THE WHEELMEN. - San Francisco Call - October 26, 1895
The Racing Board Will Be Petitioned to Reinstate Oscar Osen.
CLUB EVENTS TO-MORROW.
California Cycling Club - To Presidio.
CALL Bicycle Club - To Golden Gate Park.
Camera Club Cyclists - To Sonoma.
Crescent Road Club - To Petaluma.
Garden City Cyclers - Road race, San Jose.
Imperial Cycling Club - To Golden Gate Park.
Liberty Cycling Club - Blind run.
Liberty Cycling Club, ladies' annex - to Centerville.
Olympic Club Wheelmen - Blind run.
San Francisco Road Club - To Petaluma.
The arrival of the Eastern racing talent here next week will be of great interest to the wheelmen of this coast, for besides several of our own men and a trio of Eastern flyers who have been here before there will come several with world-wide reputations for speed whom we have only read about. After a few days' stay in this City, during which they will be entertained by the large local clubs, they will depart for San Jose and go into active training for the two big meets to be held there on November 8 and 9. A party of prominent local wheelmen is being made up to go up the road as far as Sacramento to meet the visitors. The Bay City Wheelmen are arranging for a monster smoker at the club- rooms in honor of their returning club-mates and their racing companions. From the time these men get here track-racing will receive a great impetus, and as they will all winter at San Jose and try for records it would seem that while the season is practically over in the East it will never close in California.
The annual league election, as announced in last Tuesday's CALL, furnished some surprises, but it is the general opinion that a splendid board of officers has been elected and the organization should boom during 1896 under their guidance.
The committee appointments made by President White of the California Associated Cycling Clubs, as printed in THE CALL yesterday, are particularly well made and with the large membership the association now has it should become a power in the wheeling interests of this coast. The ordinance to be drafted and presented to the Supervisors for their approval will be perfectly acceptable to the wheelmen of this City, as expressed by the representatives at the meeting held last Monday night. With this matter settled and the proposition for lighting the park by electricity under way things are looking brighter for the riders of the wheel here.
Harry F. Terrill of the Bay City Wheelmen seems to have been having a very enjoyable time down South. In a letter to a friend here he states that he has been traveling all over New Orleans and the surrounding country with F. Howard Tuttle of Chicago, whom we all know out here. Terrill met Chairman Gideon of the racing board in Philadelphia and received a special sanction from him to race in class A wherever he wished, so he will ride at Tampa, Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Fla., next week. He will have but little time to train, however.
At 2 o'clock to-morrow afternoon Emil Languetin of the Bay City Wheelmen will start from San Leandro and endeavor to ride five miles to Haywards in less than 11 minutes 35 seconds, which is the coast record. He will be paced by his club-mates, Andrews and Griffiths, Hall and Menne, on tandems, and feels confident that he can ride the distance in about eleven minutes flat.
The American Wheelman, one of the leading weekly wheel papers of the East, is now publishing over a page of Pacific Coast cycling news every issue, which evidences that the coast being recognized in the East as great field for the trade and a desirable wintering place for racing men. The coast department is edited by Sydney B. Vincent, the popular racing man.
The annual election of the San Francisco Road Club, now one of the largest and most prosperous wheeling organizations in the City, will be held Tuesday evening, November 5, and nominations will be made at the regular meeting next Tuesday evening. The club goes to Petaluma as the guests of the Petaluma wheelmen to-morrow, taking the 8 A. M. Tiburon ferry.
Invitations have been issued by the Imperial Cycling Club for its first annual party to be held Friday evening, November 15, at Union-square Hall. This will be no bloomer ball, for the card reads "strictly evening dress." The hop will be largely attended, as invitations are much sought for.
The Royal Cycling Club will hold an election of officers at the regular meeting next Tuesday evening. Captain Rosenberg, who has been suffering for some time with rheumatism, has returned from the springs fully recovered. Guy Frost, the winner of the first of the Royals' series of five-mile road races, has been presented with a trophy in the shape of a handsome gold medal, which he will wear until the next race is decided early in November, and his friends think he will be wearing it after that time.
The roads outside of San Rafael going north, particularly the one leading to Petaluma, are said to be in very bad condition at present. That is one reason why the Camera Club Cyclists will take the train as far as Schellville on their run to the Johnson estate near Sonoma to-morrow. Members are requested to bring their own luncheon, but hot coffee and milk will be supplied on the grounds and the grape vines and fruit trees will be at the disposal of the cyclists. Many ladies will accompany the party.
We thought Nissen was doing wonders when he rode ten miles on July 28 in 25:45, and considered Frank Byrnes' similar performance last Saturday remarkable when he did it in 24:26 4-5, but how these records pale beside the phenomenal ride of P. B. Wilson of the Chicago Cycling Club, whose picture is presented, in the club's ten mile road race two weeks ago to-day. He rode a wheel geared to 80. started from the fifteen-second mark, and with the aid of two tandems pacing him he passed thirty men and finished in third place. And the reports say that at no stage of the race was he ridden out, for he continually called for a hotter pace. The time made is a world's record. There were others in the race who did clever work. The fact that one got under twenty-four minutes, six under twenty-five, six under twenty-six, seven under twenty-seven, four under twenty- eight, three under twenty-nine and two under thirty - in fact all finished under thirty - shows the course to have been fast, notwithstanding the fact that over two dozen railroad and several streetcar tracks had to be crossed on the out and home trip. The first thirteen men rode the course at an average of about 24:51, while the average of the twenty-nine finishers is about 25:50. These times are so remarkable that they have set the coast men to thinking, and Wilson's ride has been the principal topic of conversation around the clubs this week.
It is rumored around the Olympic Club that a petition is to be circulated shortly asking Chairman [Gideon] of the racing board to reinstate Oscar Osen, the Garden City professional. The matter is being fathered by the popular trainer, Jack McGlynn, and is, therefore, in good hands, but I can't help thinking if Osen is reinstated under what club's colors will he ride - Olympic or Garden City? It would be a strange coincidence, wouldn't it - Jones and Davis, and now Osen, once the happy wearers of the fleur de lis now adorning their manly chests with the emblematic "flying doughnut." Still stranger things have happened.
A most unique circular has been issued to the members of the Bay City Wheelmen announcing the club's annual entertainment on November 11. It is merely signed "Committee," so that one is at a loss as to whom to attribute its remarkable verbiage, but I fancy I recognize the fine work of its epigrammatic secretary, Mr. Howard. At the club speculation is rife as to the authorship of the letter, which I give here complete that you may gather the full text of it:
To the Members of the Bay City Wheelmen: The crowning effort of the club in the line of shows will be sprung on Monday evening, November 11, 1895, at Odd Fellows' Hall, in the way of a vaudeville, or variety exhibition, and hop. A fine array of talent has been selected and a splendid entertainment is assured. It is the intention of the committee handling the affair to have the show commence promptly at 8 o'clock, and go through to the end with the snap of a stiff steel spring. Dancing will commence at 10 o'clock. The cause is a good one, so let there be no numbness of activity on behalf of the members in making it a grand success. Inclosed you will please find ten tickets, which kindly dispose of, if possible. There are more on tap at the club when these are gone. Yours fraternally, COMMITTEE.
If that did not emanate from the bright mind of Secretary Howard I am much mistaken, though he may have had the assistance of President Kerrigan or Judge Dunne as collaborators. However, the entertainment will be varied and amusing, and the hall will undoubtedly be packed, as it always is when the Bay Citys give an entertainment.
Invitation to a vaudeville entertainment and dance sponsored by the Bay City Wheelmen bicylcle [sic] club to be held November 11, 1895 at the Odd Fellows Hall in San Francisco. On the inside are listed the names of performers scheduled to appear as well as the promise of additional "Eastern Professional Talent."
Nominations for officers for the ensuing year will be made at the regular meeting of the California Cycling Club next Monday evening. The club is much elated over the election of its secretary, H. F. Wynne, to the office of vice-consul of the league, and took occasion to celebrate the unexpected event after the election was over last Monday night. To-morrow the members will have a run to the park and Presidio.
Bulletin 24 of the racing board, dated October 24, 1895, is as follows:
Sanctions granted - Redlands Cycling Club, Redlands, December 4, 1895; Pomona Cycling Club, Pomona, December 6, 1895. Both National circuit meets.
Transferred to class B - Roma E. Dow, San Jose, under clause B. R. M. WELCH, Representative National Racing Board.
The Olympic Club wheelmen have decided to postpone their first annual ten-mile handicap road race until after the National circuit meet at San Jose, November 8 and 9, so that the men will not stay out of the road race on account of training for the track events.
To-morrow this club will follow Captain A. C. Thornton on a blind run, destination known only to the leader, but an enjoyable time is promised all who attend and special attention will be paid the new members. The run starts promptly at 8:30 A. M. from the clubhouse on Post street.
At the regular meeting to be held on Tuesday evening, November 5, the theater party committee will submit their report and several matters of importance will be discussed, principally the selection of officers to run the club next year. The position of captain of the wheelmen gives promise of being hotly contested, there being several candidates for the office, each of whom is working quietly to secure his election. The incumbent, A. C. Thornton, declines renomination.
William M. Meeker of the Bay City Wheelmen, who has been in the East attending college since June, 1893, will re- turn to his home here shortly. Dan O'Callaghan of the same club sailed for Europe per steamer Umbria on October 5 on his trip around the world.
The Garden City Cyclers will hold their five-mile road race to-morrow, postponed from last Sunday on account of rain. V. A. Benson, the well-known racer, has joined the club, having withdrawn from the San Jose Road Club. The racers of the latter club are actively training for the meet at San Jose on November 8 and 9, those who will ride being F. A. McFarland, John Wing, Ray Hogg, J. Belloli Jr., Ralph Hammonds, G. Navlett, F. Brunst Jr. and Otto Ziegler Jr. Last evening the club held its regular monthly hop at the clubrooms.
Wilbur F. Knapp, without whose services as announcer no race meeting is deemed complete, has left the Overman people and will hereafter talk Barnes. This news will be a complete surprise to his many friends who thought him a fixture in his former position. He is very popular with the riders and the trade, and is probably the most successful salesman on the coast, so his new employers are to be congratulated on their acquisition.
The San Francisco Young Men's Christian Association Cycling Club was reorganized last Tuesday evening with the following officers: E. E. Kelley, president; R. S. Boyus, vice-president; Frank Hancock, secretary-treasurer; Joseph Sims, captain; P. B. Waterman, first lieutenant; F. Bronson, second lieutenant.
The following are the handicaps and the entrants for the much talked of Acme Club's five-mile handicap road race, which will be held over the San Leandro and Haywards course to-morrow, starting at 1 o'clock:
G. A. Nissen and H. Squires, scratch; A. S. McDougall and H. H. Hutchinson, 30 sec.; B. J. Sears, G. H. Crafts and P. M. Lefevre, 45 sec.; Ben Carroll, A. H. Agnew, E. O. Mendel, James Kenna, J. H. Phillips and F. T. Smith, 1 min.; W. M. Greaves, 1 min. 15 sec.; G. J. Culhane, G. A, Hansen and T. H. Nevin, 1 min. 30 sec.: F. Simen, J. R. Tallman, T. J. Manning, J. L. Wetmore and J. E. Scott, 2 min; J. H. Otey, 50 sec.
The following letter is self-explanatory: The Alpha Cycling Club, a flourishing ladies' club, wishes to receive slight mention occasionally in your columns. We are desirous of becoming better known. Captain Wynne calls runs twice a month, which are largely attended. Next Sunday we picnic at Mill Valley, taking the 10 o'clock boat, via Sausalito. Mr. [Marsh] has given us the use of his grounds. An enjoyable time is anticipated. DOROTHY PENDERGAST, Secretary.
THE BICYCLE TRADE.
A Review of 1895 Business and Prospects for Next Season.
There is a fierce rivalry among the many bicycle dealers and they disagree on many points regarding machines, but on one all are harmonious, and that is that this has been the most phenomenal season the bicycle trade has ever known. From tabulated approximations made by representatives of the large Eastern factories the output shows for this season the total number of wheels sold to be at least 500,000. The average retail price is $75, and at this rate the sum produced is over $30,000,000.
A great many of the factories are doubling their capacity for next year and the number of the factories will be largely increased.
The great impetus to the trade was carried by women taking up cycling to such an extent.
It is safe to say one-fourth of the wheels sold this year have been purchased by women, and this marvelous increase in the sale of ladies' wheels has surprised everyone in the business. Bicycle schools have sprung into existence and now claim a rank among grammar and Latin schools. The bulk of the trade for this year is over, for two reasons. First, because purchasers wish to see the '96 models, and then cold and damp weather is coming on. In all probability the '96 models will be heavier than this year's, for the people who built very light machines are going to make them heavier. The manufacturers have saved weight by substituting wood for steel rims. The wheels are not only lighter but stronger and tires are also much lighter than formerly.
The trade in wheels in the East is much greater than in the West, with the exception of Chicago. There are many more wheels sold in that city than in New York. Ohio is the best Western State for the track. It is spreading all over the West, however, and managers will have to hump themselves to keep from getting more behind in '96 than they did in this year. Probably by the first of April every manufacturer will be unable to fill orders for men's and women's wheels, and there will of course be a flood of cheap wheels, but strictly first-class machines will be as scarce as they were this year. Weight touched bottom this year and will be increased next year, as a rule. The English manufacturers have had far more experience in safety building than those here, and they do not consider it policy to put out a road wheel weighing less than twenty-six pounds, and yet they built seventeen-pound safeties as far back as 1889, but they never put them out as road wheels.
The trouble with our manufacturers is that the popularity of light wheels led many who were new in the business to build extremely light machines regardless of the lasting qualities of the wheel. The limit was reached this season and the tendency will be upward. With the present knowledge of the science of wheel-building a satisfactory bicycle in every particular cannot be built to weigh less than twenty pounds, even for a light rider.
The spread of the bicycle fever has had a marked effect on the rubber trade in this country within the past year or two, and especially within a few months. The rubber required for the tires of bicycles amounts in the aggregate to hundreds of tons annually, and the demand for it increases in geometrical progression.
It is said by a well-known rubber man that the bicycle business has made a difference within eighteen months of probably $5,000,000 to the crude rubber trade. Figures of the amount used by the bicycle trade are difficult to get at, but it is estimated that they used 1,000,000 or 1,500,000 pounds more during the past year than the year previous. The price of rubber has advanced 7 or 8 cents a pound since June. The world's consumption of rubber is about 30,000 tons annually, and of this amount the United States uses, it is said, 14,000 tons.