BICYCLISTS IN BAD LUCK. - Dirnberger Was Thrown and Bliss Pocketed in Their First Race. - The San Francisco Examiner, 20 May 1894

From Wooljersey


Dirnberger Was Thrown and Bliss Pocketed in Their First Race.

A Tournament on Wheels at the Midwinter Fair Grounds Which Was Conducted Under many difficulties - Kitchen Easily took the Mile Maiden Race - The Musicians Got in the Way.

Everything seemed against the wheelmen out at the Fairgrounds yesterday. They were not even allowed to have the bicycle track to themselves. It was the third tournament of the Midwinter Fair bicycle races, or rather an apology for a tournament.

That it was not successful in many ways is not the fault of the wheelmen, for they turned out in good numbers, and even the contestants paid their money to get in.

All the contestants get for entry fees, admission and winning the races is glory, for the management notified the bicycle committee after the races were over that the admissions received from those who came to see the races were not satisfactory and therefore no prizes would be given.

Colonel [Robinson] was so busy loading the floral procession that he could not find time to have the race programmes unlocked nor the numbers for the contestants delivered.

The few guards to keep people off the tracks got in the way of the officials and the floral procession crossed and recrossed the track without respect for the safety of the men on wheels. Finally after the Mexican Band had decided to camp on the bicycle track the officials gave up in disgust and let the races run themselves.


The Eastern racing men received a welcome they will never forget. Bliss] of Chicago got pocketed and Dirnberger of Buffalo was knocked off his wheel by the very men their trainer has taught to ride faster than they ever rode before.

Dirnberger and Bliss were not in condition to do their best: no man could be with three weeks training after five months off a wheel, but they showed the stuff they are made of.

The officials who undertook to manage the tournament were: Referee, Robert M. Welch; Judges, W. D. Sheldon, William H. Hallett, George F. Neece; Tímers, Edwin Mohrig, E. E. Stoddard, L. Devany: Scorers, H. W. Spalding, A. C. Thornton, A. Thiesen; Starter, Sanford Plummer; Umpires, A. Barnes, C. H. Forbes, L. W. Lovey, A. Briggs, B. Allen Brown; Clerks of the course, David Marshall, George L. Hall, Henry L. Day; Announcer, Wilbur F. Knapp; Director of the day, George P. Wetmore.

The races and results were as follows:

One mile, maiden, first heat - G. W. Brouillet, first; S. F. Williams, second; W. J. Wells, third. Time, 3:12 1-5. Second heat - John Kitchen Jr., first; M. J. Lindsay, second. Time, 3:09 3-5. Final - J. Kitchen Jr., A. A. C., first; M. J. Lindsay, Y. M. C. A., second; S. F. Williams, third. Time, 3:12 4-5.

In the first heat of the maiden race Williams took the pace on the third lap, after being pulled out by Wells of the S. J. R. C. Then all bunched on the stretch, until Brouillet sprinted home an a easy winner. In the second heat Kitchen lay back and started to spurt early, but Lindsay nearly caught him on the final sprint. The final went off slow, but had a a fine finish, Kitchen coming in a strong winner.

Half mile handicap, class A, first heat - F. L. Cotton, 60 yards, first: J. W. Harvey, 55, second; H. D. Terrill, scratch, third. Time, 1:07 3:5. Second heat - L. W. Fox, scratch, first; E. Chapman, 35 yards, second: F. C. Chandler, 10, third. Time, 1:09. Third heat C. C. Gilbert, 30 yards, first; C. F. Lemmon, 35, second; J. R. Sampson, 25, third. Time, 1:08 1 1-5.

Final: C. C. Gilbert, O. Y. M. C. A., 30 yards, first; H. F. Terrill, B. C. W., scratch, second: L. W. Fox, G. C. C., scratch, third, Time, 1:06 2-5.

In the final of this race Fox got a bad start. It was a good race, and Gilbert won by ten yards. Terrill made a good fight but couldn't get first.

One mile scratch, class A - H. F. Terrill, B. C. W., first; L. W. Fox, G. C. C., second. Time, 3:18.


This was a waiting rase, with all soldiering until Terrill took the pace on the last quarter, jumping too far ahead to be caught by Fox. The first third was made in 1:20.

One mile, scratch, class B, first heat - Julian P. Bliss, Chicago, first; W. F. Foster, San Francisco, second; C. L. Davis, San Jose, third. Time, 3:19 4-5. Second heat - O. Ziegler, San Jose, first; C. S. Wells, San Francisco, second; R. L. Long, San Francisco, third. Time, 2:46 2-5.

Final - O. Ziegler, first; C. S. Wells, second; W. F. Foster, third; J. P. Bliss, fourth. Time, 2:59 4 5.

In the first heat Bliss, the Chicago Cycling Club flyer, made his first appearance. Nobody wanted to take the pace and it was a loaf for two laps; then all cut for home, with Bliss, the world record-breaker, boxed, but he got out of the pocket and beat the field home in a close finish. The crowd treated him shabbily and shouted to "pocket him."

In the second heat only three men showed up, and as all three could qualify for final there was no need of their riding. But they gave a pretty exhibition race. Long paced first lap, Wells took the second and Ziegler the third, the last eighth being made even by the three.

The final of the mile scratch Class B was a good exhibition of professionalism.

Foster, Wells, Ziegler, Long and Bob Terrill managed to keep in front and outside of the Chicago man all the way, "boxing" Bliss so he could not win. Long and Terrill probably did not intend to take this advantage, but the others did, and when the homestretch was reached Ziegler was six yards ahead of the bunch with the record-breaker still pocketed. Finally Bliss got out, but too late to win better than fourth.

Three-mile handicap, Class A - H. F. Terrill, scratch, first; E. Languetin, 50 yards, second; J. R. Sampson, 75, third. Time, 8:20 1-5.

Pickard of the Acmes and Griffith of the B. C. W. also started on the scratch, but Griffith's wheel broke and Pickard dropped out. It was a well fought race and Terrill won by hard riding.

Two-mile handicap, Class B - W. A. Terrill, B. C. W., scratch, first; C. S. Wells, B, C. W. scratch, second; Otto Ziegler, scratch, third. Time, 5:48 3-5.

The starters in this race were Hall, Haley, Foster, Long, Wells, Osen, Davis, "Bob" Terrill, Smith of San Jose and Ziegler, and the first mile was made in 2:25. After the Rambler team bunched slower riding was indulged in, but it even then seemed as though the time announced should have been 4:48 3-5. Foster gave up the race at the mile and a half and Ziegler of set up on the finish.


After a long wait the last race of the day was started. It was the half-mile invitation race for Class B riders and "Mike" Dirnberger of the Buffalo Press Cycling Club was the star. "Mike" was mad over his partner Bliss', defeat so was his trainer, who invited the whole crowd of flyers to go in and "Mike" would go against the field, but only Wells, Long. "Bob" Terrill and Alexander of San Jose would start, and then all soldiered the first quarter, then the Buffalo boy struck his old gait that has won so many half miles. The others tacked on, and all bunched on the upper curve. On the turn into the homestretch one could see that Dirnberger was bound to win, but there was a fall and the man in blue was down. Wells was zigzagging, too, but the fat boy didn't fall. Then was Jack Alexander's chance, and he took it, and the Columbian came home a fine winner by six or eight yards and "Bob" Terrill got second, closely pushed by Wells. Wells tried to head off the Buffalo flyer, and Dirnberger, of course, struck him at a high rate of speed, smashing his wheel and bruising himself in ten places. Wells claimed that he lost control of his wheel and could not avoid fouling Dirnberger.