Category:30 Jun - 10 Jul 1895 Camera Club Cyclists tour in Lake county

From Wooljersey

In July of 1892, Byron D. Bent spent ten days riding 200 miles through Lake, Napa, Mendocino and Sonoma counties.

"An 'outing on a bicycle! That had always been my ambition; and this summer I determined to gratify my long-cherished desire," said B. D. Bent of the Bay City Wheelmen last night. "For once, at least," he continued, "the best-laid plans of man did not go wrong, and I have just returned from a 200-mile ride over one of the most picturesque portions of the State. Starting by an early train about 10 days ago I reached the quiet little town of Calistoga about 11 o'clock A. M. After an hour's delay for dinner my long trip on the wheel really began. The first stage of the journey was the worst. The St. Helena Mountain loomed up before me, and after pushing my wheel until tired nature craved relief I succumbed to the inevitable and dismounted. Then came a long and weary climb, which, however, was rendered endurable and even pleasant at times by a grand panorama of hills, vales and wooded canyons. At last the summit was reached and then all my weariness was forgotten in the thrill of excitement which I experienced during the splendid coast to Middleton, having beaten the time of the stage from Calistoga. After a short rest I went on to Harbin Springs, where I retired and slept as only a worn-out wheelman can.


"The second day's run was the shortest on my trip. In the morning I rode back to Middleton, where I spent over an hour participating in the joy of the people so plainly exhibited on the arrival of the stages bringing visitors from the outside world. The next hour and a half was devoted to spinning over a good road to Anderson's Springs, where I took a long rest, met some jolly good people and enjoyed another good night's sleep.

"Early on the morning of the third day I started for Seigler, which I reached before nightfall, stopping at Adams and Howard on the way.

"The fourth day was one long to be remembered, the route leading me by way of Kelseyville and Soda Bay to Seaport through the beautiful valley bordering Clear Lake. The next day was devoted to aquatic pleasure. Leaving my cushion-tired Swift in care of a party of friends I sailed down to Soda Bay and back again after lunch.

"My sixth day's journey was a long one, but in every respect delightful. I made the whole distance to Ukiah and Vichy Springs, the intermediate stopping places being Upper Lake, Saratoga Springs and Blue Lake. The next morning I rode from Vichy back to Ukiah, where I took advantage of a convenient train which carried me to Hopland. After a short run out to Duncan Springs I again did the train act, and took life easy until Cloverdale was reached, arriving at 2:30 P. M. and starting immediately for the Geysers. Here's where I made the mistake. I should have put the day in on the wheel, the roads being good, and remained over night at Cloverdale. Then the ride to the Geysers could have been made in the cool morning hours and not in the heat of the day, as was the case. That sultry afternoon will not soon be forgotten. The thermometer was surely geared above 100.

"The Geysers were reached at 6:30 P. M. and I concluded to remain there over Sunday. Profiting by my Saturday's experience I started out at 4 A. M. on Monday, passing through Pine Flat, noted for its fine quality of root beer, and on to Calistoga, the place of beginning.

"During my nine days' absence I had covered about 200 miles, seen much of four counties and gained an intimate knowledge of human nature in some of its peculiar phases. Everywhere I was well received and treated with great hospitality after the ice had once been broken. But in a few places, where knickabockers were a novelty, the ice seemed rather thick and several hours were required to complete the thawing out process. It was at these places where I was an object of country curiosity that I felt the need of a wheeling companion more than I did along the road."

CHAT ABOUT THE CYCLE. - The San Francisco Call, 08 Aug 1892

He became a committed amateur photographer, member of the California Camera Club and its cycling annex, the Camera Club Cyclists. He maintained a photo album for his cycling club, the Bay City Wheelmen.

B. D. Bent, the photographer of the Bay Citys, started on a three days' trip to Santa Cruz yesterday, and is expected to return with some select views to add to the club's album.

CYCLING CIRCLES. - The San Francisco Call, 21 May 1894

B. D. Bent has under way a photographic album which will record all of the runs made by the Bay City Wheelmen in recent years. He has been collecting old photographs and making new ones, and, when bis album is completed, will have a complete record for years.


Three years later, in 1895, he planned a repeat of the trip with some friends from the Camera Club Cyclists.

President Charles A. Adams, Captain J. J. B. Argenti, Byron D. Bent and Henry Owens of the Camera Club Cyclists will start awheel for Lake County early in July, to be absent a fortnight. They will visit all the springs and resorts, and as all four will carry cameras some good views may be expected when they return.

THE WHEELMEN. - The San Francisco Call, 22 Jun 1895

A party of Camera Club Cyclists will start to-morrow morning for a ten days' trip through Lake County. Prominent among them are Charles A. Adams, president of the club; J. J. B. Argenti, professor of botany, California College of Pharmacy; Byron D. Bent and H. C. Owens, all well-known amateur photographers. Never before has such a party visited this garden spot of California on wheels, and it is beyond question that they will bring back with them some splendid views taken along the route, as they are experienced artists and carry the latest and most improved cameras. These pictures will be made into slides, which are sent around the world to other camera clubs, exchanges being continually made between these organizations. It might be mentioned that the California Camera Club is the only one in the world having an active cycling annex. It is also the only club giving monthly exhibitions. The cycling annex is a feature of the club, and some of the finest California scenic views have been made since its inception through the opportunity the wheel affords the artists to travel.

When it was decided to make this trip into Lake County, Mr. Bent, who was the leading spirit in the movement, agreed to prepare an itinerary of the trip, showing the route to be traveled, distances traversed daily and points of interest visited. This he has done, and as it is an excellent guide for any party desiring to visit Lake County on wheels it is here published:

Sunday, June 30 — 7:30 a. m. train to St. Helena, arrive 10:30 a. m., fare $2 05; St. Helena to White Sulphur Springs, 2 miles, for lunch; back to St. Helena and out to Aetna Springs, 16 miles, for the night. Total mileage for the day, 20.

Monday, July 1 — Aetna to Middletown, 13 miles, and out to Harbin Springs for lunch, 4 miles; back to Middletown and a short run to Anderson, 5 miles, for the night. Day's mileage, 26.

Tuesday, July 2 — Anderson to Adams Springs, 10 miles; Adams to Sieglers Springs for lunch, 3 miles; to Highland Springs for the night, 16 miles. Day's mileage, 29.

Wednesday, July 3 — Highland to Lakeport, 10 miles, lunch; take boat at 4 p. m. for Bartlett Landing (on lake one hour); to Bartlett Springs 15 miles, should arrive at 8:30 p.m. Mileage, 25.

Thursday, July 4 — Bartlett Springs all day; "fireworks."

Friday, July 5 — To Bartlett Landing, 15 miles; to Upper Lake, 8 miles; to Saratoga, 3 miles; to Blue Lakes or Laurel Dell, 1 mile; lunch; to Ukiah and out to Vichy Springs, 23 miles, for the night; day's mileage, 50.

Saturday, July 6 — Vichy to Ukiah, 3 miles; to Hopland, 14 miles; to Duncan Springs, 2 miles; lunch; then to Cloverdale, 16 miles, for the night, stopping at the United States Hotel; day's mileage, 37.

Sunday, July 7 — The Geysers, 21 miles.

Monday, July 8 — The Geysers all day.

Tuesday, July 9 — The Geysers to Kellogg, 20 miles; thence to Mark West Springs, 10 miles, for the day; day's mileage, 30.

Wednesday, July 10 — Mark West to Santa Rosa, 9 miles; to Petaluma, 16 miles, and home, 37 miles, which includes train from San Rafael and ferry; day's mileage, 62.

Lake County as a touring ground for wheelmen is fast growing in popularity. As yet the beauty and convenience of the trip are barely known, but once over the ground the rider is sure to go again. Tha many attractions serve as an incentive to go slow, which makes it thoroughly enjoyable for the new rider or the "scorcher." The average wheelman seldom stops long at any place; he is always on the move. This inclination receives a setback on the Lake County trip, and he who rides fast misses half its beauties. As the county is full of resorts and springs you need not stop at a single hotel during the entire trip, save at Cloverdale. As these springs are strictly summering places you will find everybody at leisure, and the fare is the best the country affords. Mr. Bent urges the advisability of remaining in Cloverdale over night and getting an early start the next morning for the Geysers, as the road to the Geysers at midday can only be compared to the infernal regions. The above itinerary is perfectly correct and is so planned that all the famous resorts will be visited, the best roads traversed and the longest day's wheeling, the fifty miles from Bartlett to Vichy Springs, comes in the middle of the trip. Most of the distances can be made in the cool of the mornings and late afternoons, thus avoiding the heat of midday. The rates at all the stopping-places are very moderate, and at no place is any attempt at extortion made. Wheelmen are always welcome and made to feel at home, and members of the League of American Wheelmen should not fail to carry their membership cards with them, as they can thereby secure a reduction in rates at all the stopping-places.

Map Showing Routes Through Lake County
30 Jun - 10 Jul 1895 Camera Club Cyclists tour in Lake county.jpg

The map accompanying this article will give an accurate idea of the location of the various points of interests to be visited on the trip to Lake County.

THE WHEELMEN - The Camera Club Cyclists Will Tour Through Lake County - The San Francisco Call, 29 Jun 1895

A small party [of the Camera Club Cyclists] is preparing for a run through Lake county. Its members will be at Anderson's Springs on July 1st, and will remain until July 4th to assist in the celebration of Independence Day. This party will include Charles A. Adams, H. C. Owens and W. Bent.

AMONG THE WHEELMEN. - A Cycling Trip to Santa Cruz - San Francisco Chronicle, 29 Jun 1895

A party of the California Camera Club cyclists passed through town Sunday. The party was composed of Chas. A. Adams, Pres.; Prof. J. J. B. Argenti, H. C. Owens and B. D. Bent. The gentlemen came this far by train and spent a few moments talking art with Photographer Blakesly, handing him their itinerary from which we extract the following: Leaving here after partaking of lunch they rode to the Aetnas where they spent the night and next day went to Middletown with a side run to Harbin Springs and then on to Anderson Springs for the night. Tuesday to Adams, then to Seiglers and from there to Highlands for the night. Wednesday to Lakeport, by boat from that town to Bartlett springs. Thursday at Bartlett springs with "Sizboom fireworks" accompaniment. Friday to Upper Lake, to Saratoga, Blue Lakes and Ukiah with a side run to Vichy Springs to spend the night. Saturday to Cloverdale. Sunday to the Geysers where the entire portion of next Monday will be spent. Tuesday to Knight's valley and Mark West Springs. Wednesday to Santa Rosa, thence home to San Francisco. The gentlemen will no doubt have a very enjoyable trip as their route is unexcelled.

On and Off the Wheel. - The St. Helena Star, 05 Jul 1895

The party of Camera Club cyclists now touring through Lake County are having a most enjoyable trip. They were at Bartlett Springs over the Fourth and will be at Vichy to-day. Lake County is a delightful touring ground for wheelmen at this time of the year.

THE WHEELMEN. - The San Francisco Call, 06 Jul 1895

President Charles Albert Adams, Captain J. J. B. Argenti, Byron D. Bent and H. C. Owens, of the Camera Club Cyclists, have returned from their tour through Lake County. These gentlemen made the trip not only with a desire for the present enjoyment, but with a view of ultimately presenting a narrative of the trip to the members of the California Camera Club in the form of an illustrated lecture, and the notes made by them are so copious that not only will they prove of interest to the members of the club when elaborated and illustrated with the many views secured, but are of especial value to wheelmen who may contemplate a two weeks' tour on the wheel.

In addition to the usual baggage carried by wheelmen upon such a tour, each member of the party carried in knapsack fashion strapped over the shoulders a compact camera. As they are experts in its use, it is needless to say that the many views they secured are perfect and will prove of great interest when the illustrated lecture is delivered before the Camera Club.

The total time consumed in making the trip was fourteen days and the total expense to each member of the party (including railway fares) was $25 40.

The Wheelmen. - The San Francisco Call, 20 Jul 1895

Next Friday evening, at Metropolitan Temple Charles Albert Adams, president of the Camera Club cyclists, will deliver an interesting lecture in his inimitable style, entitled "With Wheel and Camera Through the Switzerland of America," illustrated by a great many slides made from snapshots taken by himself, Professor J. J. B. Argenti, H. C. Owens and Byron D. Bent during their recent trip through that section. A few of the slides were shown at the Camera Club rooms last evening by Mr. Adams, and as a forerunner of what is to be expected at the big lecture, they promise exceedingly well. Tickets for Mr. Adams' lecture may be obtained from any member of the Camera Club, admission being free, as is invariably the case with all the club's entertainments. The Bay City Wheelmen will attend the lecture in a body, to applaud vociferously when any pictures by their fellow-member, Bent, are shown. The Californias will be there to do the same for Argenti, and Mr. Adams may depend upon the Olympics and the Camera Club for his enthusiasm. He is a particularly interesting speaker, and a very pleasant evening's entertainment is in store for those fortunate enough to secure tickets.

THE WHEELMEN. - The San Francisco Call, 21 Sep 1895

The California Camera Club entertained its members at Metropolitan Hall Friday evening with an illustrated narrative of. The lecture was entitled "With Wheel and Camera Through the Switzerland of America," and was most happily delivered by Charles Albert Adams, who was known throughout the trip as the Judge. Of the remaining three members of the jolly party B. D. Bent posed as the director-general, J. J. B. Argenti as the professor and H. C. Owens as the bashful man. The talk dealt with the varied experiences of the travelers along the road, and included views of Napa Soda Springs, Anderson's, Aetna, Adams, Seigler, Highland, Bartlett, Saratoga, Laurel Dell, Vichy and the world-famed Geysers. The slides, which were uniformly good, were made by H. C. Owens. The lecturer, Mr. Adams, started from the Oakland ferry and conducted his listeners through Stockton, Napa and St. Helena to all the resorts mentioned. His remarks were replete with humor, and many were the jokes he sprung at the expense of companions. During the intermission Mrs. Jessie Andres Vick rendered Bischoff's soprano composition, the "Margery Echo Song," and to an encore responded with the "Simple Spanish Maiden."

WITH BICYCLE AND CAMERA. - San Francisco Chronicle, 29 Sep 1895

BCW 20 0 063 2.jpeg

Byron collected the photos from this trip, and other outings in the Bay City Wheelmen scrapbook he maintained: Bay City Wheelmen - Club Scrapbook 1894-1903

If you look closely, you'll see "Bent" written on the photos. Here are those photos at higher resolution:

BCW 20 0 063 - Right.jpeg

BCW 20 0 063 - Right 2.jpeg

Thanks to Joel Metz, Joe Breeze and the Marin Museum of Bicycling for these scans.