Re: [CR]Golden Age

(Example: Framebuilders:Norman Taylor)

Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 10:35:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Golden Age
In-Reply-To: <>

Thanks, there may be a whole, largely untold, story about American road racing before 1920. Perhaps someone will write a book or republish a long lost one. Kind of strange that there was an Olympic road race in 1896, but no World Championship professional road race until 1927. Of course, the Olympics were amateur then, so maybe that's the difference. A possibility that occurs to me is that professional sports were heavily wagered on in the early 20'th century (probably more so than now). Perhaps the later establishment of road racing as an international professional sport had something to do with the fact that it is harder to control or thoroughly watch than track racing, so easier to cheat in. This may have discouraged bettors, at least outside Europe.


Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX wrote: Many Americans participated in the Olympic road races of the period, including a bronze for Carl Schutte in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. See and related pages, assuming these lists are correct.

Joe Bender-Zanoni
Great Notch, NJ

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerome & Elizabeth Moos"
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 11:44:00 -0000
Subject: Re: [CR]Golden Age

> Fascinating, but that still leaves the question as to road racing

\r?\n> in say 1890 to 1920, which was more or less the heyday of American

\r?\n> track racing.


\r?\n> Regards,


\r?\n> Jerry Moos

\r?\n> Big Spring, TX


\r?\n> Edward Albert wrote:

\r?\n> Jerry...There was road racing long before the bike boom. I have

\r?\n> pictures of a hundred guys lined up in Queens, NY in 1941 and in the

\r?\n> late 30's waiting for the start of 100 mile road races that went

\r?\n> out to

\r?\n> Nassau County on Long Island and back. It wasn't just immigrants

\r?\n> per se

\r?\n> although the clubs tended to reflect European origins like Unione

\r?\n> Sportiva, the German Sports Club, the French Club, Dick Power's All

\r?\n> American Wheelmen, etc. People like Otto Eisle Sr., President of the

\r?\n> ABl, the Seuberts, etc. Racers like Furman Kugler, Arthur Lauf, Jacl

\r?\n> Heid....on and on. These guys organized and raced on the road. Of

\r?\n> course it wasn't Italy but it wasn't then and it isn't know our

\r?\n> nationalpasstime and never will be.

\r?\n> Edward Albert

\r?\n> Chapaqua, NY


\r?\n> >>> Jerome & Elizabeth Moos 02/27/06 10:46 AM

\r?\n> >>>

\r?\n> No, by Golden Age I meant the Golden Age of American racing, when

\r?\n> riderslike Major Taylor were winning World Championships. What I was

\r?\n> questioning was whether there was any significant road racing in

\r?\n> Americain this era, or if the competition was all on the track. If

\r?\n> all on the

\r?\n> track, this would imply the increase in American road racing in

\r?\n> the late

\r?\n> 60's was not a renaissance, but a new phenomenom. Except that

\r?\n> there was

\r?\n> probably always a little road racing in America, emulating Europe and

\r?\n> involving recent European immigrants.


\r?\n> One thing which makes me suspect that there was not much road racing

\r?\n> in America in the early 20th century: I was watching the DVD of

\r?\n> Lance'sWorl Championship in Oslo in 1993 a few days ago. Phil

\r?\n> Liggett, who was

\r?\n> commentating, mentioned that was the 100th Professional World

\r?\n> Championships, the first being held in Chicago around 1900.

\r?\n> However, he

\r?\n> said the first Professional Road Race World Championship was not held

\r?\n> until about 1927. That there was no Professional Road Race World

\r?\n> Championship until 1927, even though the Tour de France started

\r?\n> in, I

\r?\n> think, 1901 would imply that perhaps in the early part of the 20th

\r?\n> century, road racing was a mostly European form, with limited interest

\r?\n> in America, and perhaps in the British Empire.


\r?\n> Regards,


\r?\n> Jerry Moos

\r?\n> Big Spring, TX



\r?\n> wrote:

\r?\n> If I am following this correctly Jerry is referring to a Golden

\r?\n> age of

\r?\n> road racing in Europe between 1890 and 1920. Clearly that was the

\r?\n> periodwhen the Monuments and National Tours were founded but does that

\r?\n> constitute a Golden age? I'm not sure it does. I suppose you would

\r?\n> needto know numbers competing, public and media interest etc. to

\r?\n> identifythe right era. I think I would plump for the thirties and

\r?\n> forties when

\r?\n> bikes were "modern" but the races were still over heroic distances and

\r?\n> terrain.

\r?\n> On another topic I read that the British are "socially conservative"

\r?\n> Maybe, but equally there is a long tradition of eccentricity at all

\r?\n> levels of society. After all how conservative is a grown man

\r?\n> racing a

\r?\n> trike? Also in many towns there was a frame builder who would, for a

\r?\n> modest sum, express your personality in steel. One of the last frames

\r?\n> that I saw at Bill Philbrook's had "Bates" forks and "Hetchins" stays

\r?\n> and all for the price of a weeks holiday on the Costa Brava !

\r?\n> Jerry writes:- Of course, one could argue that America never did have

\r?\n> any

\r?\n> significant road cycling in the "golden age" and that there was no

\r?\n> renaissance in the late 60's but the discovery of the European

\r?\n> form of

\r?\n> road cycling virtually for the first time. If this is true, it

\r?\n> makes the

\r?\n> Paramount even more remarkable. Anyone know of any good books or

\r?\n> other sources which discuss American road, as opposed to track, racing

\r?\n> between say 1890 and 1920? Certainly American's did a lot of

\r?\n> cycling on

\r?\n> the road for recreation and transportation before the automobile

\r?\n> killedmost of this off, but I've seen little information about

\r?\n> road

\r?\n> competition in that era.


\r?\n> Regards,


\r?\n> Jerry Moos

\r?\n> Big Spring, TX



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