Everything seemed favorable on Saturday afternoon for the annual race meeting of the Bicycle Club. The afternoon was pleasant and warm, while the slight breeze that blew across the field was not strong enough to trouble any of the riders. The benches were well filled, over 400 spectators being present when the first race was called. Among the spectators were delegations of wheelmen from all the principal clubs in the vicinity, who stacked their machines beneath the willows at the eastern end of the track and behind the long rows of seats.
Each contestant was required to wear a number on his back, so that the spectators were enabled to follow the course of the races very readily. The arrangements for the meeting had been made with great care, and reflect much credit on the gentlemen in charge. The officials were as follows: Referee, Prof. John Williams White; judges, Mr. W. H. Goodwin, '84, Mr. A. F. French, '85; time-keepers, Mr. J. G. Lathrop, Mr. E. A. Thompson, '87, Mr. Wendell Baker, '86; starter, Mr. J. S. Dean, L. S.; clerks of the course, Mr. W. D. Smith, '84, Mr. F. Winthrop White, '85. The summary of events follows:
FIRST HEAT.There were nine entries for this race which was run in three heats. Only four men started, however. The first heat was between E. Norton, '85, and George M. Hendee of Springfield. Both men got off well at the report of the pistol, though Hendee had a slight advantage. At the end of the first lap, Hendee was a length and a half ahead; at the end of the second lap, barely a length; on the third lap he drew away to his first lead of a length and a half, but Norton spurted on the home-stretch of the last lap and won the heat in 3m. 15 1-4s.
SECOND HEAT.In the second heat the contestants were Charles Frazier and H. A. Edgerly. Frazier, who rode a Star bicycle, lost about eight feet at the start. At the end of the first lap, Edgerly had a lead of a length and a quarter, which he maintained until the last lap, when Frazier overhauled him on the back stretch and won the heat, with five lengths to spare, in 3m. 6 1-2s.
ONE MILE COLLEGIATE.Following the second heat of the mile invitation race came the mile race open only to college men. Out of six entries, this race had four starters, W. B. Segur of Andover, W. H. Hogue, Harvard, E. Norton, Harvard, and G. W. Matthewson, Harvard. Immediately after the start the men strung out into line, and finished the first lap with Hogue ahead, and Norton in the rear. At the end of the second lap Norton had crept up to second place, while at the close of the third circuit he had the lead, Matthewson, having passed Hogue, being a good second. The men came down the home stretch in good shape, with Norton an easy winner, time, 3m. 6 1-2s; Matthewson second, in 3m. 8 1-5s., and Hogne and Segur in the order name.
THREE MILES INVITATION RACE.Out of eleven entries in this race there were five starters, Segur, Edgerly, Matthewson, Norcross, and Millard. The pace set for the first mile was a hot one, and at the fourth run down the home stretch Millard was in the lead, with Norcross a good second. On completing this lap, Segur dropped out. On the fifth lap Norcross was passed by Matthewson, and in the sixth by Edgerly. Matthewson spurted beautifully at the end of the second mile and took first place, with Edgerly, who had passed Millard, second. Edgerly, Matthewson and Millard came by the line on the ninth lap in the order named, and very closely bunched. On the completion of this lap Matthewson game up the race, though he did not dismount, and rode slowly around the track. The tenth lap was run with Edgerly, Millard and Norcross in the lead, in the order named. Just after crossing the line on the eleventh lap Edgerly took a severe header, which allowed the other two contestants to pass him, and also put renewed life into Matthewson, who had given up the race, and was riding along at his leisure about two laps behind the leaders. Edgerly, however, pluckily picked himself up, mounted, and won third place. This race was run with handicaps, and the winners came over the line in the following order: Millard, (160 yards) first, 9m. 55 3-4s; Norcross (160 yards) second, 10m. 5 3-4s.; Edgerly (100 yards) third.
ONE MILE INVITATION RACE-FINAL HEAT.The event of the day was this race. Edgerly withdrew on account of his accident in the previous race, and Norton, Hendee and Frazier took their place at the mark in the order named. Hendee obtained a trifle the best start, and all were off at a tremendous start, and all were off at a tremendous pace. At the end of the first lap Hendee led Frazier by a length and a half, Norton holding third place. The second lap was finished in the same order, though Frazier had reduced his opponent's lead to less than two feet. The third lap was a continuous spurt, the two leaders struggling for first place, and Norton gamely cutting down the distance between himself and the men ahead of him. Hendee rushed over the finish in 2.54 1-2s., having shaken off Frazier, who came in a length and a half behind in 2.54 5-8s. Norton came in about thirty yards behind, having made a splendid fight for the lead.
This race was the most exciting event of the day. The time of both Hendee and Frazier beats the record, 2m. 54 3-4s., and is conclusive proof of the excellence of our track.
ONE MILE TRICYCLE RACE.Hendee and C. F. Haven contested the tricycle race. Hendee took the lead at the start and held it to the finish, covering the mile in 3m. 44s., Haven coming in, about fifty yards behind, in 3m. 57 1-5s. The record in this event is 3m. 31s.
TWO MILE INVITATION RACE.This was the last event on the programme, and in it were entered Millard, Frazier, Rothe and Norton, taking positions in the above order. The first mile was not particularly exciting and at its close the order was Millard, Frazer, Rothe and Norton. On the fifth lap Norton took the second place, passing Frazier and Rothe in splendid form. Rothe practically fell out of the race in the sixth lap. The second mile found Frazier ahead, followed by Norton, Millard and Rothe. The third mile was completed in the same order, though Rothe was now a lap and a quarter behind the leader. At the close of the fourth mile, Millard caught up with and passed Norton, holding second place by a length. The last lap of the last mile showed a splendid race between Norton and Millard. On the back stretch Norton gradually drew ahead, and came over the line a quarter of a length ahead of Millard. The race was handily won by Frazier, in 16m. 40 1-2s.; Norton second, 17m 11-2s.; Millard third; Rothe fourth, nearly two laps behind.
Owing to the non-appearance of Mr. Hamilton of Yale, the five-mile Harvard-Yale championship race was not contested. This was unfortunate, as the event would have been close and exciting.