can be negotiated at a speed of from two minutes to five minutes to the mile. The distance of track between the straights will be only fifty-one feet and the smallest radius twenty-five feet. The straights will be 200 feet long, making in all nine laps to the mile.
Concerning the wheels to be ridden, the following facts are worthy of consideration, as they come from one who has made this particular subject a matter of careful study. A short wheel base encounters less resistance than a long one in going around a curve. Especially is this true of a sharp curve. It is a self-evident fact that more resistance is encountered on a curve than on a straight, therefore a rider who rides in a perfectly straight line encounters less resistance for the same speed than one who takes up the entire track irrespective of extra distance traveled.
A bicycle moving in a straight line would necessarily require a lateral force to cause it to deviate, and this must be borrowed from the speed or energy of forward impulse. It is accomplished by throwing the front wheel sufficiently out of alignment. On surfaces where the tire will not grip, as for instance, on a wet asphaltum, the front wheel will be forced diagonally forward, and it is plainly evident that when the tire does grip it must slightly retard its forward motion.
Racing men must be cautioned against riding wheels of a too light construction on the track to be built in the Mechanics' Pavilion. A rider of 150 pounds weight will create a centrifugal force at a two-minute clip of 360 pounds on the sharpest curve which, coupled with his own weight of 150 pounds, will generate an actual weight through the line of his wheel of nearly 400 pounds.
This track, being of wood, will not wear the tire nearly as much as a cement track, yet those riders entered in the ten-mile club race should substitute a heavier tire than ordinarily used to avoid any chance of defeat from the thin racing tire wearing down.
Dr. Jung, Professor at the University of Geneva, takes a bold stand on what he calls the evil effects of bicycling in the present period. The learned professor has evidently never enjoyed the blissful sensation when astride a wheel, but has made his calculations from his book study. It is showing much ignorance when any one, be he a professor or not, says that the lower extremities do not come in for the full share of work when riding a wheel. In a recent issue of the London Daily Telegraph appeared the following:
The person to whom the honor of this discovery belongs is no mere outsider, whom the public can afford to ignore, and who speaks about matters which he does not understand; he is a thorough scholar and an experienced pedagogue, Dr. Jung, professor at the University of Geneva. Now this scientist is an enemy of the bicycle. Not, indeed, an irrational enemy, like so many others, but one who is forced by his allegiance to truth and science to take up a hostile position to the wheel.
What, Dr. Jung asks, will, nay, what must befall the human race if the majority of mankind, instead of trudging about as heretofore on foot, scaling Swiss mountains, running races, undertaking pedestrian tours, etc., moves about on a tricycle or bicycle made for two? The law of evolution answers this question with painful distinctness.
It is needless at this time of day to call to mind the striking effects produced by this wonderful law. But they are so universal and familiar that people are too apt to forget them. Many of the most extraordinary changes of animal and vegetable structure are brought about by adaptation to changing circumstances. In the island of Madeira, for instance, numerous insects have either wholly lost their wings or have them so tiny that they are practically useless to them simply because they cease to employ them, and they ceased to employ them because whenever they flew about near the coast the sudden gusts of wind blew them out to sea.
In Kergulen island not a moth or fly can use its wings. Again, the horse has lost its toes and man his tail, of which naught but the rudimentary bones remain beneath the skin, and in the Mammoth cave of Kentucky the fishes are absolutely blind, simply because, being deprived of light, they could never use their sight. In a word, it is enough for an animal to dispense with any organ or limb for a number of generations to bring about its gradual disappearance.
If, then, men who are now wont to scale mountains or railways of the Rigi system, to move about in cities inside trams and omnibuses, to betake themselves to the country by rail, coach, steamboat or any kind of communication that renders walking superfluous; if men, I say, will not consent to draw the line here; if, in addition to all this, they now take to the cycle in order to cover the ground which heretofore they were accustomed to pass over on foot, what do you suppose must come to pass in the course of time?
The theory of evolution leaves no doubt on the subject. The human feet will gradually get stunted and pine away. At first a very little, almost imperceptibly. The second generation of cyclists will develop this crippling of the feet still further, inasmuch as it, too, will move from place to place on the wheel, and this tendency will be bequeathed to their children.
The third generation will use the bicycle still more extensively than the former two, the stunting process will continue and be handed down to the fourth generation. And this will go on from generation to generation in ever increasing ratio, until finally - it may not be for some time, not, perhaps, before the lapse of 1000 years - the inhabitants of cycling countries will have assumed a most extraordinary appearance. Their legs will have become abnormally short and slender, while their hands and arms, owing to their frequent employment in manipulating the handle, brake, etc., will be considerably lengthened and the hands enormously developed - they will, in a word, become ugly apes.