THEY GO SWIFTLY
The Wheels and Those Who Ride Upon Them.
A DAILY PROCESSION.
All sorts of Bicyclists and Bicycles on Euclid Avenue.
More Than Six Thousand of the Noiseless Steeds Owned in This City
-- The Dude and the Scorcher -- Bells and Lights.
Six thousand bicycles are owned in Cleveland and if an estimate
made by a leading dealer, yesterday, is accurate. Ninety percent
of them are safety bicycles with pneumatic tires, and their value
exceeds $500,000. Three hundred Cleveland women own bicycles and
the number is rapidly increasing. More women are making inqueries,
indicating possible purchases than ever before. It is estimated
that two thousand children have been pro-vided by doting parents
with the steeds that don't balk or cause their owners anxiety
as to the state of the hay crop. Fashions in wheels are changing
constantly, but the leading question for debate at present is
the weight best suited for ordinary uses. Formerly forty pounds
was considered a good weight for a road wheel. Last year thirty
pounds was considered the correct thing, but the greater number
of those who invest this year will select wheels varying from
twenty-four to twenty-seven pounds in weight. The lightest road
wheels manufactured weigh twenty-one pounds. The ordinary racing
weight is from eighteen to twenty-two pounds.
So many of the six thousand travel along Euclid avenue that the
daily parade there has be-come on the sights of the city. They
are most numerous after work-hours on a pleasant day, but those
bound toward the business district in the early morning outnumber
even Coxey's conquering host. While the trips down town are spread
over several hours, however, the homeward jour-neys of the wheelmen
are nearly all undertaken between 5 and 6 o'clock. Their presence
pro-mises to make Euclid avenue, east of Erie street, quite a
popular promenade. People have found that a review of the flying
wheelman is of the greatest interest. Costumes and attitudes catch
their attention. A study of the individuals of the "bikes",
shows such a wide range from the admirable to the grotesque that
the street cars are losing patronage because of the attraction....
A man of dignity managed to excite a great deal of com-ment last
evening. He sat bolt upright, his fingers resting gingerly on
the handle bars, which were breast high. He wore a silk hat and
the flowing tails of his frock coat floated in the breeze. Perhaps
he regarded exertion as undignified and the slow and steady manner
in which he manipulated the pedals of his low geared wheel indi-cated
that he did not propose to make work of the trip. Near Huntington
street he exchanged disdainful looks with a "scorcher."
The latter was a youth of seventeen, of athletic build and no
extra clothing. He wore a close-fitting cap. A sweater, knickerbockers,
black stockings and canvas shoes. He hustled along as though he
expected to overtake Zimmerman at the next block. His handle bars
were lowered and his back had a two minute class curve. An occasional
brush with other speedy young men seemed to please him, but the
upright dude made him weary. He excited similar sentiments in
the dude and they did not speak nor salute as the scorcher passed.
Many of the young men of business wore their everyday clothes,
and some had their dinner boxes strapped to the handle bars....
Young ladies with glowing cheeks and sparkling eyes spin along
in the daily avenue parade. They seem to enjoy the sport immensely.
Some of the spectators are wondering when the first of them will
appear in the feminine uniform which had been adopted by radicals
of the sex in the East-bloomers. The bloomers are growing in favor
in the East, and half the lady bicyclists of France are said to
wear them. There may come a day when somebody in Cleveland will
boldly adopt the innovation, but becoming costumes with skirts
have proved quite satisfactory up to the present.
Bells and lanterns must be attached to bicycles this year. Riders
must shun the sidewalks and limit their speed to 15 miles per