CHAT ABOUT THE CYCLE. - The San Francisco Call - Jul 18, 1892

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The Records of Spooner and Waller Compared.

A Call for the Formation of an Association of California Clubs - San Jose to Have a Track.

Since F. E. Spooner of Chicago beat Waller's record and won the championship of the world by riding 374 miles and 1605 yards in 24 hours, renewed interest has been manifested in long-distance cycling, and it is confidently predicted that this wonderful record will soon be lowered. Indeed it may not stand longer than next Saturday, for on that day Holbein and all the best wheelmen in England will compete in a 24-hour race for a a magnificent challenge cup. In the meantime the wings of the Flying Dutchman are folded. "I will wait and see what those foreigners will do," he said yesterday, then I'll get in and make over 400 miles. Its easy to do this in the papers, but I can do it on the track." And he may accomplish the task, for his endurance is phenomenal. He finished his great ride apparently as strong as when he began, whereas Spooner was too weak to dismount and had to be carried from the track. In this connection the following comparison of the work of these two men will be of interest:

Spooner is 24 years old, 5 feet 10 1/2 inches high, and weighs 144 pounds when in racing condition. There is not a half ounce of fat anywhere in his anatomy. He was born in Batavia, Ill., and is a member of the Lincoln, Ravenswood and Chicago cycling clubs. He has been an active wheelman about eight years. In 1889 and in 1890, at the old exposition building in Chicago, he took first prize in century races, winning the 1889 race eight miles ahead of his closest competitor in 5 hours, 59 minutes and 40 seconds. In the 90 race he lowered his own record 19 minutes and 46 1-5 seconds, riding 100 miles in 5 hours, 39 minutes and 53 4-5 seconds. Only one accident marked the long struggle. When he had reeled off 272 miles he wanted water. Stackpole, his trainer, ran alongside with a sponge. Spooner raised his hand to catch it as he sped around the track and the effort cost him a heavy fall. The man was so weak that he could not guide his bicycle. An hour later he was all right again, grinding out mile after mile inside of four minutes. He had the advantage of Waller in having for pace-makers such famous riders at Merrill, Nicolet, Root, Ullbrecht, Walden, Dennison, Hoagland and Van Sicklen, who interchangingly led the way for the rider from start to finish.

The following important address to the cycling clubs of California explains itself and is commended to the careful consideration of the wheelmen:

The San Francisco Bicycle Club begs leave to suggest to the cycling clubs of California the advantage of forming an association similar to the Metropolitan Association of Cycle Clubs of New York and Brooklyn, and the associated clubs of Philadelphia, Chicago and New Jersey.

The fundamental idea underlying this proposed federation of cycling clubs is harmony. It has been apparent that a certain spirit of dissension is a broad among a few clubs. If allowed to continue, it may work disastrously to the best interests of cycling in this state. Realizing the necessity for united action in all matters pertaining to the advancement of our ennobling sport, we cannot but urge upon such clubs as have differences to lay aside selfish prejudice in this instance, and strike hands with us on this common ground; to look through the mist of petty bickerings, chiefly of local interest as we understand it, and see the grand future for cycling interests in our beautiful State. This may be gained only by concerted and thoroughly harmonious action.

The objects of the proposed association may be stated in part as follows:

To promote friendly relations among the clubs and co-operation in all matters relating to the advancement of cycling and the work of the L. A. W.

To establish and contest championships, to be known as Pacific Coast Championships, at distances other that those at which championships have been fixed by the L. A. W.

To assume control of, regulate and legislate for road racing in California, and to receive and pass upon all claims for records made on the road to competition or against time, at stated distances or between certain well-known points.

Outer lines of usefulness, it is reasonable to assume, will be indicated as the work of the association progresses.

Mr. C. H. Luscomb, president of the Metropolitan Association of New York and Brooklyn, and an ex-president of the L. A. W., speaking of his association, says: “One of the features of the association is a committee on political action, and I have no doubt that when thoroughly organized some excellent results may be reached, to my mind its advantageous to wheelmen to make such organizations wherever there is an opportunity to bring the clubs together. And it cannot help being an advantage to the L. A. W."

By the political action, to which Mr. Luscomb refers, is meant exerting an influence where practicable in the election of municipal and legislative officers who favor highway improvement, and such would very properly be a feature of a California association; while among the social features to be considered are an annual century run and an annual parade of the clubs.

If favorably impressed with this suggestion, you are cordially invited lo send three delegates to confer with a like number of delegates from this and and other clubs that may respond hereto, at the home of the San Francisco club, 501 Golden Gate avenue, corner Polk street, on the evening of Saturday, July 30, 1892, at 8 o'clock.

A large personal representation is desired, but it is suggested that a delegate be allowed to hold and vote the proxies of one or more members of his delegation, and that distant clubs who find it impossible to be represented in person send their proxies to the secretary of the club with instructions, such proxies to be used as the delegates present at the meeting may determine.

The address is signed by a committee consisting of L. D. Owens, Dr. J. C. Spencer and Thomas S. Cobden.

The Alameda Bicycle and Athletic Club had a run to Walnut Creek yesterday. Several of the boys ran down to San Jose on Saturday night.

The Pacific Road Club enjoyed a run to Petaluma yesterday. At that point V. A. Hancock, one of the members, left his companions and proceeded north ward on a two week's tour. The scorchers did some good work on the return trip.

The California Cycle Club went to San Jose yesterday.

The official announcement is made that Cobden, the genial secretary of the San Francisco Bicycle Club, has, on behalf of the J. Dewing Company, offered an elegant solid gold medal to be contested for by the members of the club in a 10-mile road race, same to be run from a point on the road between Fruitvale and San Leandro to the Haywards Hotel.

The captain, Will I. Pixley, has decided to call a club run on August 14 to the latter hostelry, and it is intended to have every member on hand in order that all those that do not participate may be able to see the finish. Dinner will of course be taken at the hotel, and the medal will be then presented with appropriate remarks.

Secretary Smith of the Garden City cyclers made a flying trip to Alameda yesterday. He says that his club will build a fine track at the terminus of the new electric road, and it is hoped to have it in readiness for the Admission day races. San Jose should be proud of its enterprising wheelmen.

A. T. Merigot, an old-time rider who has lost none of his enthusiasm for the sport, came up from San Jose during the week.

H. C. Malcolm of the Hotel Del Monte was met pushing his wheel through the sand at the cliff on Wednesday afternoon. Champion Walter Foster was his chaperon.

There was a lively impromptu race on the Alameda track yesterday, the contestants coming in in the following order: Stewart Hite first, L. Ransom second, W. Carroll third and W. Rider fourth.

The statement made in a contemporary that a bicycle rider in the park last Sunday rode in a zig-zag course in front of a buggy driven by a Superior Judge until the latter deliberately ran him down and smashed his wheel, is evidently a bit of "space work." No cyclist ever takes the risk of getting killed if he can avoid the reckless men who drive in the park and elsewhere. If the story is not a fiction, why wasn't the alleged Judge arrested,

The fifteenth annual meet of the League of American Wheelmen will begin at Washington to-day, and continue through Tuesday and Wednesday. The meet bids fair to surpass all its predecessors. At least 5000 League of American Wheelmen members are expected to attend, and all the crack riders will be on hand.