WELLS WON FOR THE BAY CITYS. - For the Second Time This Club Gets the Relay Cup. 100-mile relay race - The San Francisco Call, 13 Apr 1896

From Wooljersey
Everybody Shouted and the Excitement Was Intense as Wells Crossed the Tape Half a Wheel Ahead at the Finish of the Great Relay Race. The Scene Was Sketched From Life by a "Call" Artist at Central Avenue and Grand Street, Alameda.


For the Second Time This Club Gets the Relay Сuр.


A Hundred Miles Covered by Wheelmen in Less Than Five Hours.
Great Excitement at the finish, Which Was Stubbornly Contested by the Scorcher.

It was a hot finish that carried Wells to victory and won the trophy of the 100-mile relay bicycle race for the Bay City Club yesterday. The final struggle was a magnificent one. All of the last relay men were noted for the fast pace they were able to set; some held records that the cracks of the world had gone up against and lost; several had themselves established marks that have never been outclassed.

Therefore, it was with much interest and an abiding faith in the speed and endurance of their favorite sprinter that the great crowd of wheelmen and wheelwomen waited and watched for the finish and speculated and gossiped as to the outcome. Central avenue, Alameda, which was the scene of the closing effort of the contest, was lined with people. The wheelmen fenced the avenue on either side with their machines, and thus kept the multitude in subjugation and left the stretch clear for the coursers.

The start had been made at 10 o'clock in the morning from Market and Tenth streets, San Francisco, and running down the peninsula, the wheelmen returned on the opposite side of the bay. The distance covered was 100 miles, or ten relays of 10 miles each.

The day was beautiful. A warm sun poured down its rays from a Venetian sky, while a refreshing breeze swept up from the sea. The scene at the finish line was full of color and effect. The bicycle girl was there. She wore bloomers, of course, rich and varied of color, and sometimes she sat on the fence-rail with the youth, but at all times she was graceful and a decidedly pleasing addition to the scene.

All wore the colors of their respective clubs. The Alameda girl was out, too. She wore her summer gown of white muslin and watched Charley Fair's horseless wagon pass back and forth over the smooth boulevard with great interest and delight.

But the finish! It was most exciting. It was a race for life. All the energy and force of the scorchers seemed reserved for the last great effort. As the stretch was entered, 200 yards from the tape, Ziegler and Squires were almost abreast, with Foster close up. Foster spurted to pass between the leaders, with plenty of room in his favor, when Squires wabbled and fouled the Olympian. Both went down in a heap, and Ziegler darted to the front, with Wells close up. Down the stretch they flew, forcing every muscle and straining every nerve.

The spectators were eager, breathless, excited. It was a critical moment. Everybody yelled Ziegler, whose name had been heralded on a hundred victorious racing fields, but fortune was against him. Wells, who seemed to have considerable reserve force up his sleeve, closed in on the San Jose champion when within twenty yards of the line and kept the terrible pressure up to the end. Inch by inch he forged to the front, and though Ziegler did his utmost he failed to regain the lost ground. Wells finished by a scant wheel to the good, and the multitude sent up a cheer that broke the quiet of the Alameda Sabbath.

McFarland of San Jose was a close third, and others came straggling in at intervals. The time made by the Bay City Club for the 100 miles was 4 hours 56 minutes 12 seconds, which is 35 minutes better than the fastest time made last year. P. M. Lefevre of the Acme made the fastest time of any individual rider, covering the third relay in 24:39, which is the fastest time ever made in a relay race.

Wells carried a letter of greeting from Mayor Sutro of San Francisco to Hon. John Foderer, president of the Board of Trustees of San Jose. At each relay this letter was delivered to the rider starting out afresh. This was done in accordance with the regulations under which the race was run.

This is the second time the Bay City Club has won the cup presented by Thomas H. B. Varney for the annual 100-mile relay race, open to all members of the California Associated Cycling Clubs. There are twenty-three clubs on the membership roll of this organization. Ten entered the race yesterday.

Much money changed hands on the result. The betting between the Bay City and Olympic clubs was particularly heavy, it having been encouraged by a long existing rivalry. The clubmen backed their respective teams to the last dollar, and as a result, the Bay City boys had money with which to buy refreshments last night, while the Olympics were correspondingly depressed and thirsty.


It was a Hard-Fought Contest and Splendidly Ridden, Though Accidents Were Numerous.

It was only a few minutes before o'clock when the ten men who were to ride the first relay lined up on Market street, near Tenth, and awaited the word to go. The immense crowd pushed and jostled with each other to get a glimpse o the riders, while others who preferred to see them pass lined both sides of Ninth street for blocks. At exactly 9 o'clock to the second Starter McGlynn gave the word and the riders were off over the cobbles, each striving to reach Ninth street first, that he might have the advantage of leading down the cable slot as far as Potrero avenue. Kroetz of the Olympics secured the coveted position, and led the others a merry chase down Ninth street. The order was: Kroetz, Olympic; Bozio, Imperial; Robinson, San Francisco; Hardenbrook, Garden City; Languetin, Bay City; Schleuter, Acme; O'Brien, San Jose; Pratt, Alameda; Hanson, California, and Boyden, Reliance.

All went well until the end of Ninth street, when Boyden fell turning into Brannan. He fell again on Potrero avenue, but pluckily remounted and chased after the bunch, now nearly out of sight. He caught Hanson, California, who had fallen further on. Pratt, Alameda, punctured his tire and was 5 min. 47 sec. behind the leader at the end of the relay. Languetin and Robinson lost their pedals on the six-mile hill and this lost them time. Owing to the poor condition of the road on the first relay, the wonder is that no more nor worse accidents occurred.

Hardenbrook, Garden City, led by two seconds over Kroetz, Olympic, at the end of the relay, with the Acme man, Schleuter, third. The following table shows the relative positions and riding times:

Rider. Club. Time. Actual
1 G. Hardenbrook Garden C 9:28:08 28:08
2 G. E. Kroetz Olympic 9:28:10 28:10
3 T. Schleuter Acme 9:28:57 28:57
4 A. E. Bozio Imperial 9:29:03 29:05
5 E. Languetin Bay City 9:29:32 29:32
6 F. Hanson California 9:30:00 30:00
7 M. J. O'Brien San Jose 9:30:27 30:27
8 R. Robinson San Fran 9:30:31 30:31
9 A. M. Boyden Reliance 9:30:56 30:56
10 W. T. Pratt Alameda 9:33:55 33:55
Fastest time - 1894, 30:00; 1895, 29:35.

The relay packets were exchanged with lightning rapidity here to the riders of the second ten miles, who were off and out of sight in a few seconds. Krafts, the Bay City man, rode fully up to the expectations of his club mates, and though the road was in bad shape, made the ten miles in 27 min. 12 sec., which was fastest time and brought his club up from fifth to third position. The Acmes went back one place, while the Garden Citys and Olympics still held first and second respectively. The Imperials dropped from fourth to seventh, and the Alamedas clinched their mortgage on last place.

Rider. Club. Time. Actual
1 Tony Delmas Garden C 9:55:23 27:15
2 W. J. Christ Olympic 9:56:43 28:33
3 C. A. Krafts Bay City 9:56:44 27:12
4 J. R. Kenna Acme 9:59:05 30:08
5 C. Birdsall California 9:59:06 29:06
6 G. Frost San Fran 9:59:07 28:36
7 C. W. Conger Imperial 9:59:15 30:10
8 J. J. Carroll San Jose 9:59:25 28:58
9 F. B. Wilkins Reliance 9:59:44 28:48
10 T. D. Taft Alameda 10:04:13 30:18
Fastest time - 1894, 33:00; 1895, 30:44.

The third relay race showed hardly any difference in positions. Hammonds by fast riding brought the San Jose Road Club up two places. The leaders kept their same places, and the tail-enders theirs. Remarkably fast time was made over this relay, the slowest being 27 min. 32 sec. Lefevre, Acme, rode the best, 24 min. 39 sec., while the Garden City, Olympic and Bay City men rode in 25 minutes and a fraction. This was the fastest relay of the course, no accidents happened to any of the men, and a fine road made the riding perfect.

Rider. Club. Time. Actual
1 R. Cushing Garden C 10:21:10 25:47
2 George Fuller Olympic 10:21:49 25:06
3 J. C. Williamson Bay City 10:21:54 25:10
4 P. M. Lefevre Acme 10:23:44 24:39
5 P. G. Alexander California 10:25:15 26:09
6 R. Hammonds San Jose 10:25:44 26:19
7 C. Goodwin San Fran 10:25:53 26:46
8 P. Metcalf Imperial 10:26:15 27:00
9 Edgar Curtis Reliance 10:26:15 26:31
10 J. G. Hurley Alameda 10:31:45 27:31
Fastest time - 1894, 26:44; 1895, 28:56.

The end of the fourth relay saw the Olympics in first position. Allan Jones rode it for them and he and the Bay City man, McCrea of Los Angeles, rode together, exchanging pace up to the fifth mile, when McCrea's tire punctured. He said nothing, but kept on as best he could, though it was hard work. When Jones realized what had happened he lit out and soon left the Los Angeles flier behind. The latter rode on a mile nore when he met a rider on an old model wheel, heavy and cumbersome, with bell, brake, lamp and all the usual attachments of a tourist's mount. It was better than his own flat-tired wheel though, so he quickly dismounted and requested an exchange, which was readily granted, and he was off again at a good speed and made up all but a minute of the time he lost by his accident.

Had his trailer been near at hand, he being supposed to start a minute behind him, he would not have lost so much, but the trailer, George Dixon, also had a puncture and was nowhere in sight when McCrea most needed him.

Crafts, the Acme man, made the best time of the relay, 26 min. 36 sec.

Rider. Club. Time. Actual
1 A. N. Jones Olympic 10:49:10 27:21
2 J. E. Lawrence Garden C 10:21:49 25:06
3 G. H. Crafts Acme 10:50:20 26:36
4 H. E. McCrea Bay City 10:50:22 28:28
5 John Wing San Jose 10:52:35 27:51
6 J. W. Harvey California 10:53:03 27:48
7 N. Ackerman San Fran 10:54:35 28:42
8 C. R. Griffiths Reliance 10:55:00 28:45
9 E. C. Barley Imperial 10:55:02 28:47
10 E. M. Whalley Alameda 10:59:45 28:00
Fastest time - 1894, 27:50; 1895, 26:59.

Coulter, the crack Eastern racer, rode the fifth for the Olympics and barely maintained their lead by reason of a misfortune which befell his wheel just before the start. He was obliged to borrow another, which was not suited to him, and rode his course under difficulties. The finish was almost a tie between him and the Garden City rider, Hubbard, whom he beat by a few inches, and so was given first position.

Menne brought the Bay Citys up from fourth to third position on this relay, passing the Acmes. The San Jose Road Club still kept first place and the Californias sixth. The Alamedas continued to establish their right to last by dropping still further behind, being nearly a quarter of an hour later than the leaders.

The wonder is that Menne did so well on this relay, for he was as unfortunate as McCrea, puncturing his rear tire when the distance was but half covered. He had to slow down, and was soon overtaken by his speedy trailer, Fred Day. In trying to make a quick exchange of wheels both fell, and rolled into the gutter. Neither was hurt, and Menne, hastily remounting Day's wheel, was away in a second on the balance of his journey. Day had to walk to the end of the relay, leading Menne's disabled wheel. Distance five miles. He was much annoyed.

Rider. Club. Time. Actual
1 C. R. Coulter Olympic 11:15:44 26:34
2 Al Hubbard Garden C 11:15:44 26:19
3 A. J. Menne Bay City 11:15:47 25:25
4 E. J. Smith Acme 11:17:47 27:27
5 Ray Hogg San Jose 11:17:49 25:04
6 H. Sternberg California 11:18:25 25:22
7 L. S. Leavitt San Fran 11:20:34 25:49
8 P. R. Mott Reliance 11:21:54 26:54
9 T. Alboselle Imperial 11:24:00 28:38
10 M. E. Gaines Alameda 11:29:18 29:33
Fastest time - 1894, 27:55; 1895, 28:13.

There was more trouble on the sixth relay, through and around San Jose, and it was here, on their own ground, that the Garden City Cyclers "played in hard luck" and lost exactly two minutes.

Their man Navlet started on even terms with Davis, the Olympian, and all went well until a stray dog attempted to cross the road in front of him. Navlet struck the dog, and over he went, suffering a terrible fall. His wheel was wrecked, and he was badly bruised, but he mounted his trailer's wheel when the latter reached the scene, and bravely finished his ride.

It was a bad accident and the Garden Citys feel that they practically lost the race there in their own town. What happened to the dog cannot be gleaned from the accounts of the trouble.

The Bay Citys did not do well on this relay. In fact, Davis' riding was so speedy he left the others all the way from one to five minutes behind. The Alamedas were now 15-1/2 minutes behind. Cardinell of the California Club did not ride well, and his club dropped back to ninth position. His time, 35 min. 05 sec., would indicate that he must have met with an accident, though none was reported.

At the end of the sixth some claimed that Raynaud, the Bay City man, passed his packet to Vincent outside of the limit of 100 yards, inside of which the rules of the association prescribe it must be exchanged. Later it was found that the marks were incorrectly placed and that Raynaud had done right, so that the protest the Garden Citys afterward filed on that ground will have to be disallowed.

Rider. Club. Time. Actual
1 C. L. Davis Olympic 11:44:30 28:46
2 Gus Navlet Garden C 11:46:30 30:46
3 B. C. Raynaud Bay City 11:47:00 30:13
4 M. F. Rose Acme 11:47:15 29:28
5 Joseph Belloli San Jose 11:50:00 32:11
6 C. D. Gooch Reliance 11:52:00 30:06
7 M. M. Cook Imperial 11:52:15 28:15
8 E. Elliott San Fran 11:53:00 31:26
9 J. D. Cardinell California 11:53:30 35:05
10 F. G. Thomas Alameda 12:00:00 30:42
Fastest time - 1894, 30:00: 1895, 28:30.

By clever riding the fastest of any one of his course, Chapman maintained the two-minute lead of the Olympics at the end of the seventh and actually increased it, so that the Garden Citys, Acmes and Bay Citys were now fully three minutes behind and bunched together in the order named. The San Jose Road Club was still fifth and the Alamedas last.

Rider. Club. Time. Actual
1 Ed Chapman Olympic 12:14:00 29:30
2 Oscar Smith Garden C 12:16:50 30:20
3 J. R. Sampson Acme 12:17:00 29:45
4 S. B. Vincent Bay City 12:17:05 30:05
5 J. C. Willoughby San Jose 12:20:25 30:26
6 Bert Elford Reliance 12:22:00 30:00
7 W. Maack Imperial 12:22:20 30:05
8 C. Ackerman San Fran 12:23:00 30:00
9 A. Theison California 12:25:26 31:55
10 C. S. Shafer Alameda 12:34:30 31:30
Fastest time - 1894, 32:51; 1895, 28:11.

But oh, how the mighty fell on the eighth relay. When Chapman handed the Olympic packet to George Tantau at the end of the seventh, it was with a lead of three minutes. When the latter passed it to J. E. Edwards of the ninth the Garden Citys and Acmes had gone by him a minute ahead, and he had lost four minutes for his club and practically the race. It was this which held Edwards back and then Foster, and the latter's mishap at the finish could not possibly have occurred had he had these priceless four minutes as a lead.

There is no excuse for Tantau. He should, perhaps, have not been honored with a place on the Olympic team. After his fine showing and successful riding at the Pavilion indoor tournament in March, he took a pleasure trip to Los Angeles, and only returned to the City Friday. He was in no condition for a bicycle race, let alone an important place on the Olympic relay team, and all the men but two who rode the eighth relay beat him from one to four minutes.

Rider. Club. Time. Actual
1 E. W. Decker Acme 12:44:23 27:23
2 Julius Smith Garden C 12:44:23 27:33
3 George Tantau Olympic 12:45:18 31:18
4 T. A. Griffiths Bay City 12:47:13 30:08
5 H. Caloway San Jose 12:50:40 30:15
6 Percy Deacon Reliance 12:51:35 29:35
7 H. A. Friedlander San Fran 12:53:13 29:50
8 L. P. Olson California 12:55:40 30:15
9 B. D. Blakeslee Imperial 12:55:53 33:33
10 A. W. Morgenstern Alameda 1:10:28 35:58
Fastest time - 1894, 36:46; 1895, 31:33.

The eighth relay finished with the Acme Club ahead, the first and only time in the race, though their man, Decker, only beat Julius Smith, Garden City, by a scant wheel's length, and their finishing times were the same. The Bay Citys were now three minutes behind these two clubs and two minutes back of the Olympics. But wait.

The ninth was a hard ride past Hall's, Alvarado and Mount Eden over a miserable road and against a strong head wind. To give an idea how bad the conditions were Ulbricht, the Bay City man, who can negotiate ten miles under favorable circumstances in 25 minutes, could do no better than 33 min. 35 sec., and yet his was the best time of the relay - faster than the celebrated Olympian, Edwards, than the speedy Nissen, Acme, Downing Garden City, or Bates, Reliance, or crack riders.

Ulbricht's remarkable ride practically brought the Bay City Club "out of the hole" and left them only a minute and a fraction behind at the end of the ninth relay, which Wells made up in splendid style.

There was more hard luck for the Garden City Club on the ninth. Downing, one of their best men, punctured his tire and lost considerable time for them. They were fourth at the beginning of the tenth. Edwards took the lead away from the Acmes, they being in second position.

The Alamedas became discouraged on this relay and dropped out entirely. They had fought pluckily for eighty miles, but, being a new club, with few racing men, no great things were expected of them, and they deserve credit for riding as they did, defeated from the very start. In next year's race the story may be different, for the club has some splendid undeveloped racing material.

Rider. Club. Time. Actual
1 J. E. Edwards Olympic 1:19:00 33:42
2 G. A. Nissen Acme 1:20:08 35:45
3 E. Ulbricht Bay City 1:20:48 33:36
4 H. Downing Garden C 1:21:48 37:25
5 Ted Belloli San Jose 1:25:24 34:44
6 C. D. Bates Jr Reliance 1:28:24 36:49
7 T. Farnsworth San Fran 1:30:48 37:35
8 J. J. Boree Imperial 1:31:12 35:19
9 R. Coulter California 1:31:24 35:44
10 F. E. Graham Alameda Did not finish.
Fastest time - 1894, 33:00; 1895, 29:19.

When Foster, the Olympic, started on the tenth and last relay he had a lead of 1 min. 8 sec. over Squires, Acme, 1:48 over Wells, Bay City, 2:48 over Ziegler Jr., Garden City, and 6:24 over McFarland, San Jose Road Club. He was off like a shot from the starting point, near San Leandro, and it seemed to be all over with the other clubs; surely the other riders could not catch the mighty Foster, who had been champion of the coast for so many years and who was said to be in splendid racing condition.

But they did catch him - four of them - and he was a beaten man when he and Squires fell near the tape, Wells left the ninth relay ten seconds behind Squires and caught him in no time.

Ziegler had them in sight when he started and kept them there, gradually gaining until he caught up. Then they set out for Foster, and how they flew over the ground, past San Leandro and along the county road, beside the electric road tracks. They aided each other by exchanging pace continually, a great advantage over Foster, who was riding alone and unpaced.

Soon they had him in sight and kept drawing nearer and nearer. Foster must have thought he was further ahead than he actually was, for he did not ride at his top speed any of the time.

Just as he was passing the electric road power-house he heard a whirr of wheels behind him. What was his astonishment on glancing around to see Wells, Ziegler and Squires. It must have surprised him greatly. They were badly winded and dead tired, but they were there, nevertheless, and he realized he could never leave such riders as they behind; he would have to depend on beating them out in a spurt at the finish.

From that point on the pace was very slow. Foster would not set a hot pace - it would not be advisable - and the other three were too tired to do much more than hang on just then. They were playing for time to rest and catch their breaths, as it were, and so the four loafed along turning down High street, at Fruitvale, toward Alameda.

As they turned into Central avenue, Alameda, McFarland caught up to them. He had made a grand ride all the way, and their slow pace toward the end had enabled him to join the leaders.

He would have been a big factor at the finish, but his chain slipped off his wheel about a mile from the finish, and he was out of it. He borrowed another wheel from a gentleman named Thompson of THE CALL Bicycle Club, who was nearby, but could not catch the leaders before they finished, though he was only a few seconds behind.

Central avenue, Alameda, offers a splendid course for the finish of such an event as the annual relay race. For two miles from where the turn is made into it down to the crossing of Grand street, the finishing point, it is level, smooth and perfectly straight. Down this elegant boulevard Foster, Wells, Squires and Ziegler flew, neck and neck, racing like mad, for all desire to loaf had left them, now that the finish was near, and they rode as if for their lives.

Down the avenue they came, cheered by the thousands upon thousands of people who lined the roadway. About two blocks from the finish the positions were: Ziegler leading, Squires to his right a few inches back, Wells to his left, and Foster back of them all, very close up. He decided to steal a march on the other three, and, thinking there was room to pass between Ziegler and Squires, started to do so. His front wheel showed through all right, but his pedals would not pass. They clinched with Squires' rear wheel, and in a second both went down with a terrible crash. Their wheels were wrecked and both riders were terribly bruised. Ziegler was ahead and escaped the smashup, and Wells on the outside got clear in time. These two never slackened their pace, and Wells, gradually gaining on Ziegler, beat him a couple of feet at the finish in as pretty and close a ride as has ever been seen in California.

Rider. Club. Time. Actual
1 C. S. Wells Bay City 1:56:12 35:24
2 Otto Ziegler Jr. Garden C 1:56:13 34:25
3 F. A. McFarland San Jose 1:56:25 31:01
4 William Yeoman Reliance 2:00:16 32:32
5 F. M. Byrne Imperial 2:03:04 32:52
6 George Hamlin San Fran 2:03:13 32:25
7 H. Egeberg California 2:05:09 33:45
8 C. A. Park Alameda Did not finish.
9 W. F. Foster Olympic collid'd nr tape
10 H. W. Squires Acme and did not fin.
Fastest time - 1894, 32:05; 1895, 28:01.

What the result would have been had Squires and Foster not fallen, may be in doubt, but it is probable that as Wells beat out Ziegler, he could have done the same to them, for they are surely no faster, if as fast as the little San Jose champion.

Foster and Squires were carried to the clubrooms of the Alameda cyclers, where their bruises were dressed, and they then went home. Wells was carried high on the shoulders of his delighted clubmates down the avenue, while the enthusiastic crowd cheered the popular Bay City rider again and again.

McFarland finished soon after Wells, and Yeoman, Reliance, next. The others came straggling in several minutes later.

The Acme Club of Oakland will protest against awarding the race to the Bay City Club, A meeting was held last night and it was decided that a protest should be made on account of the foul between Squires and Foster. Captain Swain of the Acme Wheelmen states the matter thus:

"Within two blocks of the finish Foster fouled Squires, and there are a good many who think it was not altogether accidental. According to the rules, Foster should have attempted to pass Squires on the outside, and should not have attempted to go between him and Ziegler. When Foster struck Squires, the Acme man was leading, and as Foster was completely used up, the race was a possibility for Squires. As soon as the foul occurred the crowd swarmed around and Squires could not remount or do anything. I have been told that it looked as though Foster had reckoned on Squires falling the other way and fouling Ziegler, leaving the route clear for himself, but Squires fell to the right and upset Foster."

The Garden City cyclers will also protest the race and the awarding of the trophy to the Bay City Wheelmen, for two reasons, first: The alleged faulty exchange of the Bay City packet without the prescribed limits, at the end of the sixth relay, and second: on the grounds that Krafts who rode the second relay for the Bay Citys, has not been a member of that club sixty days, a provision of the Associated Club's by-laws. The first ground of protest is untenable, and the second the Bay Citys claim they can satisfactorily established. But the fact remains that their men won the great race on their own speed and ability, and protests worry them but little. The association road racing committee will hear the protests this week. The Olympics claim to have a complaint against Squires, Acme, for fooling Foster, but they are too sportsmanlike to file it.

The credit for arranging the details of the race and bringing it off so successfully is due to the road racing and records committee of the Associated Clubs, which consists of George H. Stratton, chairman; Harry F. Wynne and A. P. Swain.

The following officials were in charge at the start and finish and in consequence everything at those points went off smoothly and without a hitch: Referee, Harlow H. White, president Associated Clubs; starter, John F. McGlynn, Olympic; clerk of course, Jules F. Hancock, Bay City; scorer, C. W. Prentiss, California; timers and judges - F. H. Kerrigan and George P. Wetmore, Bay City; Charles Albert Adams and H. D. Hadenfeldt, Olympic; J. J. B. Argenti, California; J. Catanich, Imperial; F. W. Sharp, Acme; W. E. Griffiths, Reliance; W. I. Pixley, San Francisco, and F. S. Hoyt, Alameda.