New Orleans Bicycle Club - LOGO The New Orleans Bicycle Club---

The Great Race

Published October 20, 1890

The road race of last week provided us such great interest to all concerned that immediate steps were taken to hold a long-distance run, which resulted in a 100-mile race by members of the Louisiana Cycling Club, which took place on upper St. Charles Avenue yesterday.

The prizes offered were five in number - a handsome gold and silver medal offered by Cefenner; an oxydized silver medal given by Messrs, Gormully and Jeffery of Chicago and 3 handsome scarf pins. The points for 25, 50, 75, and 100 miles had been established and promptly at 7:30 a.m. the start was made in the presence of quite a crowd of interested wheelmen.

The participants were: R.G.Betts, B.W. Cason Jr., E.D. Frederic, C.H. Fenner and Ed Newman. F.M. Cook also started with the races to make a record for 25 miles. At the end of the first lap, Newman retired from the contest, quite ill, and at the same time W.C. Crivot, one of the original entries who had arrived at the starting point too late for the regular start took up the race.

At about the 20th mile Grivot withdrew sick, and the race continued with the men divided into two couples, Betts and Cason followed by Frederick and Fenner. At the 25th mile, Betts led for the record, which was lowered considerably, and in doing so caused Cason to call upon his reserve force to a considerable extent.

At 42 miles, Cason seemed to have weakened somewhat and ran into Betts' rear wheel, taking a fall, but was back on the bike unhurt. From this time Betts continued to draw away from Cason, Fenner, and Frederic remaining side by side as they did throughout the race. At the 50 miles, Betts led by 2 minutes, cutting the best previous American anateur record by 12 minutes. At the 75-miles point Betts led, with Cason about 4 minutes behind, and he finished in fine form and with a magnificant sprint, doing 100 miles in 7 hours, 18 minutes and 37.4 seconds.

The Following is the time compared with official American records up to August last: 25 mi. - Betts, 1 hr. 39 min. 36 sec. Record - Van Wagoner, 1 hr. 26 min. 55 sec.

100 mi. - Betts, 7 hr. 18 min. 37.4 sec. Record - F. Dampman, 7 hr. 20 min. 17 sec.

The race was well ridden, but Betts had clearly the advantage throughout and the fall by Cason in running into Betts' wheel looked as though due to weakness. Cason's knee was slightly bruised in the fall, but no serious damage was sustained.

Fenner and Frederic did the "brother act" riding together throughout until just before the finish, when a fine effort brought Frederic in ahead. Much interest was manifested in the race, and hosts of spectators lined the course at numerous points. --- October 20, 1890