THE WHEEL. - Enthusiasts Who Are Keeping in Trim for Near Future Events. - The San Francisco Call, 06 May 1894
Enthusiasts Who Are Keeping in Trim for Near Future Events.
The great bicycling contests which were held yesterday at Recreation Park proved beyond any doubt that wheeling is now the great outdoor sport.
The results of the handicap races gave a surprise to many people. It is certainly evident that handicapping wheelmen is a hard thing to do properly, and a good handicapper must have a thorough knowledge of his men to guarantee to those who patronize the sport the pleasure of witnessing close and exciting finishes. The result of the races will be found elsewhere.
The following interesting items have been received. They are from the pen of one of the crack riders of the State:
Wheelmen are flocking to the city again from all parts of the State. They are coming to do battle on Saturday, May 5, the Olympic Club's day at the Midwinter Fair, for the supremacy of the cycling arena.
W. A. Terrill, Foster, Wells, Haley and Long will arrive here to-morrow from Stockton, where they have been for the past week training under the tutorship of Trainers Schaefer and Lyman, who are out here from the East. Under the guidance of such excellent and experienced trainers these men should indeed do their best, and it is a foregone conclusion that they will surpass themselves in Saturday's races.
Wonderful strides have been made within the last year by our local riders in the matter of speed. At the beginning of last season it was anticipated by THE CALL that, with the improvements in tracks and the more popular use of racing wheels, the coast records would be brought down to somewhere near a favorable comparison with the Eastern records. At that time D. L. Burke of Los Angeles held the Pacific Coast record for a mile, which was 2:30 4-5, and at the end of the racing season that record rested on the shoulders of the popular San Jose flyer, Wilbur J. Edwards, and is 2:15. This was made in competition at Sacramento, and in view of the fact that the best Eastern record made in competition for the mile is 2:08 and a fraction, beld by Walter Sanger, the comparison is very favorable, considering the increased facilities and advantages the Eastern rider's have over those of the Pacific Coast. All other records for the quarter, half and two miles were very materially reduced also.
The present racing season, after contact with the Eastern cracks, Bliss and Dirnberger, who are training at Stockton, and with the advantages of the training that some of our local meu are now enjoying, riders will be developed who can creditably represent the State in any company.
Wilbur J. Edwards, in the quarter-mile dash ridden at the Midwinter Fair track on Saturday, April 28, did not come up to the expectations of his admirers and fell an easy victim to Otto Ziegler Jr. In that race W. A. Terrill showed a spurt of which his most ardent admirers did not think him capable. He has always heretofore been rated a strong and gritty rider for any distance from two miles up. Or our local flyers be is the most admired by Bliss and Dirnberger.
The bicycling committee of the Midwinter Exposition, if it desires to throw real life into a race, should endeavor to bring Foster, Ziegler, Wells, Edwards, W. A. Terrill and some other cracks together in a mile scratch race. This would be an event worth going a long ways to see, and would settle the mooted question, which is the better man?
It is to be hoped by all lovers of the sport that Harry Terrill, the present holder of the quarter-mile record of 32 seconds, will get himself into condition for the races to be held on the 19th and 26th insts.
A. Reid and E. Languetin of this city, C. L. Davis of San Jose and other Cleveland riders have secured a trainer and coacher in the person of W. J. Caldwell, who is himself a very fast rider. Much is expected of these men in the coming races.
The races on the 19th inst, at the Midwinter Fair track will probably consist of a mile maiden, a half-mile handicap, a mile scratch, quarter-mile dash and three-mile handicap. In these races Bliss and Dinberger will make their initial appearance.
It is rumored that the Bay City Wheelmen are to challenge the Acme Athletic Club of Oakland and the Garden City Cyclers of San Jose for a 50 or 100 mile relay race, to take place on the track at Central Park. A three-cornered struggle of that kind, if it can be arranged, should prove very interesting.
W. F. Foster, in the two-mile handicap race of April 28, rode splendidly and showed one of his old-time spurts, and those who have looked on him as a back number had to acknowledge that the speed was there on draught and in quantities to satisfy the most exacting. In that race he romped away from Fox and finished third in 5:01 4-5, which is within four-fifths of a second of the coast record, which, with the severe wind which prevailed, was a very splendid performance.
The track at the fair is in excellent condition. It will, however, require a few finishing touches to put it in perfect shape. The first time a meet is held there and the wind does not blow some coast records will be shattered.
Oakland police officers are allowed to "do" their beats on bicycles. The brilliant stars, although very well pleased to do mount duty between stations, object to rule 2, which says that officers doing duty on wheels will not be permitted stop-over tickets on streets where saloons are located.
Some people seem to imagine that if the bearings and chain are on the loose side the machine runs best. This is a great mistake. Bearings, especially, should be adjusted to a nicety. There should be absolutely no side shake, but at the same time the wheel or crank-axle, as the case may be, should revolve freely and should stop slowly. If the chain ls removed it is quite easy to adjust the hind wheel and crank-axle bearings; but with the chain on it requires some little skill, as it is difficult to tell which bearing is too loose or too tight. In the case of the chain the slack should always be just perceptible.
Don't rely on your brake, always make sure that your brake is in order, and should you hurt your knee don't continue riding, are excellent maxims. A friend of ours who has never cultivated back peddling raised his brandie and neglected to adjust the brake. He commenced to descend a moderately steep hill with a sharp turn at the bottom and lost control. His brake would not work, and to save himself going into a wall he jumped. He came down on his knee and hurt it severely, and then very foolishly rode some miles home, suffering much pain en route. For weeks he was confined to the house, and though the accident happened months ago he is still lame.
No harm comes from riding with too short a stretch, except that it militates against style, or at the worst, brings on muscular cramp. But the danger of rupture or stricture is very great if the stretch is too long, not to speak of the discomfort, and the machine should not be ridden any distance till the matter is attended to. Neglect may cause serious consequences.
Learn to back-pedal expertly. It is one of the chief pleasures of cycling to feel that every movement of your machine is under control. Watch a good rider threading his way through traffic - vehicular and pedestrian. The secret of his confidence and easy deportment lies in the fact that he has acquired the knack of controlling his machine with his feet. Nearly every accident to riders in the street is the result of awkwardness on the part of the rider.
Many lady riders are afraid to use toe clips of any kind for fear of catching the dress. A smooth toe-hook, however, does not catch any skirt that is kept in good repair, and is a decided advantage, since it helps the user to climb hills -especially long ones - and is a perfect safeguard against missing the pedal. This last is an accident that lady riders are often liable to, owing to the low gears they generally use, which, of course, makes the pedaling very fast if anything like speed is attempted.