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Bicycles

The Morning World-Herald of October 3, 1892, reported the one-hundred-mile excursion of an Omaha bicycle club under the headline "A Great Century Ride, The Ride of the Omaha Wheelmen to Tekamah and Return." The paper assured its readers, "They didn't chop off a few miles to make it pleasant for themselves but rode from the start of the first mile to the finish of the 100th."

"[T]welve members of the Omaha Wheel club left . . . early on the north road on this enjoyable ride last Sunday morning while most people were asleep. A light wind was blowing in the faces of the sturdy wheelmen but they had started on their long journey to Tekamah and were not going to stop for a breeze.

"Just after daybreak the wind went down and the rest of the day was as perfect as could be wished for. It seemed as if nature had smiled on the efforts of the wheelmen and made everything pleasant for them on what was supposed by man to be a weary task but instead proved a pleasure. Most of the hills for the first twenty-seven miles, that are always ridden, were walked, that being the only tiresome part of the trip. At Blair a halt was called for a light lunch of sandwiches and coffee, after which the cyclers started out not to stop until they reached Tekamah. Just above Blair about five miles of deep dust was encountered, which proved hard pedaling, but after that the roads were hard as iron and ran as smooth as a ribbon . . . .

"All were sorry when they got to the fifty-mile turning point until Chief Consul [A. H.] Perrigo informed them of a big watermelon patch and a dairy on the road back. Then they were anxious, and covered the distance back to the place in question in an incredibly short space of time and were soon busy with a pile of watermelons and musk melons that had previously been ordered for their entertainment. . . .

"The lunch was evidently better for them than a big dinner would have been for they started off at a terrible pace and kept it up all the way to Blair, where they arrived at 1:30. A stop of thirty minutes was made there for light refreshments, and at 2 o'clock all were out on the road for Omaha where they arrived at 4 o'clock, finishing without any doubt more easily than any century crowd that ever left Omaha."

(July 2002)

 

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