The twenty-five-mile road race of the Acme Club of Oakland was run yesterday over the San Leandro triangle, and proved to be the event of the season so far as time over a country highway is concerned. There were seven starters, as follows: Grant Bell, Faulkner, Pickard and Bouton, scratch; Harris, seven minutes; Cobley and Smith, eleven minutes. On the first lap of the triangle (eight and one-third miles) Bouton fell out, and as the end of the second lap was reached it was plainly seen that Bell, Pickard and Faulkner outclassed the other men, who showed signs of exhaustion. On the homestretch Grant Bell drew away from all his competitors, finishing a good first in 1 hour 20 min. 43 sec., beating the coast record made by Foster last Sunday in the Bay City's race. Harris was second and Pickard third. Foster's time over the same course was 1 hour 21 min. 10 sec., both this and Bell's score being near the American record for the distance. It is only fair to say, however, that Foster was not pushed. Although he was the only scratch man and some of the others were given ten minutes' limit he easily won both the race and the time prize. Bell's friends will be glad to know that he is again in good form. Grant and Walter are an almost invincible team and Varney can afford to wear a rooster in his hat.
CHAT ABOUT THE CYCLE - Grant Bell Wins the Road Race of the Acme Club. - Preparations for the Thanksgiving Day - Events at San Jose - Close of the League Campaign. - The San Francisco Call, 14 Nov 1892
Grant Bell, one of San Francisco's fastest riders, is one of the best known men in the country, having been a contestant in races for the past twelve years. He held the one and five-mile State championships of Minnesota for several years before coming to California. Bell won the five-mile State championship of California in 1891. On May 30, 1892, he captured the five-mile race at a meeting given by the Alameda Bicycle Club, making a coast record of 14:18 3/4. His record of 1h. and 20m. in the twenty-five-mile road race given by the Acme Club stood until February 22d of this year, when it was lowered by Walter Foster. Bell has a record of 2:42 for a mile, 8:01 for three miles, which was made at Quincy, Il., on a solid tire Star of his own manufacture. Bell is 29 years old, weighs 155 pounds in racing condition and is five feet ten inches tall.
FROM DEADLY CYANIDE
Grant Bell, a Victim of Strong Drink, Dies by His Own Hand in the Bay City.
Was an Able Mechanic, and for Years Employed in San Jose.
The announcement made in yesterdays HERALD that Grant Bell, a well-known mechanic who has for years been in the employ of Geo. Osen and the firm of Osen & Hunt, bicycle dealers of this city, was followed last evening by the news that the missing man had committed suicide in San Francisco. Bell had been gone from his lodgings here since December 12th and had been on a debauch in San Francisco.
The story of his life and violent end is that of a man who sold himself for liquor; who sacrificed home, standing, wealth and friends to the cursed thirst that sent him to a maniac's grave. For there is little doubt that strong drink had affected his mind, and that he was temporarily insane from a protracted debauch when he swallowed the deadly cyanide.
Grant Bell was born in a quiet country home in New Jersey, 33 years ago. His life was of that uneventful character which falls to the lot of every country boy. At an early age he was apprenticed to a mechanist, and developed a talent for handling tools and machinery that was little less than marvelous in one so young. From that time on his star was in the ascendant. In a few years he had risen to the head of an establishment, and was on the high-road to wealth. It was then that the demon came. A young wife, home and business were deserted, and Grant Bell's downward career to the station of a common drunkard was faster than his ascent from a farm lad to a man of wealth.
Ten years ago Bell came to California, and at one time was a bicycle racer of ability. He took the Hagey gold cure and seemed cured of his baneful habit. The old thirst come back, however, and then his fate was sealed. The end came fast. He was an able workman and always commanded a good position at the best wages.
He will be buried in San Francisco tomorrow by the bicycle dealers in whose employ he has been. His parents reside in Olympia, Washington, and he has a brother traveling for the Sterling and Crescent Bicycle Companies who is expected here soon. His wife still resides in the East. The body may be removed later to Olympia.