THAT TWENTY FOUR HOUR RECORD - Bearings, The Cycling Authority of America, June 24, 1892

From Wooljersey


Full Story of Waller's Wonderful Ride in California - Also Broke the Three Hundred Mile Record - Dieted on Doughnuts - Was the Timing Reliable

Last week THE BEARINGS told that Frank Waller, of the Acme Bicycle Club, of Oakland, Cal., rode 363 miles, 1.590 yards in twenty-four hours, on the new track of the Alameda Bicycle Club, at Alameda, thus breaking Holbein's record of 361 miles, 1,446 yards.

The day was June 10, not June 11. The start was made at six p. m.

Grant Bell, five-mile state champion, paced for the first eight miles. Waller applied himself diligently to his work, riding ten miles in 30:46 1/2; nineteen miles, 500 yards in the hour; 100 miles in 5:45:00.

Here he made his first dismount and upon going to work experienced his first and only difficulty, an inability to perspire and a slight stiffness due to poor attention, as acknowledged by those having him in charge. Fortunately the difficulty was quickly overcome and from that on to the finish he made no complaint as to his condition. [Sounds like not enough water. See What did bicycle riders in the 1890s drink? Not much. And weird things.]

Between midnight on Friday and six o'clock Saturday morning, he had but two pace-makers, one of these being A. A. Bouton, who paced every mile but ten of the distance covered during that time. Waller's eyes became very sore from fine dust blown from the track, for be it remembered no special preparation of the same had been made. A pair of large goggles were obtained and attendants engaged to constantly sprinkle the track, thus obviating further trouble from this source.

Those who had kindly volunteered to pace and who had done so for the twelve hours now covered, were with few exceptions called away either to business or to rest; hence from six o'clock Saturday morning to noon of the same day was, as Waller afterward remarked, "the most trying part of the work." The wheelmen who strolled into the grounds were

Pressed into Service as Pace-Makers,

going varying distances according to their ability, some riding very rapidly while others had to be continually urged on.

Waller manfully kept to his work, only asking that the timers "sing out" the time of each lap, that he might know what he was doing. All afternoon, with the best pace makers, he kept up a surprisingly even pace doing a little less than sixteen miles an hour. The slowest lap (quarter-mile) noted by THE BEARINGS man was one in sixty-two seconds, when, having called for a wet sponge, he was using it freely. Waller dismounted at 3:35 p. m, for a few moments, having then 331 miles to his credit. Upon remounting, the first alcoholic stimulant, in the form of ale, was given him. He was becoming saddle sore and riding out of the saddle as much as possible.

The Ale Affected his Head

and the position he assumed about half an hour before the close made the course of the wheel somewhat erratic, yet withal he was particularly good-natured and kept facetiously asking, "How many more hours?" in reply to the time called out by the timers. All afternoon the crowd had been gradually increasing, there being at least 200 present at the finish. Under the stimulating effect of the cheering crowd, Waller bent to his work and when he did 361 miles 1,446 yards - Holbein's record

a Mighty Cheer Went up.

Waller increased his pace and the last mile was finished surprisingly strong, being made in about three minutes, in company with a well-known mile sprinter. The time of two of these laps as noted by your correspondent was :43 and :45. He was still riding at this pace when the pistol was fired ten seconds before six p. m, because of an excited outsider who, looking over the timer's shoulder, shouted "fire" when the hour was not completed.

Waller had 363 miles 1950 (1590?-ED.) yards to his credit. He was lifted upon the shoulders of two of his fellow club men and carried to the club house amidst the cheers of the crowd and the hand-shaking of his friends. He was immediately taken to the Hamman baths, [Probably Piedmont Baths, see this oaklandwiki page about it.] where he slept all night and was around as usual next day. Waller's ride is all the more remarkable considering that it was made with only eight days preparatory work; that he had no trained pace-makers; and that he was handled by men who, though earnest and willing, had had no previous experience in work of this kind. His

Diet Consisted of Doughnuts,

apples, bananas, beef tea, tea, ginger ale and malt ale in the last few hours.

Doughnuts may seem a strange article to feed a man on, but when Waller made his appearance at the track he had a large paper of the well known "sinkers." His handlers tried to persuade him not to use them but he was determined to do so. When he got to work the word was passed among those assembled to eat them up and when, later on, Waller called for them there were none. It is unnecessary to state that somebody was mad and there was no peace until more were purchased and his wants supplied.

All those who assisted are deserving of credit and more than passing mention must be made of Mr. A. A. Bouton, who carried the affair to so successful a conclusion. He was ably seconded by Mr. Geo. F. Neece. Both are Waller's fellow club men.

The pace-makers were: Geo. F. Neece, Grant Bell, G. A. Faulkner, W. C. Angell, Mr. Morrill, Mr. Stoddart, H. A. Bouton, A. L. Pickard, Jesse Ives, Mr. Sleuter; judge, Dr. Gourley; scorers, Chas. Addington, Chas, Ballentine, A. A. Bouton; official timer, Eugene Van Court; assistant timers, H. Snow, G. F. Neece.

The mount was a Phoenix, weight 37 1-2 pounds, 30-inch wheels, geared to 67 inches, fitted with Thomas tires. The wheel gave excellent satisfaction.

Tabulated Account of Time and Distance.
5 miles 15:46 12:16 2-5 Osmond (Eng.)
10 " 30:46 24:50 1-5 " "
12 " 37:12 1/2 29:53 4-5 " "
15 " 45:40 37:33 " "
20 " 1:02:15 50:22 4-5 " "
25 " 1:18:30 1:05:55 2-5 Ede "
40 " 2:12:00 1:47:22 " "
50 " 2:47:50 2:17:01 4-5 " "
60 " 3:21:00 2:49:09 1-5 " "
100 " 5:45:00 5:30:12 2-5 Newland "
200 " 12:30:00 12:26:56 4-5 Bates "
300 " 19:30:55* 19:32:14 1-5 " "
350 " 23:17:35 2-5 Holbein "
363 miles, 1,590 yards in twenty-four hours, less ten seconds*
  • World's record.

He made nine dismounts. the longest time off being fifteen minutes, when his clothes were changed. His other stops were from three minutes to eight minutes long. [Holbein rested about thirty minutes in all, Waller ninety minutes.-ED.]


Frank Waller is a native of Munich, Bavaria, is thirty-two years old, weighs 157 pounds, and is 5 feet 10 inches in height. He came to the United States nine years ago, locating first in Omaha. His attention was first called to the wheel at this place through the exhibition of well known professionals. Two years ago he moved to Oakland and there took to wheeling. He devoted his time, when not at his trade (laying cement sidewalks) to riding and did his first prominent ride last year, when he won the time medal in the twenty-five mile road race, on the San Leandro triangle, in 1:24:50. In the same year he rode from the City Hall, in Oakland, to the Lick Observatory, on the summit of Mount Hamilton, and return, a distance of 140 miles, in 13:10:00. The climb to the summit of the mountain (4,209 feet) is twenty-eight miles. He has also won a mile (safety) in 2:55 and a mile (ordinary) in 3:02, on a trotting track. His trial heats at Alameda have been done in 2:44.

Waller is a hardy, muscular fellow, carrying no spare flesh, is of temperate habits, genial disposition and possessed of indomitable perseverance. He is not a grand-stand rider, his forte being a steady rapid pace rather than spurting, and he has always done better against time than in competition. A. A. Bouton thinks that he is capable of doing fifteen miles better, while Waller has his eye on the 400 miles mark. With proper handling and favorable conditions, he will come very near it.

[It appears that one of the timers of this great ride also acted as a pace-maker. If so, the record is not valid. - ED.]

THAT TWENTY FOUR HOUR RECORD - Bearings, The Cycling Authority of America, June 24, 1892