THE WHEEL. - San Francisco Call, 01 Jun 1890
Sidewalk Riding - The Century Run To Day.
Last week, in Alameda, an old lady was run into by a bicyclist, who is said to have been riding on the sidewalk. The lady suffered greatly from the shock, and a feeling of indignation was aroused among the residents of Alameda against wheelmen. This feeling materialized in a memorial to the Board of Supervisors complaining of the action of wheelmen in riding on the sidewalks instead of in the streets.
There has probably been more written and said about this practice of 'cyclists than almost anything else in the wheeling line. Every sensible and well-meaning rider condemns it heartily. Still there are a few rattle-brained fellows who cannot be induced to abandon it, and the actions of these few bring opprobrium on wheelmen as a class.
This should be different. It has only been by the utmost hard work that bicyclists have by degrees overcome the great prejudice that formerly was directed against them. Parks are now opened to their list, and [a rider of a wheel has been accorded equal privileges with the occupant or any other vehicle]. But no vehicles, excepting possibly perambulators, are permitted to use the sidewalks, and bicyclists should not presume to abuse their privileges. If they do the inevitable must result and wheelmen will be debarred from many rights they now enjoy. Usually those who ride at a breakneck speed along much traveled streets and use the sidewalk instead of the road way because it is easier wheeling do not belong to clubs, but are unattached. Club members should on every occasion ask these harum-scarum siders to conform to the regulations that have been enacted for the government of wheelmen.
This morning at 5 o'clock the long-expected country run was started from Twenty-first and Mission streets. About 100 were expected to leave the city, but it is safe to predict that not nearly that number will reach Hollister to-night if they keep to their wheels. Still Billy Meeker is very experienced as a conductor of long runs and there is no doubt but what he will make the pace with such good judgement that only a comparatively green man, or a very poor rider will be unable to finish.
Ralph W. Thompson, Chief Consul, is just now enjoying his vacation and will take several tours before it expires.
Wheelmen are very scarce in the northern part of the Siate. In Chico, a town of 5000, there are probably not half a dozen riders. Marysville has scarcely as many. Colusa may have a few more. The reason for the non-popularity of wheeling is probably the extremely dusty condition of the roads in summer, which allows the rider no place excepting the streets in the center of the towns, which are usually kept hard by sprinkling.
There were a large number of wheelmen who rode out to the Olympic Club opening on Friday and watched the races with a great deal of interest.
The bicyclists are looking forward to having a track of their own in the park some day. At the last meeting of the Commissioners the project was introduced, and only the lack of funds prevents it from being carried into execution.
The track at San Jose is going forward rapidly, and by the Fourth of July its condition will be perfect, so that fast time will undoubtedly be made.