THE SPEEDY CYCLERS. - Coast Records Sure to Be Lowered. - Eastern Cracks Now on the Road. - San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Apr 1894
THE SPEEDY CYCLERS.
Coast Records Sure to Be Lowered.
Eastern Cracks Now on the Road.
The Greatest Activity Among the .: Racing Ven Ever Known in California.
As the 28th of April approaches the interest in the opening of the Midwinter Exposition bicycle track grows stronger, and the outlook for a most brilliant series of tournaments is all that could be desired. The track is improving every day.
That San Francisco should be the fortunate possessor of a three-lap bicycle track, scientifically constructed on the most modern ideas, is something which would appear to the old-timers as almost too good to be true, yet it is a fact that the track in the Midwinter Fair grounds is, without question, the fastest and best track in California. Situated as it is in a small valley, and protected by the immense grand stands and the Festival Hall, so that the wind during the daytime is very slight, it has every advantage to induce record breaking. That the meets in April and May will witness the shattering of the coast records is a foregone conclusion.
The parade to start from the Palace Hotel at 1 o'clock in the afternoon of the 28th of April is exciting a good deal of interest. It is requested that the men who parade will decorate their wheels. Free admissions will be given to the grounds and races to all wheelmen who may participate in this parade. Another parade will be held on the 28th of May, on the occasion of the annual league meet, due notice of which will be given.
The personnel of the committee which has the matter of the Midwinter Fair races in hand may be of interest to the general public. George P. Wetmore, the chairman of the committee, is known to all the wheelmen of California. He has been interested in bicycling for a great many years, and was the foremost spirit in the great tournaments which were held in this city on the 1st, 3d and 4th of last July. He has been president of the Bay City Wheelmen for the last four years, and is known as a great worker and a splendid executive officer.
Frank H. Kerrigan has been identified with cycling for several years past. He is the attorney for the California Division, League of American Wheelmen, and is thoroughly posted on the rights of wheelmen and is, furthermore, a splendid worker and remarkably popular among ah his fellow-wheelmen.
Len D. Owens is one of the newer lights in the cycling world, but is making his presence felt by his good business sense and his capacity for work.
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.
The committee taken altogether is one of the best that could be secured for efficiency and business-like methods. The Fair is to be congratulated in having such representative men interested in the conduct of the tournaments.
The entries for the races on the 28th of this month close at 441 Golden Gate avenue this evening. The races are as follows: One-mile novice, one-mile handicap, two-mile handicap, one-fourth-mile dash, one mile juvenile (for boys under 16 years). These races are open to all amateurs under the rules of the League of American Wheelmen, class A. These rules, which go into effect this year, segregating the amateurs into two classes, would appear to be a trifle faulty. However, Chairman Smythe of this city, who is also a member of the national racing board, has ruled that there are at the present time no class B men on this coast, and therefore no segregation is necessary.
Messrs. Bliss aud Dirnberger, Sanger and Tyler, who are coming here from the East to take part in the Midwinter Fair races, are, of course, in class B, but Chairman Raymond, the "high mogul" of the American racing world, has ruled that they will be allowed, while on this Coast, to race in class A in order to bring them into competition with the local riders. This is a decision which is of incalculable benefit to California racers, and one which they will no doubt thoroughly appreciate when they enter the lists. Messrs. Bliss and Dirnberger, with their trainers, and Manager [Atkins], left Chicago for this city yesterday. They will arrive the latter part of next week and will immediately begin training for the races. As they are almost always in good condition they will need very little preparatory work. They will be at the races on April 28th, and no doubt local men will have a chance to see some of their wonderful performances.
Manager Atkins of this team thinks that the temptations of a great city are too much for the men while in training, and they will no doubt go to one of the near-by towns to get into fit shape for the events.
If the California riders can profit by their experience with the Eastern men, observe their methods of training (if possible), and learn from them how to get and hold a long spurt, the speed of the local riders will increase anywhere from ten to twenty-five per cent.
Wilbur J. Edwards, the "little whirlwind" of San Jose, has already sent his entries for the 28th of April. He is being very carefully coached by a professional trainer, and it is expected and predicted by his close friends that he will break all the existing records on the first try, and that the Eastern men will have no soft thing if they expect to find a walk-over in the West.
The local riders are coming out strong. The Bay City Wheelmen have secured the services of O. F. Cameron, one of the best trainers who was on the Eastern circuit last year. He has taken hold of the Bay City boys, and remarked that he had never in the course of his professional career found a more promising lot of raw material to work on. He deplored the fact that the boys were too enthusiastic, But from the way he is taking hold of them, the enthusiasm and hard riding, guided by experienced coaching, will make a combination which any team will find hard to master.
The Bay City Wheelmen, the Olympics and the California Cycling Club together should be able to uphold the prestige San Francisco has always held in the bicycle racing world and bring to our city more than a full share of the prizes.
The Olympic Club has in Walter F. Foster an old stand-by. He will no doubt profit largely by the training which he gets with the Eastern men. "Bob" Long is another member of that club who will ride with Foster, and is a remarkably good man, while a number of dark horses are promised to be sprung at the last moment.
"Bob" Terrill stands pre-eminently as the man of the Coast. To ride fast with him seems to be little or no exertion. He will no doubt retire at the end of the season with a bulk of the records in his possession. He has been riding about three years. Last year was his first on the track. The first part he was not particularly successful, but he gradually came to the front until he finished the season with a goodly number of events to his credit. Since the season closed last September he has kept steadily at work until he is to-day fit to ride the race of his life, and, under the coaching of the Bay City trainer, Cameron, he will come out on the 28th in the finest possible shape.
Harry Terrill, for a quarter of a mile, is known to be one of the fastest men in the West. Last year he succeeded in lowering the quarter-mile record three different times, and still holds that record in his possession for the Coast.
T. A. Griffiths is a young man, and is just at that age when, if carefully handled, he will develop into a first-class man.
T. S. Hall is the especial pride of the younger riders. He is but 18 years of age, but has speed in him which his competitors of 25 and thereabouts will find pretty hard to master. He is very firmly built, has plenty of wind and a particularly strong spurt, and is one of the untried men in whom the Maltese cross men stake their all.
The race for boys under 16 years of age, to be held on April 28th, gives promise of being a very interesting feature. All the young riders of the city and surrounding towns are worked up over this to a degree that has never heretofore been manifested. Entries were received from the very first part of the week, until there is promised to be as large an entry list in that race as in any of the day. The little lads are working very hard for it. They are training, as their elder brothers have done, in a most scientific manner, and the young ones who consider themselves Wilbur Edwards' and "Bob" Terrill's are numerous. It will be one of the most interesting events of the day, and is bound to furnish some good sport.
The one-mile novice race gives promise of being a good one. A big entry list is in, and as novices invariably ride until their last iota of strength is exhausted, they are bound to make a good, close and hot race.
It is to be hoped the bicycling committee will request the referee to place a close time limit on all the events in order to insure good time, as there is nothing more demoralizing to the sport and unsatisfactory to the spectators than to see a loafing race for seven-eighths of a mile, with final spurt on the last eighth.
The annual meet of the California division, League of American Wheelmen, is to take place on the Exposition grounds on the 25th of May, and will probably be the largest meeting of wheelmen ever held in this city. Already arrangements are being made for a series of festivities to take place before and after the races.
Secretary Toepke of the California division has addressed a communication to the secretaries of all the different clubs, asking them to appoint a delegate to work with the bicycling committee of the Exposition to secure for May 26th the very best and greatest tournament which has ever been held in San Francisco. Each club is requested to appoint one delegate, who is supposed to represent the committee in his district and to do whatever may be necessary to arouse enthusiasm in the meeting. It is one of the very best moves which the division could have made, and is one which will certainly inure to their benefit and to the Fair. Delegates are requested to communicate with Chairman Wetmore at once.
Trainer's and contestant's tickets for those who are entered in the races for the 28th may be obtained from Chairman Wetmore at 441 Golden Gate avenue, this city, any evening except Tuesday.
Cycling is booming in the Santa Clara valley since the Garden City Cyclers captured the one hundred miles relay race. The metropolis of the far famed valley will develop a number of sensational riders this season, judging by the work now being done at the track every day.
San Jose will be well represented at the Olympic games on May 5th.
Fox, the Colton flyer, is expected at San Jose this week to train for the Midwinter Fair races.
R. A. Smyth, chairman of the racing board, spent a few days in San Jose during the week.