Fast Digs: That Old SF / LA Rivalry

Before the Dodgers / Giants rivalry, the desire to one-up the other city existed in another sport. The sport of bicycle racing. It was 1893, the eve of the annual big 4th of July race from Los Angeles to Santa Monica and the Los Angeles Herald, "recognizing the growing importance of wheeling" had decided they would, each Monday morning, publish a special column dedicated to the cycling world. In that first weekly column the Herald journalist, before moving on to pre-race news about riders and their bikes, stoked the flames of rivalry between Los Angeles and San Francisco: "San Francisco writers in discussing the fast racing men of California, rarely if ever, refer to any Los Angeles men. If the records were carefully scanned it will be observed that the wheelmen from this city have more than held their own every time they have gone north. In fact, last year D. L. Burke of this city won the mile championship and he doubtless could do that trick again this year... The local club contains more speedy riders than any club in the state." Gauntlet thrown.

Though unrelated to the great race of July 4, the above photo (found on Pinterest, but the original seems to be from the California Historical Society Collection at USC) shows a group of Los Angeles Wheelmen wearing their fancy duds (not what they would race in) at the East Side Bicycle Club track, in Boyle Heights, on 3 October 1893. Pictured are: Standing, left to right - Jack Winters, John S. Thayer, Faye Stefenson, Phil Kitchen, W. J. Allen, E. S. Pauly, Tracy Hugh Rall, W. A. Tufts, Walter Tyler, seated in front are, Lord Gattensbury, A. D. Cummings, and Ernest Steuart Paully. The following day the Herald printed a lengthy recap of the 25-mile track race which, among other things, suggests that the spelling of names in the above photo may not be correct, with at least one being a nickname. 

On a side note: If it seems as though I am a little less "free" with the information in this post, you would be correct. I am always on the lookout for book ideas and the Fast Digs theme might just be a worthy one. Who knows, but it is an idea I am playing with. I will continue providing little snippets of information, but if you want the whole thing you will need to either do the research or be patient.