[CR]Oscar Juner Obit.

(Example: History)

From: "Janis Johnson" <picabo58@earthlink.net>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
In-Reply-To: <001701c2adf4$aaaa2ce0$42bd150c@comp1>
Subject: [CR]Oscar Juner Obit.
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 20:09:47 -0800

Oscar Juner -- cyclist, bike-shop founder

Wyatt Buchanan, S.F. Chronicle Staff Writer Friday, December 27, 2002

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Oscar Juner, a popular cyclist who competed in six-day bike races of the 1930s and 1940s and founded San Francisco's American Cyclery shop, died Nov. 28.

Mr. Juner, a Pacifica resident, was 88 and died from heart complications at Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame, said his grandson Steven Perry.

In the six-day races, teams of two battled on indoor wooden tracks, trading off to rest or eat. The competitions were major social events that drew large crowds speckled with movie stars.

"Oscar was one of the great local heroes," said Owen Mulholland, a bicycle historian from San Anselmo. "He represented the last breed able to make a living at (six-day events)."

Racers could make as much as $1,000 a night at the biggest events, such as those held at Madison Square Garden in New York. Mr. Juner won the 1937 six- day race in Los Angeles with partner Bobby Walthour Jr.

In 1941, Mr. Juner started the American Cyclery shop at the southeast corner of Golden Gate Park. He operated the specialty store for 50 years, and many racers bought their first bikes there.

"Other stores sold high-end stuff, but they weren't as easy to deal with as Oscar," said Dave Staub, who grew up in the Sunset district and won the silver medal in cycling at the 1974 Pan American Games.

Staub bought his first high-end bicycle in 1953 for $100, which Mr. Juner let him pay off over the next year.

Mr. Juner -- who friends and family say had a gruff outward persona but a pleasant core -- saw himself more as an entertainer than an athlete, his grandson said.

He would pull stunts, such as snagging Betty Davis' hat as she cheered on passing cyclists at the Los Angeles race. He even made a clandestine attempt to cross the Golden Gate Bridge before it opened in 1937, only to be scuttled when his tire caught in the slottedexpansion joints, and both wheels broke.

Mr. Juner was raised in Newark, N.J., and began racing at age 16. At 21, he rode in his first professional race and moved to the Bay Area shortly after that.

He later served in the Army during World War II, earning a Purple Heart.

American involvement in the war ended the public's already waning interest in cycling, and it was never regained, Mulholland said. Upon returning home, Mr. Juner settled into his career as bike shop proprietor.

He was preceded in death by his second wife and his two children. He is survived by three grandsons, Steven Perry and Rick Perry, both of Sunnyvale, and Mark Perry of Campbell.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Crosby N. Gray Funeral Home at 2 Park Road in Burlingame. A memorial party will be held Sunday at 4 p.m. at the American Cyclery shop at Frederick and Stanyan streets. -----------------------------------------------------------------------

Jan Johnson

Portola Valley, CA