The Wheel. - San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Jul 1888

From Wooljersey

The Wheel.

[Official Organ L. A. W.]

California Division L. A. W. San Francisco Chronicle Mon May 30 1887 .jpeg

CHIEF Consul, Robert M. Welch; Representatives, John W. Gibson, J. D. Arkison, R. C. Woodworth, C. C. Moore, S. F. Booth, Jr., B. H. Patrick; Secretary and Treasurer, Naval [Norval] A. Robinson.

The attention of league clubs is called to the provision of the new constitution which permits them to elect representatives to the division board of officers on the basis of one representative from a club of not less than twenty members and an additional representative for each fifty additional members upon its roll on July 1st. These representatives must be elected before August 15th next, and the certificate of their election filed with the secretary-treasurer of the division also before that date, so that the entire newly elected board of officers may be announced at the same time.

The general Committee of Arrangements of the Stockton meet made final settlement of its affairs on Tuesday evening laat and adjourned sine die. After paying all bills and purchasing the medals for the races there will remain a net profit to the division of about $500.

The committee was composed of Harrison Houseworth, San Francisco Bicycle Club, (Chairman), W. B. Weir, Outing 'Cycling Club, (Secretary and Treasurer), A. M. Brown, Alameda Scorchers, T. L. Hill, Bay City Wheelmen, and C. C. Moore, Oak Leaf Wheelmen. The labors of these gentlemen have extended over the past three months, during which they have met regularly every Monday evening to consider the progress of affairs both here and at Stockton. The very successful outcome indicates the energy and spirit that were thrown into the work.

The Oak Leaf Wheelmen of Stockton are the hosts and under the able direction of their President, C. C. Moore, discharged the duties of their position right nobly. To this club the division is indebted for the only real bicycle track in the State. The arrangements made for entertaining the visiting wheelman were perfect, and to the whole series of festivities extending through the day and evening there seemed to be nothing of which the most inveterate fault-finder could complain.

The meet was a long ways in advance of those that have gone before. Now that it is over the only possible regret is that it has set so high a standard for future occasions of the sort. The wheelmen of other towns will be rather chary of inviting the league to meet with them, for fear of being brought too strongly into comparison with Stockton and the Oak Leaf Wheelmen.

The design selected for the medals, other than the championships, is very handsome. They are now in the process of making, but the contractor cannot undertake to turn them out in less than a month. The league officials regret the delay exceedingly, but can only ask the indulgence of the winners.

It is generally understood that Los Angeles wants the meet next year, and no doubt when the time comes the invitation of that city will be favorably considered. It seems to be about time to give the meet to the southern part of the state. The attendance, perhaps, might not be so large as at previous meets, but there is a great and steadily increasing number of wheelmen in southern California. The meet should be held, if at Los Angeles, on Decoration Day, May 30th. It is easier for young business men to get the necessary time then than at the close of the half-year, about July 4th. A great many would no doubt arrange to take their vacations then and ride to Los Angeles, a trip which every wheelman has the ambition to make, though few as yet bave attempted it.

A writer in the Wheel asks what, at first thought, seems the rather anomalous question, "Is the extension of ridable streets inimical to the interests of bicycle clubs?" Much of what he says in this connection will be recognized as already applicable to the condition of things about San Francisco. He comments as follows: "This question I found myself asking of my inner consciousness after a visit to Washington. There seemed to be no fraternity among the Capital City wheelmen, at least the sort of fraternity that one finds out West, where the roads and streets are comparatively new. Each wheelman seemed to go along the street or road perfectly oblivious as to whether there were any other wheelmen in the vicinity.

"In other cities I have found considerable nodding to each other on the roads, not so much on the streets, perhaps, but good, hearty recognition on the road, even though strangers. But in a thirty-five mile ride on a country road leading out of Washington I met a large number of wheelmen, and all went right past, heads down or looking straight ahead, without so much as 'How de do?'

"Why should it be otherwise? one asks. There is no need in Washington of sticking together. Everybody rides, and wheeling is as common as buggy riding. When driving, nobody expects every rider to nod as he passes, so then why should there be any such demonstrations between wheelmen? Bicycles are as common as umbrellas. The average Washington rider can see no more use in belonging to a 'cycle club than in forming an umbrella club. The need of one is not felt. They say they have no rights that are not respected. The league to them has no significance. It seems to them very much as a vigilance committee in the far West would seem to a down-Easter.

"In that is the answer to the question put to me by a Sts Louis man: 'Isn't it singular that in Washington, where the streets are so fine, the league representation is so small?' This St. Louis man will find that as his streets get better, not only will the league membership not increase in the same proportion, but it will be found more and more difficult to keep the Missouri or any other bicycle club together.

"In Boston it is the same old thing. As the streets have improved and the riding area become more extended, so has the interest in clubs died out. I was told the other day by a prominent league official that clubs in Boston are about played out except in a social way. Where is the Massachusetts Club? Gone! and the Boston Club is called a bicycle club only by courtesy. The wheel is a small and ever decreasing factor.

"The club run, the great feature of old-time wheeling, has disappeared. There was a time when runs with thirty to fifty members out were not uncommon - were, indeed, the rule. Now, if half a dozen can be got out it is considered a good enough representation. As the wheel ceases to be a novelty and grows into one's practical life, the more will the rider seek his own company. There was a time when road rights were so disputed that one was glad to have the company of even an uncongenial rider, provided he would count one more in case of a row with a road-hog. Now that has all gone by. A man now wants to ride to a certain part of the country. He says: "Here, I don't want to join any club run, with a promiscuous crowd. I'll get two or three congenial fellows, and then we'll be kindred spirits." And thus the run has been relegated to the past. Whether it is better for the wheel that this is so is a different question. All I know is that it is inevitable - that it is the outgrowth of the “commonizing" of the wheel, and of the disappearance of dangers and insults once commonly offered to wheelmen."