The third event was a two-mile handicap with safety machines, for which there were nine entries, the handicaps ranging from 40 to 180 yards. For three laps C. W. Langton, B. C. W., who was given 180 yards lead, maintained the first place, but in the fourth A. A. Bouton, unattached, passed ahead amid wild cheering. During the next three laps the positions were Bouton first and S. Plummer, B. C. W., second. In the last Plummer, who had started from the scratch, took first place and won in handsome style in 8 minutes and 35 seconds, with Bouton second.
The next event was a half-mile handicap, and was won by S. Plummer in 1:37 2-5 minutes with F. R. Cook second.
An article in a morning paper last week stated that a series of races would soon be run by Plummer and Wheaton. Neither of these gentlemen authorized any such statement and both are annoyed by the many notices which have lately appeared on the subject and which have had their origin in the fertile imagination of the writer, who evidently is not posted either as to the intentions of the two men or as to their abilities. He says they are evenly matched, and certain distances would be very closely contested by them. This is anything but the case. For one mile or under Wheaton is fast, his record being 2:52, while Plummers is 3:07, and he would undoubtedly have the advantage of Plummer, but for any distance over one mile Plummer would have as great, if not a greater advantage over him. Both men realize this, and while it is possible that they may come together as contestants among others, they have no intentions of making up any match races.
After walking down two miles they found a road which in parts was rideable. When about a mile from the base of the mountain they met Sanford Plummer and R. M. Thompson, who had left Martinez at 6 o'clock that morning, and after having wheeled fifteen miles were just preparing to climb the mountain. Within three miles of the base of the mountain the road follows a creek and crosses it over fifty times. The creek can be ridden occasionally, but in most places there are too many rocks. After exchanging experiences the two parties continued on their respective journeys. The first named wheeled to Pinole, through Pacheco and Martinez, where they took the train home.
Plummer and Thompson climbed the mountain, pushing their wheels inverted before them. After a lunch at the hotel they climbed to the summit and spent nearly an hour there. Returning to the hotel, a good dinner awaited them, after partaking of which they began the descent over the road traveled the night before by [William M. Meeker|Meeker]] and Knapp. In several places where the road wound around for half a mile or more and then returned about fifty yards below they lowered their wheels down the steep embankments and saved not a little time. Nevertheless it was the longest four miles down that mountain that they had ever covered.
Sanford Plummer, who was the favorite in the safety race on New Years Day, will enter two or more of the handicap events on an ordinary. He has never yet shown what he is capable of doing on an ordinary bicycle. It is suspected that he has his eye on the State championships to be contested in Los Angeles May 30th.
Several parties are being formed to wheel to the Yosemite this year, one consisting of W. M. Meeker, Walter. D. Sheldon, S. H. Knapp Jr. and R. M. Thompson, who expect to go in May. Ed Landis, C. N. Langton and H. A. Spalding will go the latter part of June. F. W. Ray, J. G. Cox, E. W. Adams and others will go to Lake Tahoe. Sanford Plummer, George P. Wetmore, Thomas H. Doane and C. W. Hammer will probably do the Yosemite some time during the season.
Charles P. Fonda, Charles B. Wheaton and Sanford Plummer are among the more recent old-time riders. Wheaton holds a record of 2:52 for the mile on the ordinary bicycle, a most creditable performance. Fonda devoted himself to safety racing and was a good man in his day. Plummer was noted principally in the road races of the Inter-Club Association, but has made some good time on the safety, his best performance being at Stockton, July 4, 1889, when he rode a mile on all solid-tired safety in 2:59 3-5 without any training or preparation whatsoever.
It would indeed be interesting to see some of these old-time men get themselves into shape and compete with the modern flyers. The opinion is pretty generally entertained that if Elwell, Davis or Plummer could be prevailed upon to get themselves into condition they might make it pretty warm for some of the latter day riders.
Sanford Plummer is one of the old stand-bys, having been a member of the Bay City Wheelmen since 1885, and has been more or less interested in the management of meets ever since that time. He has also been a racing man of some merit, having been at one time (1888-89) the safety champion of California. He has been a co-worker with Chairman Wetmore in almost all the popular cycling events that have taken place in this city in the past few years and is thoroughly posted in all such affairs.