Monday, January 8, 2018

The Story Behind the Headlines?

California Motor Company offers bicycle racer George Wyman $500 prize money to ride their motor-bicycle from San Francisco to New York City.  The Goodman Company gets exclusive rights to publish the story and helps with the trip expenses.

Filling the holes of the Wyman saga based on reliable and verifiable sources is a pains taking process.  Very much like a detective following leads, running down rumors and piecing the timeline together.  Sometimes, a new piece of the puzzle helps others fall into place.  When a new bit of the history surfaces, the Wyman Project is eager to share with the public.  Speculating about historical events beyond that supported by documented facts is a risky undertaking.  We want to present the information in historical context, offering reasonable assumptions about the circumstances surrounding new information.  The Wyman Project is very curious about the circumstances leading up to the first crossing of America by motorized vehicle. What were the stakeholders interests and motivations?  What did each hope to gain?  What follows is speculation about the story behind the documented tidbits.  We preface our assumptions with the phrase, "It is likely..."

FOLLOW THE MONEY - Investigations by Marti Wyman Schein, Research Director of the Wyman Project, and those published by Road Rider Magazine in September of 1988 point to a collaboration of the California Motor Company (CMC) and the Goodman Company, publisher of The Motorcycle Magazine, bank rolling much of, if not all of Wyman's historic 1903 journey.  It is likely the CMC put up prize money and would provide technical support.  The Goodman Company likely covered most of Wyman's trip expenses in exchange for exclusive story rights.  Wyman would keep a day-to-day journal and submit regular reports to the Goodman Company.

Dateline May 21, 1903 - Reno Gazette-Journal:  This news clipping confirms other rumors that Wyman would receive a $500 prize (Over $13,000 in 2017 dollars) if he arrived in New York City within 40 days from leaving San Francisco.  It is likely this information came from Wyman himself, given to the reporter for the Gazette-Journal.  Wyman was always eager to tell his story to the local news.  It was repeated in the Winnemucca paper a few days later.

The researchers at Road Rider Magazine make the case the CMC may have been heavily involved with the Wyman adventure.  The questions raised in that article are still unanswered to this day, as all records of the behind the scenes activities and motivations of the CMC owners are long gone.  But, the chronology of the events, juxtaposed with the contemporaneous reporting suggests a collaboration.  The California motor-bicycle was competing with scores of other motorized cycles.  Having invested large sums of startup capital in the CMC, the owners would have been eager to show how well the California performed.  (See the Wyman chronology, 1877 - 1959, in the Road Rider article, linked below.)

"America's First Road Rider - THE HISTORY, "Speculation on the Wyman Story" by G.W. 'Oley' Knudsen and Bob Carpenter, Road Rider Magazine, September 1988, Vol 19 Nbr 9

THE CALIFORNIA MOTOR COMPANY - At the turn of the last century, J.W. Leavitt and L.H. Bill owned/operated bicycle shops in the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, CA.  In 1901, Leavitt and Bill founded the California Motor Company.  They hired Roy C. Marks as chief mechanical engineer.  Their goal was to mass produce the motorized bicycle, dubbed the 'California', based on Marks design.  The CMC factory was located at the San Francisco bicycle shops at 730 & 309 Larkin Street.  The CMC was struggling to expand the market for its California motor-bicycle.  Something of a 'dud', its first model was just 90cc and 1/2 horsepower.  At that displacement it was prone to mechanical breakdowns as the under powered motor labored to carry a rider.  In 1902 the California was fitted with a larger 200cc, 1.25 HP motor.  If Leavitt & Bill could not make CMC profitable though the sales of the 'California' at least they could make the company attractive on the ever expanding motorcycle production market.

Cycling sports entrepreneurs Leavitt & Bill were active in the bicycle racing scene in the bay area, sponsoring an annual 100 mile bicycle rally event.   They knew top seeded bicycle racer George Wyman.  He participated in the bay area rallies in 1901 and 1902 after his return from Australia. Wyman had an international reputation for hard riding.  While in Australia around 1900 Wyman circumnavigated the continent of Australia on a bicycle, becoming the first American cyclist to do so.  Owing to his reputation for hard riding it is likely Wyman was eager to expand his riding horizons with a motor.  Sometime in 1902, Wyman acquired a California motor-bicycle.  It is not yet known how he came to get the bike, whether new from CMC or used from someone, or how much he paid for it.  Motor-bicycles in 1902 were retailing for between $200 and $250 ($5,000-$6.900 in 2017 dollars).   In July of 1902, Wyman rode 'the California' across the Sierra Nevada Mountains to attend the "Fifty Mile Bicycle Race" in Reno, NV (source:  Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review, page 255, April 1903)  Wyman was the first to ride a motorized vehicle, of any kind, across the Sierra Nevada range.  It was on the ride back to San Francisco that would inspired Wyman to attempt a transcontinental journey.

On August 17th, 1902, a large combined race featuring events for bicycles, motor-bicycles, and automobiles is held at San Francisco's Ingleside Racetrack.  Two California motor-bicycles are entered in the 5th event, a three-mile motor-bicycle handicap.  Wyman attended, but was not one of the California racers.  He was at the event, representing the Bay City Wheelmen, riding in three bicycle races. It is likely he watched the two California and one Thomas motor-bikes race.

Late summer or early fall, 1902, it is likely Wyman and the CMC got together to discuss his transcontinental attempt.  Wyman would need financial and technical support for the journey.  Whether he approched CMC or they came to him, we suspect the company and the racer came to an arrangement.  CMC would have seen the transcontinental attempt as an opportunity to showcase the California.  It is likely, CMC offered Wyman a $500 incentive if he could reach New York City in 40 days.  From their stand point it was a calculated business decision.  If Wyman pulls it off it would be a huge endorsement of the quality of the California.  And, enhance the value of the CMC for any potential buy-out scenario.  If he did not make it with the 40 day, then all CMC was on the hook for was a New York City to San Francisco 1st Class train ticket for Wyman.  Given their inside knowledge of the performance capabilities of the California it seemed like a good business decision.  Wyman's planned route was slightly over 3,800 miles.  Making the journey in 40 days meant he had to cover an average of 95 miles each day.  CMC might have doubted Wyman's ability to make the journey in under 40 days, so no payout.  But, probably confident, given Wyman's reputation as a 'sticker' to eventually reach New York City.  There would be very little downside for CMC...except for bad press if things went wrong.

THE GOODMAN COMPANY - Publisher of the widely read "Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review", Goodman was keen to launch America's first periodical focusing on the growing motorcycle trend.  The first ad for the new magazine appears in the May 2, 1903 edition of "Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review."

Wyman had an agreement with Goodman to publicize the journey.  Wyman would provide timely and regular progress reports from the trail.  For exclusive rights to Wyman's articles and photographs, Goodman would provide reasonable travel and communication expenses, giving Wyman something like 'reporter' status. The Goodman Company had a well honed reporting infrastructure already established from years of covering the bicycling news across America and internationally. (Goodman states it has 'exclusive' rights to Wyman's reporting on page one, after the ad, of the June 1903 issue, The Motorcycle Magazine.)

Communication with the Goodman offices, in either San Francisco or New York City, were made by telephone, telegraph and postal mailings.  Wyman kept a paper journal of his journey and took photographs with a Kodak Vest Pocket camera.  Every few days while on the trip Wyman would have to compile his notes, get film developed and have the reports sent to Goodman.  The June 1903 premier issue of "The Motorcycle Magazine" featured the first installment of "Across America on a Motor Bicycle"  by Wyman.  During his ride, the Goodman Company published many news clips in "Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review" chronicling Wyman's journey in the April - September 1903 issues.  This periodical had a much higher circulation and subscription rate than the just launched "Motorcycle Magazine" so it was important for the Goodman Company to keep interest in the Wyman story high.

CMC - Wyman - Goodman:  The April 25, 1903 issue of Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review contains a clip announcing Wyman's intention to ride across America.  By this time it is likely the stage was set between the CMC, Wyman and the Goodman Company.  This begins the coverage of what could be the motor sports story of the century...or not.

One of the questions raised by Road Rider in the September 1988 article is: Why so little publicity about the historic first ever motorized vehicle journey across America?  Articles and news posting about the crossing appeared mainly in the local news papers, Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review and of course The Motorcycle Magazine.  All low circulation periodicals.

Another curiosity is the almost complete lack of any mention of the California brand in any of the published articles.  Or, the absence of the CMC logo in any photographs of the bike Wyman was riding, and no CMC advertising found before or during the ride.  Wyman mentions the California brand in just the first of his 5 "Across America on a Motor-Bicycle" articles.  And, that mention describes the California in a non-possessive manner describing his ride over the Sierra's, "During the previous summer I had made the journey on a California motor bicycle to Reno, Nevada..."  Note, he calls it as 'a California,' not 'my California.'   There is scant (only 1) mention of Wyman riding a California in news reports published in "Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review" during his May - July trip.

Could it be CMC imposed a temporary moratorium on Goodman Company and Wyman not to mention California brand until after successful completion of the trip?  Makes sense if CMC wanted to manage the publicity to minimize the negative impact of catastrophic failure of the motor.  Wyman's reference to 'a California', not 'my California' lends credibility to that idea owing to the successful first crossing of the Sierra Nevada Mountains by him on the California.  A contrary speculation is Wyman was at odds with CMC and refused to mention the California by name.  But that is not likely.  CMC would have done extensive advertising about its top of the line motor-bicycle going across America.  Without access to the agreement documentation, if any still exists, we my never know the true circumstances surrounding the relationships among the three stakeholders in this historic event.

All Fame Is Fleeting

Wyman rides the California across America in 50 days.  He misses the 40 day prize money window due to the many mechanical breakdowns and parts delays.  Wyman gets his 1st Class train ride back to San Francisco.  (Imagine his thoughts as he gazed out of the train window while traveling back along the route he just rode.)  His epic accomplishment rapidly fades into obscurity as the news of the first transcontinental crossing by automobile captures the imagination of America.

The Goodman Company launches "The Motorcycle Magazine" and proclaims Wyman a two-wheel motor sports hero.  Publishing the account of Wyman's San Francisco to New York City journey documents the first coast-to-coast long-distance motorcycle ride for posterity.  The magazine goes out of publication in 1906. 

In October of 1903, the California Motor Company is sold to Consolidated Manufacturing, maker of the Yale brand of bicycles and motorcycles.  The negotiations for such a buy-out must have been in the works for months.  The following year, the machinery of the CMC in the San Francisco factory is disassembled and moved to the Yale factory in Toledo, OH.  The California-Yale is produced for a couple of years before going out of production.

The Spirit of the Long Ride

The legacy of Wyman's epic journey is not in his motivations or personal rewards.  That he kept going after missing the 40 day prize money window shows he was riding for other reasons.  He had to know finishing the first ever crossing of America by motorcycle was the extraordinary achievement in itself.  The legacy of George A. Wyman's successful 1903 ride across America literally defines the spirit of the long-distance motorcyclist.

Read -  Across America on a Motor Bicycle by George A. Wyman

Friday, October 20, 2017

Wyman Journey Poster Campaign

Bring the Wyman history to riders near you:
Create a Wyman memorial at your local motorcycle dealership!


Now, you can join the campaign to help bring the Wyman story to riders in your local area.  Receive two Journey posters; one for you and one for a local motorcycle shop.  (See the details below)


BMW Motorcycles of Austin, TX


Click here for a zoom in view
We are expanding the Wyman Journey poster campaign to local motorcycle dealerships across the USA.  Our national campaign has already sent the Journey poster to over 130 motorcycle dealerships along Wyman's 1903 route.   Thank youWyman Journey poster campaign sponsors.  

This 18 by 24 inch high quality poster captures the story of Wyman's epic journey across America.  Fashioned after a circa 1903 newspaper front page, it captures 'who, what, why, when, where and how' of this historic event.

Motorcycle dealerships use posters to share information about local events and promotions.  The Wyman Journey poster fits right in, especially, with those dealerships in the communities listed on the poster between San Francisco to New York City.  The Journey poster has the potential to introduce hundreds, even thousands, of local riders to Wyman's inspiring long-distance motorcycle ride for the first time.
(Click here for list)


(Poster frame purchased separately)


Donating is easy and secure via PayPal or credit/debit card.  Click on the "Donate" button at the upper right margin of this page and enter the dollar amount of your tax deductible* donation.  Select, "Donate with PayPal" or "Donate with a Debit or Credit Card"  Enter the words "Journey poster" in the "Enter Sponsorship level here" link.  Please ensure to include your mailing address.





Donate $25 - and receive 2 Wyman Journey posters. Hang one at home and place the second to your local motorcycle dealership to help spread the Wyman story.

Donate $50 - and receive 3 Journey posters, along with the 11x17 inch laminated Waypoint poster & 2 Waypoint reflective stickers.  Hang one Journey poster at home and place the second to your local motorcycle dealership to help spread the Wyman story.

Each Wyman Journey poster package contains:
  - 2 Journey posters
  - Letter of invitation to the the motorcycle shop General Manager
  - Suggestions on how best to prepare the poster for display

Proceeds of the campaign will be to distribute the Wyman Journey posters to current Wyman waypoint sign & memorial plaque locations, historical societies & tourist information centers between San Francisco and New York City.

Thank you!  We are proud of the Wyman Journey poster.  Volunteer graphic designers Michele Denton and Steve Diederich have captured the essence of Wyman's historic event in an artistic and informative fashion.  Their volunteer work is a great example of working together...
"Linking the Past to the Present to Enrich the Future"

The mission of The George A. Wyman Memorial Project, Inc. is to promote the Wyman story, mark the points along his historic 1903 route, and educate the public of his epic motorcycle journey across America. 

* Consult your tax adviser.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Wyman in the News!

Dateline 18 June, 2017 - NBC News -San Francisco Bay Area, reporter Joe Rosato Jr. publishes this piece about Wyman's ride across America.

Remember the Oakland Man Who First Crossed the US on a Motorcycle
George A Wyman a little known Oakland mechanic was the first person to cross the United States on a motorized vehicle.
(Published Sunday, June 18, 2017)

""
CLICK HERE

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Motorcycle Magazine - November 1903

The Motorcycle Magazine, November 1903 issue is available for your viewing
pleasure.  (Link:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bzo_1W2xo-aQa29CMldyeF8waGs)

Featuring!
THE MERITS OF WYMAN'S PERFORMANCE
By A. Nichols Jervis

An interesting analysis of Wyman's historic first ever crossing of America.  The author puts into prospective just how difficult riding a motorcycle across the continent was in 1903 America.  Jervis contrasts Wyman's solitary accomplishment with that of the Jackson automobile 'expedition' crossing 21 days after Wyman reached NYC.

  • "Nine Thousand Miles of Utility," by E. M. Case:  Telephone linemen discover the utility of using motorcycles in their daily work.  
  • "Hills and How to Measure Them,"  by Frederick Warrington:  Everything the circa 1903 motorcyclist needed to know about riding up hill.
  • "Testimony of Two Men of Medicine," J. P. Paul:  British MDs use motorcycle to make house calls.  Dr. Benson covered over 21,939 miles in 14 months of riding.  An impressive number of miles even by today's standards.
  • "The Wars Against Progress," by George G. Griffin:  "Safety" kills the 'high wheel' and shapes the evolution of the bicycle, motor bicycle and motorcycle.  Mechanical standards we take for granted today were 'innovations' brought to common use in the name of "Safety."
  • "Stabling" the Motor Bicycle" 
  • "Training Motorists for the British Army"
  • "The Grip Control," Indian introduces the throttle control on the right hand grip.
  •  "How Gasoline is Obtained"
Watch for the December 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, May 14, 2017

Scouting the Wyman Waypoint Trail

The George A. Wyman Memorial Project is conducting the annual survey of the waypoint locations along Wyman's historic 1903 trek across America.  The purpose is to validate the waypoints, inspect the Wyman waypoint signs, memorial plaques and to enhance the information about each location.

SpotWalla Map


As with previous waypoint surveys, a major goal of this year's survey is to coordinate with local hosting authorities to get more Wyman waypoint sign and memorial plaques mounted in their communities.

Waypoint Pictures

Scouting Reports, by Tim Masterson, Project Manager

Saturday, 5/20:  Getting the Wyman Memorial plaque placed in Perrysburg is a complicated process.  We have won approval to ground mount a plaque into the sidewalk in front of the historic building that was the circa 1903 Post Office, where Wyman stored his motorcycle the night of Thursday, June 25,1903.

After a couple stops along the way, I will end this year's Wyman trail survey at Albany.  I want to work out the placement of the plaque and sign at the circa 1903 "Indian Motorcycle" shop Wyman used to work on his crippled motorcycle. I've decided to skip the three NYC waypoints this trip.  Nothing has changed and I have no one to see when I get there.  Weather looks good all the way to Albany once I get into New York.

Friday, 5/19:  Today, I am visiting the Dixon Lincoln Highway exhibit to speak to the director about getting a Wyman Memorial plaque and Waypoint sign posted at the Interpretative Center.  Then it's off to Goshen, Ligonier and stopping for the night in Perrysburg, OH.  Each of these waypoints have Wyman Memorial plaque sponsors, so I'm keen to coordinate the details a their placement.  More bad weather is forecast for today's riding.

Dixon Gelena Bridge
Success!  The City of Dixon has joined the Project as the hosting authority for the Wyman Memorial plaque and Waypoint sign for the 618.3 Dixon location.  The plaque and sign will be mounted in the common space park at the southwest corner of the Gelena bridge.



Goshen test fit
In the land of Goshen, the guys at the Janus Motorcycle Company pose with the Wyman Memorial plaque and Waypoint sign to be mounted at the
"Motorcycle Only" parking area.



Ligonier test fit
The Ligonier Visitor's Center pose with the Wyman Memorial plaque and Waypoint sign to be mounted facing the road Wyman rode along when he entered Ligonier on Wednesday, June 24, 1903.

Thursday, 5/18:  The focus this day will be to secure hosting authority as several of the locations between Omaha and Chicago.  Many of them have accepted Waypoint signs but haven't posted them yet.  It's a common issue amoug community agencies.  It's like dealing with "City Hall", it just takes time and effort.  But with each visit we make progress here and some there.  It's like chiseling away at a large stone to make it a monument.  OK, enough of the metaphors.

Boone RR Museum
I stopped by several waypoints along the way from Lexington NE to Boone IA.  But the goal was to be at the Boone Railroad Museum to get permission to mount a Wyman Memorial plaque and Waypoint poster inside the Museum.  The Boone RR Museum is already the hosting authority for a Wyman Waypoint sign.  And, as you can see by this dry fit photo they are more than happy to have the items.  The location is inside the Museum, on the right side of the door into the gift shop.

I stopped for the night in Dixon, IL.  I want to be at the Dixon Welcome Center to see the director of the Lincoln Highway Interpretative Center.  The history of Wyman's journey through Iowa is one of him following the circa 1903 roads that became the Lincoln Highway.

Wednesday, 5/17:  The goal today is to secure location hosting at the 602.5 Lovejoy Garage waypoint located in downtown Laramie and to talk with the person who controls the Visitor's Center at the top of Sherman Summit Rest Area.  But first, I will stop by Fort Steele and Medicine Bow to survey the Waypoint signs and displays at those locations.  As I am typing this report, sipping on a cup of hotel room coffee, the Weather Channel blares out "Winter storm warning for all of Wyoming.  Current temperature in your area is 32f degrees with thunderstorms turning to snow in the afternoon."  Hopefully, I will be well into Nebraska before any of the severe weather hits Wyoming.  The weather radar looks clear all the way to Cheyenne and onto western Nebraska.

The weather gods smiled on my riding today.  Seems I was in a good weather trough between two severe weather systems; one behind me in Wyoming and one in eastern Nebraska.  At any rate I really enjoyed the great riding today.  One of my most successful of this years scouting survey.

Major Success!  The Laramie Area Visitor Center has accepted our offer to be the
Sherman Summit Visitor's Center
hosting authority and will work to mount a Wyman Memorial plaque and Wyman Waypoint sign at the 604.1 Shermin Summit location.  The Visitor's Center at the Rest Area of Exit 323, I-10 is the host to the large bust of Lincoln to honor the founder of the Lincoln Highway, Henry B. Joy.  The Wyman Memorial plaque will be mounted inside the visitor center and the Waypoint sign in front of the building.   The Rest Area and visitor's center at this location is visited by over 500,000 travelers each year.

Wyman rode these tracks
On the way to Julesburg, CO to inspec the Wyman Waypoint sign at the historic depot there, I could not resist the opportunity to snap a photo of the RR tracks he followed.

Success!  The City of Ogallala has joined the Project as the hosting authority for 607.4 Ogallala RON.  The City Manager committed to mounting a Wyman Memorial plaque, with Ogallala specific narrative and Wyman poster inside the visitor's center with a Wyman Waypoint sign in front of the building.

I ended this day's waypoint scouting and decided to RON (remin over night) in Lexington, NE...just as Wyman did on Tuesday, June 9, 1903.  My choices of food and lodging must be far better than what George had, back in the day!

Tusday, 5/16:  There are three significant Wyman waypoints in Ogden UT.  I'm working to get the Wyman memorial plaque and waypoint sign mounted at the location in downtown Ogden where he worked on his motorcycle at the L.H. Becraft bicycle shop.  Today, the location is a vacant parking lot for a nice restaurant.  Even with the delay to get a new tire in SLC I expect to get well into Wyoming before finishing for the day.

Success!  The Depot Grill has joined the Project as the hosting authority for the
Ogden test fit
Wyman memorial plaque and waypoint sign for the 528.2 LH Becraft Bicycle Shop waypoint at the corner of Grant and 24th St.  Pictured here is the General Manager dry fitting the mounting location with my travel samples.

The weather worsened as I headed east through Weber Canyon.  Showers, gusty winds and temperatures in low 40s.  Between Devil's Slide and well beyond Evanston I encounter bouts of sleet and pea sized hail.  My riding gear was performing well battling the elements.

There are many Wyman waypoints along this stretch of I-80.  I did not stop at most of
Point of Rocks Store
them as there is no there...there.  Still, it is remarkably desolate this area is abscent the Interstate.  Looking to the south along I-80 one can see the Transcontintenal Railroad that was Wyman's guide as he rode through this same terrain 114 years prior.  I stopped at the Point of Rock waypoint to snap a picture of the Overland Stage ruins.  When Wyman stopped here on  May 31, 1903, it was an active travel center.  Today, I stopped at the Point of Rocks Conoco station to grab a cup of hot coffee in the well stocked convienence store.  Yup, the Wyman Waypoint poster I gave them last year is still displayed.  Thank you, Point of Rocks.

Monday, 5/15:  Today's goal is to meet with the Navada director of the Lincoln Highway Assocation to discuss enhancing the Wyman waypoints along the Lincoln Highway locations.  Then more site visits along the Wyman trail.  Most of the current and potential hosting authorities will b open for business today.  I would like to get all the way to Ogden UT by day's end.  I want to start fresh on Tuesday morning to secure the hosting location for 528,2 L.H. Becraft Bicycle Shop waypoint memorial sign and memorial plaque sponsored by the Motor-Assisted Bicycle organization.

Lovelock NV Depot
Good riding today with cool temperatures and some sprinkles.   I bypassed the Massi and Upsal waypoints as there is nothing there that might have changed since Wyman rode passed them.  In Lovelock I spoke to the City Clerk about getting a Waypoint sign mounted on the outside of the historic depot in the old town center.  Proceding east along I-80, I was making good time compared to Wyman's travel time.  I will cover in a day what tookWyman a week, from leaving Reno on the 21st, arriving in Ogden UT on the 28th.

I am making a side trip to Salt Lake City to get a new rear tire on Tuesday morning before heading to Ogden.

Success!  The City of Carlin has joined the Project as the hosting authority for 524.6 Carlin RON and will post a Wyman Waypoint sign at a historically significant location along the RR tracks in Carlin.  Location to be determined by the Carlin historian.


Sunday, 5/14:  I am meeting Marti Wyman Schein, Project Research Director and her husband Jimmie at Schein & Schein, their historic map and document shop in San Francisco.   We are meeting KNTV NBC News reporter Joe Rosato, who will be interviewing those gathered about the Wyman saga for a piece to be air locally.  Schein & Schein was recently featured in a news piece done by Joe.  He learned of Marti's great-grandfather George and was intrigued by the Wyman story.

After the interviews and video shooting I departed San Francisco for Reno, stopping as several of the Wyman waypoints along the way.  I was able to meet with the owners of the Rocklin building which displays a waypoint sign.  They were pleased to post the sign on the outside of their historic building.  I left them with a Wyman Waypoint poster for display inside their business.

Since it was Mother's Day most of the hosting locations were closed.  While stopping
Donner Pass snow shower
at Emigrant Gap for gas I left a Wyman Waypoint poster for display over the memorial plaque inside of the convenience store that is acting as the hosting authority for the 519.1 Emigrant Gap waypoint.  While there I geared up for the cold ride over Donner Pass.  It was snowing by the time I crossed over and I glad to have on my heated gear.  After a stop at the 520.4 Verdi waypoint I ended the day's ride in Reno to remain over night, just like George did on May 20, 1903.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Motorcycle Magazine - October 1903

The Motorcycle Magazine, October 1903 issue is available for your viewing pleasure.
(Link:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bzo_1W2xo-aQMFpmTVhHMXBEZXc)

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

In addition to Wyman's report, of the 5th and last leg of his epic ride across America, are several interesting articles about motorcycling in October, 1903.
  • "The Road to Knowledge," by Alvin Rich:  The lessons of ride craft and keeping the motorcycle running at it best happen along the road.  
  • "Developing the Double Machine,"  by C.W. Brown:  Pillions and the art of taking her along for the ride.
  • "The Tour of Jack LaFiance," by Charles Hersey Fenner:  A ride report of a familiar nature.
  • "Motor Bicycles for Military Use," by Herbert N. Arthur:  Wyman's example inspires General Nelson A. Miles to adapt the motorcycle for military use.
  • "Suggestions for Beginners," by Frank B. Widmayer:  So, you just got a motorcycle delivered in a crate?  The 1903 version of the modern "Out of the Box"  YouTube video.   
Watch for the November 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! 

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Motorcycle Magazine - September 1903

The Motorcycle Magazine, September 1903 issue is available for your viewing
pleasure.  (Link:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bzo_1W2xo-aQLWFjMlYtNGtDZVU)

Featuring!
"Across America on a Motor Bicycle"
THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE TWO GREAT RIVERS TO CHICAGO
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, August 1903 issue is available for your viewing pleasure.
(Link:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bzo_1W2xo-aQdlYtczFFc09BQlE)

Featuring - "Across America on a Motor Bicycle"
OVER THE ROCKIES AND THE GREAT DIVIDE TO THE PRAIRIES
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:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bzo_1W2xo-aQVkJjMUVpODJlSGs)

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!

( https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bzo_1W2xo-aQd3FySTN3NERESEE )

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.