Monday, April 3, 2017

The Motorcycle Magazine - September 1903

The Motorcycle Magazine, September 1903 issue is available for your viewing
pleasure.  (Link:

"Across America on a Motor Bicycle"
By George A. Wyman

In addition to Wyman's report, of the 4th leg of his epic and historic ride across America, are several interesting articles about motorcycling in September 1903.
  • "Formation of the Federation", by Wallace Stevens - The organization of The Federation of American Motorcyclists as a political action and rights representative for the American motorcycle rider.
  • "The Effects of 7000 Miles", by W. Neal Walden - The physical and psychological affects of riding.
  • "Hansen and the 1000 Miles Record", A. J. Nicholson - Chronicle of A.A. Hansen's record breaking attempt at the 1,000 miles in 24 hour barrier.
  • "Demonstrations of Practicality", by H. F. Charles - On the many uses of the motorcycle and it's speed over conventional means of transportation.
  • and, many others...
Watch for the October 1903 edition of The Motorcycle Magazine next month.

Waypoint Volunteer - Sign up for one or more Wyman Waypoints to coordinate with potential hosting communities and organizations.  We seek authorized and secure mounting of Wyman Waypoint signs and where appropriate,Wyman Memorial plaques. This involves working with members of the community government, local historical societies and organizations through the stages of the hosting process

Donate today!  Help the George A. Wyman Memorial Project bring these historic publications to a wider group of motorcycle enthusiasts and to the general public.  Become a member of the Project by volunteering to help or through a tax deductible Sponsorship.  Check out our "Friends of George" page and become part of the efforts, "Linking the Past to the Present to Enrich the Future," today! 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Motorcycle Magazine - August 1903

The Motorcycle Magazine, September 1903 issue is available for your viewing pleasure.

Featuring - "Across America on a Motor Bicycle"
By George A. Wyman

In addition to Wyman's report, of the 3rd leg of his epic and historic ride across America, are several interesting articles about motorcycling in August 1903.

  • "A Legalized 'Holdup' in 'Free' America" The government discovers the value of the "ticket"
  • "The Call to Arms" Government regulation chases the motorcyclist.  The call to organize to lobby for rights of motorcyclists.
  • "Emblematic of Motorcycling", Motorcycle club Iconography is born
  • Is Motorcycling Hereditary? Like father, like son
  • Ad for "The Mitchell"  Billed as what may well be the first "fat boy" motorcycle
  • and, many others...

Watch for the September 1903 edition of The Motorcycle Magazine next month.

Donate today!  Help the George A. Wyman Memorial Project bring these historic publications to a wider group of motorcycle enthusiasts and to the general public.  Become a member of the Project by volunteering to help or through a tax deductible Sponsorship.  Check out our "Friends of George" page and become part of the efforts, "Linking the Past to the Present to Enrich the Future," today! 

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Motorcycle Magazine - July 1903

The Motorcycle Magazine, July 1903 is available for your reading pleasure.
(Click on the highlighted title above or cut/past this link:

Featuring:  Across America on a Motor Bicycle - OVER THE GREAT DESERTS TO THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, by George A. Wyman.  Included are several snapshots by Wyman not seen since their original publication in this 1903 issue.

In addition to Wyman's 2nd leg trip report are several interesting articles about motorcycling in July 1903.
  • A Motorcycling Leader - Profile of George M. Hendee, Indian Motorcycles
  • A Woman's View of the Motor Bicycle - Musings of a woman biker, circa 1903
  • Impressions of the Endurance Run - The New York "Rally" Wyman wanted to participated in after his historic ride-in from California.  (See the full Rally report:  The Great Endurance Run - Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review. Could this be the first Motorcycle Rally?)
  • More Enjoyment for Men of Years - A 51 Mile ride to eat.
  • and, many others....
Watch for the August 1903 edition of The Motorcycle Magazine next month.  

Donate today!  Help the George A. Wyman Memorial Project bring these historic publications to a wider group of motorcycle enthusiasts and to the general public.  Become a member of the Project by volunteering to help or through a tax deductible Sponsorship.  Check out our "Friends of George" page and become part of the efforts, "Linking the Past to the Present to Enrich the Future," today! 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Motorcycle Magazine - June 1903

The June, 1903 issue of The Motorcycle Magazine is available online!

( )

Marti Wyman Schein, Project, Director of Research, has gotten an advance copy of the first year of newly digitized The Motorcycle Magazine.  It is in PDF form, 508 individual PDF pages to be exact.  We have pieced together the June 1903 issue a made it available on our Google Drive in PDF form.

This issue contains Wyman's leg 1 article of Across America on a Motor Bicycle - OVER THE SEIRRAS AND THROUGH THE SNOW SHEDS.  One of the interesting finds of the article is of Wyman stopping at the Colfax RR Depot, CA, May 18, 1903.  The picture of him standing next to his 1902 "California" motorcycle is confirmation of the previously published photograph See:  Colfax Station and Wyman Memorial Plaque Dedication - Colfax Station

It also contains several other interesting articles;

  • Motorcycle pioneer E.R. Thomas of Buffalo, NY
  • A.A. Hanson, first person to publicly declare the goal to ride a motorcycle 1,000 in less than 24 hours
  • Motor Bicycles for Men of Weight (prelude to the "Fat Boy" ?)
  • Plus, period advertisements

The Yale University Library has digitized the entire collection of "The Motorcycle Magazine," Volume 1 and Volume 2.  This represents 48 issues and its entire publication run from 1903 to 1906.  The digitized versions will be eventually posted to the HathiTrust Digital Library for free public access to the entire collection.  We will bring you that information as it fully digitized versions become available.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Tuesday, June 16, 1903

Stoddart Hotel, 1907
On June 16th, Wyman woke at the hotel run by the widow Stoddart and her two sons in Marshalltown, IA.  He rode east out of town along Main Street at 7 am. His goal was to make Cedar Rapids by the end of the day.  Following the Northwestern RR tracks, he alternated between riding the ties and the roads adjacent to them.  As he approached the small farming communities along the route, some of the "section hands" would order him off the tracks.  It became sort of a game to Wyman as he always attempted to blarney his way along the tracks.

Here, in his own words taken from: "Through the Valley of the Two Great Rivers to Chicago", G.A.Wyman, The Motorcycle Magazine, September, 1903

     "Imagine a man so anxious to ride a bicycle over railroad ties that he would lie awake at night planning how to prevaricate to the section men! My luck in the gentle art of telling fairy stories was variable. Some passed me on with a doubtful look, but others were rude enough to refuse me credence and order me "back to the highway." Although I was east of there, I was like the man going to Omaha, who persistently returned after being put off the railroad train. Some section bosses and track walkers I went past, others I went around, and by using road and rail bed alternately I kept making headway."

Wyman's "snapshot"
About 20 miles from Marshalltown, Wyman rode along the RR ties through the Meswakie Indian Settlement near Tama.  As the tracks intersected what is now Meskwaki Road, Wyman left the tracks and took to the road.  (this stretch of road would become part of the Lincoln Highway system, circa 1913.)  A passing wagon caught Wyman's interest and he snapped this photo with his Kodak Vest Pocket camera.

     "There is a reservation at Tama, Iowa, through which place I passed and most of the Indians I saw were from there...while I was on the road I tried to get a snapshot of one of the parties of Indians that I met in wagons. There was a squaw in the party, and she yowled like a coyote when I pointed the camera at her and made haste to cover herself with a blanket...This squaw waved her arms and threw herself about so that I thought she would fall. I persevered, however, and got a snapshot; although it was an unsatisfactory one, because, after all, it shows only the Indian lady seated in the wagon with a blanket over her head."

He continued on, alternating between the rails and good roads.  Near the small community of Fairfax, Wyman's motor started to miss fire badly.  The spark for the combustion was produced by batteries stored in the metal compartment behind his seat.  Still following the tracks of the Northwestern RR he decided to switch to the adjacent road and pedal the rest of the way into Cedar Rapids.  Alas, another instance of final drive failure as his coaster brake malfunctioned.  Undaunted, he walked the rest of the way to Halls Bicycle Shop at 108 Second Avenue to affect repairs.  He remained overnight in Cedar Rapids, IA

     "Five miles from Cedar Rapids my batteries got so weak that my motor began to miss and finally gave out. When I tried to pedal the clumsily repaired coaster brake it broke again and I had to walk into Cedar Rapids. The rapids, which I passed as I entered the city, were pretty, but I, plodding along and pushing my bicycle envied their rapidity more than their beauty. I traveled about 77 miles this day, though the distance by rail from Marshalltown to Cedar Rapids is only 69 miles."

41.920245, -91.780172
Wyman Waypoint Sign Mounting
We are pleased to announce the City of Fairfax, IA has joined the Wyman Memorial Project as the hosting authority for Wyman Waypoint 616.2 Cedar Rapids Outskirts.  The Waypoint sign is mounted on the southside of Railroad Street just east of Vanderbilt Street.

The George A. Wyman Memorial Project thanks the City of Fairfax, IA for their enthusiastic support of our efforts to enrich the history of their community with the Wyman story.

"Linking the Past to the Present to Enrich the Future"

Friday, October 14, 2016

FLASH! "The Motorcycle Magazine" Digitized

Premier June, 1903 edition
The George A. Wyman Memorial Project is pleased to announce the successful digitization of the of The Motorcycle Magazine collection held by the Yale University Library Archive.  This collection is the only known copies of The Motorcycle Magazine and represents a vital link to the Wyman legacy.

At the left is the premier June, 1903 edition cover, not seen publicly in over 113 years!  This successful digitization task represents a major milestone in the Project's efforts at, "Linking the Past to the Present to Enrich the Future."

The entire collection of Volumes 1&2, some 48 individual monthly editions, of The Motorcycle Magazine will soon be to be released by Yale to the HathiTrust Digital Library.  Free public access to the digitized collection is expected to be the end of October or early November, 2016.  The Project will post links, as appropriate, for ease of access.

Wyman's articles appear in the June, July, August, September and October, 1903 editions.  Several other articles about Wyman historic journey appeared in the November and subsequent editions.  The Wyman Project requested that Yale digitize the entire collection of Volume 1,1903-1904 and Volume2, 1905-1906.  We felt it important to the legacy of Wyman's historic saga to be seen in the full context of motorcycling of the period.

We need your help!  The Wyman Project is on the hook for the cost of the digitization.  We do not yet know the final amount but expect it to be a few thousand dollars.  The Yale University Library partnered with Google to do the actual digitization of each page or each edition of entire collection of The Motorcycle Magazine.  Please, make a tax deductible contribution to support the Project's Research efforts.  Become a Research Sponsor for $50 or more.  Any amount will help!

A Team Effort - The digitization effort has been in the works since the Wyman Project contacted Yale almost 18 months ago.  Marti Wyman Schein, Project Director of Research, led the coordination with the Yale University Library archivist to get the job done.  Marti reached out to Deborah Hunt at San Francisco's Mechanics Institute Library, who had contacts at the Yale University.  Deborah Hunt worked with Andy Shimp of Yale's Librarian for Engineering & Applied Science, Chemistry and Mathematics, who coordinated the digitization process for Yale. We have these professionals to thank for successfully bringing the historic Wyman saga, as first published, to the digital world.   Well done, Team!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Passing Through Earlville

Earlville, IL c.1900
On Tuesday, June 18, 1903, Wyman rode through Earlville on his way to Chicago.  He started the day in Clinton IA, crossing the Mississippi River then on to Dixon IL.   There, he was told to follow the Old Chicago Stage Road southeast to Earlville, where he stopped to take a break.  From Earlville, Wyman rode northeast to Aurora where he experienced a major mechanical problem requiring him to peddle to Naperville, stopping for the night at a “little store” at the crossroads.

We are pleased to announce the City of Earlville has joined the Project as the hosting authority for Wyman Waypoint 618.4 Earlville.  The City plans on mounting the Wyman Waypoint sign in the city green space at the end of Railroad Street.  The 618.4 Earlville Wyman Waypoint sign is sponsored by Big & Little Arlen Brunsvold and Ron Hurner.  Thank you!

If you would like to join the Project as a Sponsor, you can get more information on our "Friends of George" page. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Riding Through Goshen

Wyman departed Kensington Illinois at 6:45 on June 24, 1903.  He rode along the railroad tracks because recent rains had made the roads heavy with mud.  Passing through Porter, IN he continued alternating between the railroad tracks and stretches of passable road.  Along the way he noticed a peculiar order.  The smell of burning paint seemed to be coming from the motor.  When he reached La Porte around noon he investigated the issue and determined it was bad gasoline.   After a brief lunch, some repairs and getting fresh gasoline in La Porte, Wyman pressed on.

Turning southeast, Wyman rode through Goshen, Indiana at about 5:30 that afternoon.  In 1903, Goshen was a farming community with a population of about 7,810.  It was settled by "Yankee" immigrants in the 1830s.  They named it after the "Land of Goshen" owing to their Puritan and Amish heritage.  With ample daylight remaining and the motorcycle running well, he continued all the way to Ligonier, where he stopped for the night.  Wyman had ridden 130 miles, one of his best days.

Today, Goshen is the home of Janus American Motorcycles.  "Founded on the belief that the spirit of motorcycling is best understood on a small, lightweight machine, and that honoring timeless styling cues from motorcycling history isn't antithetical to modern engineering and performance. Janus Motorcycles provide riders with a more powerful sensation of speed and a more direct connection with both the road and the passing landscape than is possible with many of today's motorcycle designs."

"The design and manufacturing process developed by Janus in northern Indiana is focused on the highest level of design, quality, and performance. This approach mandates a motorcycle different from any others made today and guarantees a fundamental simplicity of operation and maintenance, making possible a closer relationship between owner and machine. All fabricated parts of our motorcycles are made within about 20 miles of our facility, with specialty cast parts such as the engine & brakes sourced from the best suppliers we could find for our purposes."

The George A. Wyman Memorial Project is pleased to announce that Janus American Motorcycles has join the Project as the hosting authority for 624.3 Goshen waypoint.  The Wyman Memorial plaque and Waypoint sign, sponsored by Roger & Kathy Allen - IBA members 436 & 437, will be mounted on the Janus American Motorcycle Company headquarters at 211 South Fifth Street, Goshen, Indiana

We are excited to have Janus as a supporter of the Project.  They bring an undeniable passion for the sport of motorcycling and a special synergy to our efforts...
"Linking the Past to the Present to Enrich the Future"

Sunday, August 7, 2016

On the Wyman Trail

Our efforts to obtain authorized and secure mounting of Wyman Memorial plaques and Wyman Waypoint signs, along the historic 1903 San Francisco to New York City route, requires lots of behind the scenes coordination.  Sometimes, it takes personal site visits to get the proverbial ball rolling.

This Wyman trail excursion will be in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.  There are several hosting authorities who are in various stages of final acceptance to mount Wyman Memorial plaques and Waypoint signs in their communities.  The locations below are the focus for this trip.

626.1 Fremont
625.8 Perrysburg RON
625.4 Edgerton
624.4 Ligonier RON
618.4 Earlville
618.3 Dixon

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Riding the Grand Tour on an Electric Motorcycle

Zero Motorcycle - DSR Dual Purpose
John Michael Flores is a freelance writer currently working on a series of articles for RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel magazine about George A. Wyman.  John contacted the Project several weeks ago to give us a 'heads up" about his plans to ride the Wyman Grand Tour route....on an all electric motorcycle!

We wish John safe travels and an exciting hard riding adventure.  We will be following his journey with great interest.  Click on the links above to follow John on Instagram and his posts on the RoadRUNNER Facebook page.  

This is the route that George A Wyman took in 1903. He did not map his route (roadmaps were a new thing), but the George A Wyman Memorial Project has spent years reviewing Wyman's travel story as it was originally published and correlating places that Wyman mentioned in his story to a map. Wyman himself did not record his mileage because his cyclometer broke due to the horrid road conditions. He bought another one and then that broke too. So that was the end of that. Overall, it's about 3,028 miles, and the general route became what is now known as the Lincoln Highway, one of the first transcontinental routes established 10 years later in 1913. Funny story-when I went to my credit union to tell them that I would be traveling and not to put a security block on my card, they asked what states I was visiting. I said, "California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York." I don't think that they were expecting such a long list LOL. #advrider #adventuretouring #motorcyclelife #motorcyclediaries #motorcycletravel #motorcycleadventure #motorcycle #motorcycles #RoadRUNNER @RoadRUNNER_magazine #ZeroMotorcycles #GeorgeAWyman
A photo posted by john m flores (@johnmichaelflores) on