E. W. Decker
The fourth heat opened at a rather slow gait. Decker immediately took the lead and remained ahead for five laps, when a spurt resulted. Conger gave Decker a good rub in the last two laps, and on the finish of the final his wheel was almost on a line with Decker when the latter shot past the line a winner in 2:40.
In the final of the mile novice the starters were: F. Fuller, G. Fuller, Day, Decker and Benson. The riders started off as if they had only one lap to go, but after they had stretched out into single file Benson got a nasty spill, coming down head over heels from the top of the east curve. He remained seemingly unconscious for a few seconds, but when picked up by friends he said he felt all right, and walked to his dressing-room. Decker took the lead, and won easily, with Day second and G. Fuller finishing third. Time, 2:30 1-5.
Rider. Club. Time. Actual
1 E. W. Decker Acme 12:44:23 27:23 2 Julius Smith Garden C 12:44:23 27:33 3 George Tantau Olympic 12:45:18 31:18 4 T. A. Griffiths Bay City 12:47:13 30:08 5 H. Caloway San Jose 12:50:40 30:15 6 Percy Deacon Reliance 12:51:35 29:35 7 H. A. Friedlander San Fran 12:53:13 29:50 8 L. P. Olson California 12:55:40 30:15 9 B. D. Blakeslee Imperial 12:55:53 33:33 10 A. W. Morgenstern Alameda 1:10:28 35:58 Fastest time - 1894, 36:46; 1895, 31:33.
The eighth relay finished with the Acme Club ahead, the first and only time in the race, though their man, Decker, only beat Julius Smith, Garden City, by a scant wheel's length, and their finishing times were the same. The Bay Citys were now three minutes behind these two clubs and two minutes back of the Olympics. But wait.
Pedal pushers got the populace all steamed up over the 100-mile bicycle race around San Francisco Bay, 'way back in the gay nineties? The sport of bicycling was then a real man's game, and two-wheel athletic events were not confined to the six-day race arenas. Wheelmen of the Oakland Acme Athletic Club started contesting with San Francisco teams in 1893, and returned the winner in a number of annual contests. The boys burned up the road, too. The races started at Third and Market Streets San Francisco, and the route lay via San Jose to Twelfth and Broadway, Oakland.
Time for the first year's race was five hours, 48 minutes, 51 and two-fifths seconds. This photograph shows members of the Acme Club team which won the race in 1896. (Top) JOE ROSE; (middle row left to right), WALTER DECKER, THEODORE SCHLEUTER, JIM KENNA, EDDIE SMITH, and JACK SAMPSON (lower row, left to right), GEORGE NISSEN, Team Captain AL SWAIN, M. A. SQUIRES, and JACK HOWARD. The recumbent figure in the foreground is PETE LA FEVRE. This is one of a series of photographie reminiscences of days now gone.
THOSE GOOD OLD DAYS
THE Acme boys are planning another one. What? Why a reunion of course, of members of the Oakland Sports Club organized in 1883 and abandoned before the end of that century, in 1899. This year's reunion is set for Saturday night at the Oakland Elks Club, at Broadway And Twentieth, according to a letter from Jimmy Shanly, who, with John Kitchen Jr. and F. Willis Sharpe, is on the committee in charge. The dinner will start at 6 o'clock.
The reunion this week will be the fifteenth annual for those who were club members and fans 40 years ago, when they took part in or cheered the winners of boxing and wrestling tournaments, bicycle races, road races and gymnasium contests. The first reunion was held in 1921, and since then the affair has become an annual event to which the old-timers look forward. WHEELMEN of the Acme Club began racing against San Francisco riders back in 1893, (part 2) when the 100-mile jaunt around the bay was a big sports event. The 1896 team, they tell me, included Joe Rose, Theodore Schleuter, Walter Decker, Eddie Smith, Jim Kenna, Jack Sampson, George Nissen, Al Swain (who was team captain), M. A. Squires, Jack Howard and Pete Le Fevre.