ON WHEELS. - A Great Day for California Bicycles - Winners of Races - The San Francisco Examiner, 10 Sep 1886

From Wooljersey


A Great Day for California Bicyclists - Winners of Races.

It was a great day for Coast wheelmen, and the programme which had been prepared for the celebration was carried out with marked success. The parade in the morning was probably the largest and most attractive of its kind ever seen in this city. Notwithstanding the heat, which made it very disagreeable for those who were to take part in the parade and tournament, over one hundred bicyclists, connected with the California division of the League of American Wheelmen, assembled promptly at 10 o'clock at Van Ness and Golden Gate avenues, from which point the start was made. The parade was under the charge of Robert M. Welch, Chief Consul of the division, and taking his place at the head of the line and giving the order to march the bicyclists proceeded up Van Ness avenue two blocks on foot before a place was found sufficiently smooth to allow the men to mount. After the mount was made the line moved on out the avenue to Pacific street, with a counter run to the starting point. The procession presented a very attractive appearance, as the many colored uniforms passed by one after the other and the finely polished machines glistened in the sunlight. The order of the procession was as follows: Chief Consul Welch, accompanied by Messrs. Donnelly, Olds, Radke, Mohrig, Haslett and Biederman as aids; the Bay City Wheelmen, numbering thirty-five members, under command of Captain O'Callahan: the San Francisco Bicycle Club, with twenty members, commanded by Captain Housewith; the San Mateo Wheelmen, numbering fourteen, under command of Captain Donnelly: the Oakland and Alameda clubs, under command of Lieutenant Meeker, the unattended wheelmen, thirty-five strong, from different points in this State and Oregon, brought up the rear, and the numerous kinds and varieties of bicycles and tricycles to be seen in this division attracted much attention.


After the arrival at the starting point the line moved out Golden Gate avenue and through the park, where a photograph was taken of the procession to the Bay District track. Over 1,000 spectators gathered in the stands, club house and along the track, and the liveliest interest was manifested in the races, which began at 12:30. The opening race, the one mile novice, was won by F. E. Browning, after a sharp contest, in 3:05 3-5, with D. W. Donnelly of the San Mateo Wheelmen second and R. A. Smyth third. In this race W. W. Haralson of the Oakland Ramblers took a header at the third quarter while on the lead, but his injuries were slight. In the three mile national championship there were four entries, S. F. Booth Jr. and F. D. Elwell of the Bay City Wheelmen, F. E. Olds of Los Angeles and C. A. Biederman of this city. This was a close contest between Elwell and Booth, but the former won in 9:46 3-5, with Booth a good second and Biederman third.

In the five-mile handicap there were R. H. Magill, 150 yards; A. S. Ireland, scratch; L. Sears, 250 yards: D. W. Donnelly, scratch: R. W. Turner, scratch, and W. W. Haralson, 100 yards.

This was won in splendid style by Turner in 17:25, Ireland second and Magill third. F. D. Elwell carried off the honors in the one mile race for the State championship in 3:16 25, with S. F. Booth, Jr., second.


At this point there was some fancy and trick riding by experts which was applauded very heartily by the spectators.

There were four starters in the two-mile handicap, F. E. Browning, S. F. Booth, Jr., E. Fahrbach and R. R. Russ. This race created considerable excitement, as it was a sharp fight between Browning and Booth for first place. Browning won, however, notwithstanding a handicap of 100 yards, in 6:24 2-5,

At the close of this race F. E. Van Merbecke, who has recently arrived in San Francisco after having made the journey from New York to this city, by way of New Orleans, a distance of 4,000 miles, in 121 days, was brought upon the track and after being formally introduced was given an enthusiastic reception. A photograph was taken of him, and after a spurt around the track he retired and gave way for the closing race of the day, the one-mile consolation for non-winners. This was won by C. A. Biederman in 3:29 1/4. There was but one other starter, R. H. Magill, and the race was hardly as interesting as those which had preceded it. Among those in the stands and balconies were a large number of ladies, who seemed to enter into the occasion with a great deal of interest.

The San Francisco wheelmen tendered a reception and banquet to all the visiting bicyclists in the evening at their clubhouse on McAllister street.