A Hit and Stay, Back in the Day

From an incident that occurred at Eighth and Main Streets, Los Angeles on the afternoon of 6 September 1897:

As Charles Parker "was riding his wheel quietly and inoffensively up Main Street  he suddenly found himself on his back in the street, with some carriage wheels rolling merrily over his legs and a strange horse trampling rudely upon his beloved bicycle.

He segregated himself from the general melee, and finding, with a hasty shake, that he was intact, rushed to save his wheel. B. Duncan, the driver of the horse, had meanwhile looked up from his phone discovered that something was happening, and Mr. Parker, wheel in hand, was very shortly at his side, explaining... what it was.

In about a minute all the men and boys within reach were formed in an admiring and interested circle about the group, and there they all stayed, at the corner... for one half an hour by the clock, the two main characters shouting and cursing in a most vile manner in animated and vivacious exchange of pleasantries.

The man in the buggy expressed his sorrowful surprise claiming that the bicyclist came out of nowhere, and asseverated that it grieved him to find he had not been paying proper attention had run over any gentleman, or words to that effect, and the gentleman in question maintained [in true cyclist form, clearly a tradition from the beginning of time] that there was no special harm in running over a mere man, it was the wheel, and he also politely implied that it would take more than grief to supply his wheel with a new sprocket and two spokes.

And so it went, till Mr. Duncan decided that if five dollars would repair the damage done to Mr. Parker's wheel he would pay that sum and call it square. The wheelman made a lightning calculation, and then thought about it awhile, and finally the above mentioned stipend was given and accepted and the small mob disappeared."

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

photo from the Library of Congress