KNAVE - Recalls Cycling Days - A Typical Trip - Oakland Tribune, 12 May 1946

From Wooljersey

Recalls Cycling Days

A friend has shown The Knave a copy of [The League of American Wheelmen's Road and Hand Book of California, a pocket-sized volume printed in 1888]. Revived are memories of the days of cycling clubs, cycling paths and authorized and informal excursions. Remember the "scorchers" whose noses all but scraped the front tires and the editorial criticisms they evoked? And there were century medals for brave souls who rode 100 miles in one day; races in which contestants wore suits something like swimming togs and stocking caps like small boys wear to the snowlands. But, to get to the hand book: It tells us Alameda is a "struggling little town" and that "except for the attractions around the baths there are no inducements for visiting the place." We learn that San Franciscans may reach Oakland by taking the ferry. The corner of Oak and Eighth Street, the book says, is a great rendezvous for cyclists and from the foot of Broadway, good macadamized streets lead to all parts of the city. Going to Berkeley on a cycle is a venture because the road is very dusty in Summer but beyond to San Pablo the soil is a reddish clay and keeps in good condition all the year around. The road to Piedmont Springs is entirely upgrade and rather a stiff climb but is entirely worth the effort. There are a lot of other good tips in the book, if you are for cycling, and pages in which to log your travels. The Wilkins Hotel is called the best in Santa Cruz the St. James in San Jose and the Estudillo in San Leandro.

A Typical Trip

In a little pocket in this cycling hand book, our friend had inserted a clipping from The Tribune of the 80's. It carries the story of a typical trip and ought to be of interest to many: "The century run of the California Division, League of American Wheelmen, postponed from May 18th, was held on Sunday. The run was largely attended and was a success in every particular except to the few who broke down on the way. The wheelmen left San Francisco at 5:20 o'clock, stopping at Menlo Park for breakfast. At Redwood City, the wheelmen were joined by a delegation of 10 Garden City wheelmen who had ridden up from San Jose that morning. At San Jose the crowd stopped for dinner, They then pushed on to Hollister, which was reached shortly after 6 o'clock in the evening, after a run of 13 hours, The distance covered was 101 miles. After taking dinner, which was in waiting, and getting some much desired rest, the weary wheelmen took the train for home. The train left Hollister at 9 p.m. and arrived at San Francisco at 1:45 a.m. On the way up a number of wheelmen were picked up at San Jose who had dropped off at that point on the run down. One very sick rider was picked up at Gilroy, completely worn out and prostrated from the long ride, Aside from the few who wore out, all enjoyed the trip, though the roads to San Jose were dusty, and from there to Hollister rather rocky. One wheelman fell into a ditch, but was not hurt beyond a soaking. Sixty-five of the wheelmen reached Hollister, of which number two were from Oakland, Louis Lamory and G. E. Watchers (who owns the handbook). The last mile of the run was a spurt, Capt. W. W. Meeker of the Bay City Wheelmen leading. Lamory arrived ninth and Watchers 13th, Both Oakland men held out well and did not feel the effects of the long run aside from the usual tiredness that follows a long ride. Lamory and Watchers met the delegation from the city at San Jose, riding down on this side of the bay. They left here at 5 a.m. and arrived in San Jose at 10, one hour and 20 minutes ahead of the crowd. They spent the night in san Francisco, upon the arrival of the special at 2 o'clock.