Garden City Wheelmen World Famous. - San Jose Mercury-news, 6 September 1906
Garden City Wheelmen World Famous.
Every Year San Jose Sends Its Quota of Riders to Fastest Tracks in the World, Where Victories of Note Are Won - Observation Race Along Route of Inter-urban Car Line Is Planned.
WITH the establishment of the Garden City Wheelmen and Motorcycle Club in their cosy little home at 23 North Third street, a new era began in bicycle racing in this vicinity. Plans for future meets and other interesting events are now complete, and the schedule of the next year will soon be inaugurated.
The club members met in the new rooms Tuesday and chose officers who will manage the program of events during the coming term. All are thoroughly conversant with the conditions under which they must work and their enthusiasm and ability bid fair to bring the organization to the front rank of the bicycle and motorcycle cubs of America. The slogan of the new Board of Directors will be "Progress."
Among the plans for future accomplishment is one for the erection at some central location in this city of an eight-lap bicycle track. This plan is the result of a desire on the part of the club members to promote bicycle racing, but a few progressive business men are also interested. If the idea is worked out, this city will see some of the world's best "bike" racers at least three times a week in the evening contests which are so popular in the Middle West.
All the riders who are performing at Salt Lake City are anxious to do winter riding on this coast, and almost without exception they would come here to take part in the schedule.
The amateur riders of the Garden City Wheelmen would ride in many of the races, and no city has produced so many or so fast riders as have left San Jose to join the ranks of the world's crack riders. On every track where fast riding is seen, the city of San Jose is known and the emblem of the Garden City Wheelmen is prominent.
Many world's records are held by lads who have gone from amateur triumphs here to still greater victories in the East, where they have met and defeated the fastest men on wheels from every land.
Every season two or three of the fastest of the local riders join the "great majority" and leave home for the saucer tracks in Salt Lake and Ogden, graduating from there to the faster professional ranks which hold forth in Madison Square Garden, New York, and in the European capitals and in Australia.
This is what the city of San Jose contributes to the world's bicycle sport. And the club from which all these men have come is the Garden City Wheelmen and Motorcycle Club, better known perhaps in New York City than in Santa Clara county.
The plans of those interested in the success of the club and the proposed saucer track, if carried to a successful culmination, will bring to this city every year much capital and much publicity. The winter climate is the recommendation which carries weight in the arguments of the backers of the track, for it will allow continuous racing throughout the rainy season. Such a climate is possessed by no other city in the country outside of California.
The ten-man team representing this city has held for many years the championship of the Pacific Slope. It has defeated every team entered against it in every race, from ten to one hundred miles.
The parlor of the new club rooms is crowded with trophies won in contests of all descriptions, and is probably the finest collection possessed by any racing club in the West. Thousands of dollars are represented in the metals and engravings of these cups. The finest of these trophies is the Morrill 100-mile relay cup, which cannot be duplicated for $700.
The organization is not, however, essentially a racing club. The social side is well represented. Many of the members do not even ride bicycles, but all take much interest in the success or failure of the riders.
Projects have been started on several occasions to take a team representing the Pacific Coast to the Eastern States to compete in team races, and the prospective choice has always included at least five representatives from the Garden City Wheelmen. Those who would probably be chosen at present on such a team are: Merle Grey, Robert Diefenbacher, William Waibel, John Berryessa and Carl Showalter.
Plans are under consideration for an "observation race" out the Interurban line. If this race is held, cars will be chartered to run side by side with the riders, so that the passengers may observe the contest at every stage.
Captain Jack Dermody is planning a race meet to be held on September 16. In honor of the homecoming of Robert Diefenbacher and Johnny Berryessa, who have captured most of the amateur events of note on the saucer tracks at Salt Lake City and Ogden.