WHEN SAN JOSE’S BUSINESSMEN WERE CYCLISTS - San Jose Mercury-news, Volume LXXIV, Number 71, 11 March 1908

From Wooljersey


Fourth Number in Series of Sketches, Accompanied by Photographs Resurrected From Musty Garret of Local Business House, Presented This Morning.



JOSEPH ANTOINE DELMAS - prominent member of the B. P. O. E. and the N. S. G. W., and manager of the Dudfield Lumber Company - was a nine-year-old man when the big high "ordinary” bicycle made its first appearance on the Pacific Coast. Nevertheless, he contracted the bicycle fever, and his family purchased for him a tiny "ordinary" wheel, which was made to order in '81. At this time cycling was considered a man's pastime, and Joe was probably the most diminutive wheelman in this city.

Joe devoted his time assiduously to the sport, and when he attained his majority he had developed a pair of sturdy legs which proved swift enough in '92 to win for him his first bicycle races on a track in this city. Joe was always a staunch supporter of the colors of the Garden City Wheelmen, and aided in scoring many a victory for that organization.

The machine represented here in the photograph was the last stage in the development of the bicycle before the era of pneumatic tires, but a few years later it was derisively termed a "cheese cutter" - just why no one today seems to know.

This bicycle was plentifully supplied with springs, and did not jar the rider like the first "safeties" did. It was just as heavy as the old ones, however, and modern riders would undoubtedly prefer to walk to propelling one of these ancient affairs more than a block, yet Joseph Antoine rode it often from San Jose to Capitola and Monterey, across the mountains.