AMONG THE WHEELMEN - San Francisco Chronicle 15 Jun 1895

From Wooljersey


Trip to Walnut Creek and Return

A Plan for Holding Century Runs

Foster to Try for a World's Twenty-five-Mile Record - Many Country Trips Contemplated.

The remarkable feat of riding a double century, which, interpreted by a cycler, means 200 miles, has often been discussed by the local wheelmen, but never before attempted until last Sunday, when it was accomplished by Christopher Sorenson. His time was 14 hours 14 1/2 minutes. Sorenson was born in Denmark, and is 35 years old. He weighs 155 pounds. He rode a twenty-pound light roadster, geared to eighty, which stood the trip fully as well as the rider.

The ride, which was fully explained in last Monday's Chronicle was made without any training whatever, and as for having a rub down, Sorenson claims it retards rather than assists him. He has been riding a wheel but one year, and is fully confident that the time he made can be reduced by fully one-half hour.

In the event that any one should be so fortunate as to reduce this time, Sorenson stands ready to add another 100 miles to the distance, thus making it a triple century. His ability to accomplish this seems unquestionable. When he made the trip he was an unattached rider but after his ride he became convinced of the need of affiliating with some club, and hence his name now appears enrolled in the membership book of the California Cycling Club.

Sorenson's accredited time for the first 100 miles stands at 5h 58m. In the recent relay race held on April 7th over the same course, in which a fresh rider was furnished every ten miles and each rider had been selected solely on account of his great speed, the combined efforts of these ten men beat the present record holder by only 1h, 1m, 13s.

It requires herculean grit and determination, not to mention tremendous strength, to ride a double century. It is safe to assume that not many will care to attempt the feat.

The great majority of riders desire to ride a century and generally attempt it soon after they have graduated from the novice ranks. They usually pay dearly for such a rash venture and frequently abandon the attempt when the distance is less than half covered.

The principal cause for failures is that the new rider, upon starting on this long journey, makes the grave mistake of scorching in his endeavor to lower a record made by some fast man. Naturally the pace soon tells on him.

A timely suggestion to the various club captains is that they arrange to hold a club century once during the riding season. The route should be over the Associated Cycling Club's annual relay course and a schedule should be mapped out as to the time the riders should reach the relay station. This time should be determined in such a manner as to adapt the pace to the average speed of the riders. Pace-makers should be detailed who would keep the gait at a moderately fair rate on poor patches of the road, and increase it properly when the fast level stretches are encountered. In this manner a club run could be held which would be largely attended and at the same time the ambition of the many would be gratified.

Several years back the Bay City Wheelmen at this city held a yearly league century, as it was then termed, which always proved an enjoyable outing.

To the wheelmen who are looking for a pleasant country ride, which can be made in a day and which will prove of interest, the trip to Walnut Creek and return via Crow's canyon to Haywards is an ideal one. The country to be traveled over is diversified, being composed of level and hilly stretches, but the roads are in fair condition all the way. There are several routes, either of which are good, although the one most generally selected brings you past the celebrated Fish ranch over the steep grade, on the top of which is the dividing line between Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The direct route starts from Seventh street and Broadway, Oakland. The wheelmen should ride from there to Temescal, which is over a continuous stretch of bituminous pavement. At Temescal, the road lies to the right and winds around a pleasant country, which shortly brings you to the bottom of the hill generally known as the Fish hill grade. Part of this grade can be ridden. The view of the bay is exceptionally fine. At Walnut Creek the cycler has his first opportunity to enjoy a refreshing bath and cheer the inner man. After a short rest continue on the road, passing Alamo and Danville until San Ramon is reached. There you turn sharp to the right over a small incline which brings you into Crow's Canyon. This road leads you direct into Haywards and the return trip is over the well-known San Leandro road, where a train can be taken at Fruitvale station making a total of about fifty miles for the day.

The course as measured by cyclometer is as follows:

Broadway and Seventh street 00.00
Temescal 2.05
Claremont 3.90
Summit 6.70
Fish Ranch 8.50
Walnut Creek 00.00
Alamo 3.80
Danville 6.55
San Ramon 9.95
Three-Mile House (in canyon) 17.75
Haywards 20.85
Junction 25.35
San Leandro 26.45
Fruitvale 32.50

Another way is to go via San Pablo, passing Orinda Park, which brings you on to the route clearly described at a point between the bottom at Fish Ranch Hill and Lafayette. The other two routes are in a more round about way and, owing to the many confusing forks which are apt to lead one astray, they are but seldom used. One of them takes you up past Blair's Park at Piedmont and through a portion of Redwood canyon, but the finish would land you into the route as first explained, somewhere near Lafayette. Both these routes run in somewhat the same line, and unless you are well versed in the topography of the route, you will have considerable trouble to keep on the right path. The farmhouses are few and far between and the country is minus a sign post.

This route, as will be seen by the map, will enable the tourist so desiring to pay a visit to Mount Diablo. The trip to the mountain can be commenced at Walnut Creek by the circular road, or a better route would be to wheel to San Ramon and make the start from there. If intending to visit Mount Diablo it would be a better plan to make it in two days, starting Saturday afternoon and returning on Sunday.

The Reliance Club Wheelmen will be strongly in evidence at the races and carnival at Santa Cruz to-day. The two Dieckmanns, Boyden and Griffiths will represent the Reliance Club at the races.

On June 30th Captain C. D. Bates intends holding a picnic of the Reliance Wheelman, but has not decided whether Orinda Park or Sunol will be the destination.

A jolly party of campers, composed of Bert Menne, Fred L. Day and Tommy Hall, all of the Bay City Wheelmen, are encamped at La Honda.

Lieutenant Irelan has a called run of the Liberty Cycling Club to Oak Grove tomorrow, taking the 9:30 a.m. boat and train to Golden Gate, Berkeley, where the wheels will be resumed. William Beatty has been elected to membership in this club.

Dick Siebe of the Golden Gate Cycling Club has expressed a desire to ride a double century, and will endeavor to lower Sorenson's record.

Captain Meussdorffer has arranged to lead the Outing Road Club to Tamalpais Villa to-morrow to attend a private picnic.

Walter F. Foster the crack racer of the Olympic Club Wheelmen, has expressed his intention of trying for the world's twenty-five-mile road record, and will most likely select Sunday, July 7th as the day for the trial. The present world's record for this distance stands to the credit of W. de Cardy, made at Chicago on October 20, 1894, his time being 1h. 3m. 52-1/2s over a boulevard course.

That Foster will be successful there appears to be no doubt, as he is credited with holding the Coast record at 1h. 12m. 55 4-5s., made over the triangle course at San Leandro during the California Associated Cycling Clubs' annual twenty-five-mile race. At that time he met with an accident which delayed him a few seconds, which however, he afterward made up in his furious ride.


With the adoption of the diamond-frame wheel and bloomer costume by the up-to-date wheelwomen it was thought that would be as far as her desire would extend, but that is where the mistake was made. The demand now extends to rat-trap pedals, fully equipped with toe clips.

The Associated Cycling Clubs' joint run and picnic, to be held a week from to-morrow at Niles, will be a remarkable event in cycling circles. Captain John Burke, who is chairman of the committee having this picnic in charge, has issued invitations to all known cycling clubs, whether they belong to the associated clubs or not, asking them to attend in a body. All clubs that have failed to receive such a communication would confer a favor on the committee by notifying the chairman, John Burke, 5 Gordon street, this city, stating the number of members intending to attend. Notice should be sent immediately to allow time to provide luncheon.

Captain W. T. Johnson has a blind run called for the Imperial Cycling Club to-morrow and announces a pleasant surprise in store for all attending. The second matinee races of this club will be held at Central Park on Sunday, June 30th. It will consist of a mile scratch and a half and mile handicap.

A very pleasant and enjoyable joint run was held last Sunday at Glen Ellen, participated in by the Golden Gate Wheelmen of this city, Sonoma Wheelmen and J. Berges as a representative of the Olympic Club Wheelmen of this city.

The Golden City Wheelmen left here Saturday night on the 11:30 p.m. theater train going as far as San Rafael, where wheels were resumed and the trip continued in the full moon to Petaluma, arriving there about 4 o'clock Sunday morning. After a few hours' rest they resumed their journey under the escort of the Petaluma Wheelmen to Sonoma, where their ranks were further swelled by the Santa Rosa Wheelmen, who had ridden over through the Sonoma valley. From Sonoma the clubs were escorted by the home club to Glen Ellen, where refreshments were served and the day spent in merriment. The return trip was made on the train by the city contingent, but the Petaluma and Santa Rosa boys returned on their wheels.

Only one accident occurred and that to President Zeiller, who ran over a half-hidden rock in the road, and was thrown from his wheel. A bottle of liniment in his pocket was broken and he was cut.

Captain A. C. Thornton took down a large contingent of Olympic Club Wheelmen to Santa Cruz last evening.

The California Cycling Club's five-mile handicap road race will be held to-morrow over the San Mateo course. The list of contestants and prizes are as published in yesterday's Chronicle. At the last meeting of the California Cycling Club C. A. Brady, Louis Olsen, Leo Burke, George G. Shepston, John J. O'Connor, J. F. Bent, Chris Sorenson, Thomas W. Boyd and A. G. Henry were elected to membership.

R. S. Allen, holding ticket number 67, won the wheel raffled by the Californians last Saturday.

A party consisting of C. J. Leighton of the Olympic Club Wheelmen, the Jellett brothers and J. Lefevre of the Reliance Wheelmen, leave to-day for a two weeks' trip in and through Lake county. The start will be made from Ukiah.

Archie Reid of the Bay City Wheelmen has announced his intention of retiring from the racing path on account of business interfering with training.

Messrs. L. C. Hunter and A. C. Thornton are making preparations to enjoy a two weeks' wheeling trip to Lake Tahoe and surrounding country, even going over to Virginia, Nev. The start will be made about the middle of July.

A new cycling club sprang into existence during the past week, when the Golden Eagle Cycling Club was formed. The officers are: President, A. Shirley; vice-president, Miss Besby; treasurer, C. Shaw; secretary, P. W. D'Arcy; captain, P. Morrin; vice-captain, W. Fagin.

The Eintracht Cyclers have expressed their intention of joining the California Associated Cycling Clubs.

A letter received from the Hancock brothers, who are touring the northern part of the State in the interest of the road book of the League of American Wheelmen, states that they had arrived at Eureka after an exceedingly hard trip, which consumed four and a half days' riding from Ukiah. The roads were rough and muddy and grades necessitating three and four miles walking were numerous. Their wheels were not equipped with brakes, so drags were improvised from trees. Victor Hancock in his letter states that interest in cycling is unabated and that several renting places bring good returns.

The stopping places from Ukiah to Eureka are for the most part farm houses situated fifteen miles apart, but the people are glad to extend hospitalities to cycling tourists. In Eureka Messrs. Roberts, Putnam and Ohman are looked upon as speedy men, although numerous others are training for the coming July races.

Captain J. J. B. Argenti has called a run of the Camera Club Cyclers to Tocaloma to-morrow, leaving on the 8 o'clock Sausalito ferry, taking the train to San Anselmo, thece by wheel to destination. The distance is but sixteen miles each way, and the roads are in excellent condition. Members not desiring to make the entire run can train to San Geronimo, thence wheel to Tocaloma, a distance of eight miles. A special luncheon has been prepared.

A small party of the Liberty Club wheelmen left last night en route for San Jose and Santa Cruz to attend the carnival.

A large delegation of the Golden Gate Cycling Club intend riding over the file-mile course at San Mateo to-morrow preparing for their road race to be held there the following Sunday.

A party consisting of J. W. Mullen, L. Bray, F. G. Montealegre, E. C. Meadows and Dr. Morris left here last Saturday for a ride to Halfmoon bay and return, via Redwood City. All went merrily until the Summit, twelve miles from San Mateo, was reached, when the accidents began to happen. Mullen encountered a puncture, and having neglected to bring a repair outfit, rode his rim the remaining distance. Montealegre, in some unaccountable manner, broke his sprocket wheel when almost into Pescadero, which town was reached about 9:30 o'clock Saturday evening. Sunday morning Meadows, Bray and Dr. Morris continued on to Redwood City, via La Honda, whole Messrs. Mullen and Montealegre were forced to hire a vehicle at an expense of $8 to cart themselves and wheels to San Mateo.