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Chicago Riders Visit the Queen City

March 5, 2014


Snapshots of the Chicago Cycling Club’s visit to Cincinnati in May of 1896. Scenes include the road past Carthage (now Spring Grove and Vine Streets), canal boats, and Chester Park Track. Willie Windie, or Windisch as he was christened, along with other members of the Brighton Bicycle Club, entertained their Chicago friends each year on their annual visit. They would tour the Windisch-Muhlhauser brewery at the corner of Central Parkway and Liberty Streets and then banquet at the Gibson or Highland House.  According to the caption, this year they were entertained at the Country Club before spending the day at Chester Park.  Presumably their visits were to train on the hills of the Queen City and race in the annual Poorman road race, but surely the good food and beer were additional incentives to make the trip.

Their trip to Cincinnati in 1895 was reported in Bearings magazine, here transcribed:

Chicagoans Visit Cincinnati

Bearings May 3, 1895

Cincinnati was invaded by a crowd of Chicagoans last Sunday. It has been the custom for several years for the Chicago Cycling Club to call on General Poorman, William Windisch, and the latter’s brewery, and to ride from Hamilton over the Poorman road race course. This year there were twenty in the party and a hungry crowd it was that landed in Hamilton Sunday morning. After a hearty breakfast Eddie Poorman, son of the general, started to escort the Chicagoans into town. But there was a Thistle tandem along and when it went to the front to escape the dust every one began to look for a scorch. The pace was gentle at first, but gradually grew hotter. At the end of six miles Bliss Levy, Winship, Nicolet, and Hovey were the only ones hanging to the tandem. Three miles farther on Levy and Hovey ran into the wrong path and lost their holds. About a mile farther the tanem team started to sprint up a long hill. Winship then dropped. At the top Bliss quit and the tandem then jumped Nicolet, the sole survivor, and finished the course alone.

Levy and Hovey, by changing pace, caught Nicolet and the trio finished after the tandem. The rest of the party came straggling into Weber’s pavilion, some of them not getting there until noon time. Several of them had disabled machines. After dinner the party started for Mr. Windisch’s brewery and in a sprint with the tandem Nicolet took a hard fall, scraping his forehead badly. Levy ran over him. After a thorough inspection of Mr. Windish’s establishement the party visited the rooms of the Brighton Club, leaving there for supper and the train.

The Chicagoans on the trip were J.P. Bliss, A.J. Nicolet, W.C. Thorne, G.A. Thorne, H.R. Winship, James Levy, Frank Hovey, M.G. Matteson, Henry Elliott, J.H. Kelly, H.A. Thiede, D.E. Cook, T. Ritchie, J.H. Hodges, H.J. Jacobs, E.G. Gustafson, N.H. Van Sicklen, C.W. Shattuck, G.K. Barrett, and C.G. Sinsabaugh.

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