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   xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Mar 19 12:00 AM

Mar 18th, 2016: George Wyman... who?

I know, I know, another history lesson, but turn on the TV, read the papers, and (shudder) the internet, the world sucks.
I’m not living in the past, but there is some respite in looking at history, so on with the show.
Ladies and gentlemen... children of all ages...

I’ve driven across the country a dozen times and it can be tedious, especially if you’re in a hurry.
Before Eisenhower’s interstates it was grueling, and before WW I it was insane.
In 1903, it hadn’t been done, nobody had driven a motorized vehicle from coast to coast. Enter George Wyman.

No one had ever traveled across the country in a motorized vehicle, and Wyman intended to be the first.
At 26, he was a champion racing cycler and had already circumnavigated Australia on a bike.
The summer before, he had become the first person to cross the Sierra Nevadas on a motorcycle.
His California Moto Bike was essentially just a bike frame with a motor attached, but as he crossed the mountains,
he had an idea. He could ride that bike straight across the country

No roads, no signs, and very few people, some of them unfriendly.
Not a few bears, lions and rattlesnakes, all of them unfriendly.
Wyman described the road on the second day of his ride, out of Vallejo, California, as “a succession of land waves,
one steep hill succeeded by another.” The wind blew so hard that he had to break the muffler off the bike’s engine
to give it enough power to keep going.
As soon as he passed over the mountains, he was in the desert, and within a couple of days, he was
"tired of sand and sagebrush and railroad ties." On a muddy road up Battle Mountain, after having to walk his bike
for 10 miles, he made a promise to himself: “I would not ride a bicycle through Nevada again for $5,000.”
He even caught sight of a few families still traveling in covered wagons.
I doubt those families were doing the Westward Ho, but it was still a primary mode of moving stuff locally.

Wyman left San Francisco from Lotta’s Fountain on May 16, 1903, with a promise from Motorcycle Magazine to
publish an account of his journey. Fifty days later, he rolled into New York City. His bike was so busted that he
had to pedal the last 150 miles, but he had made it: he was the first person to motor across the country.
Then he wrote a book, did personal appearances, endorsed products and became rich and famous. ............ Not.
Just 20 days after he arrived, though, Horatio Nelson Jackson completed the same journey in a car.
Jackson’s cross-country trip had taken longer than Wyman’s—Jackson and his two companions (one human,
one canine) had traveled 63 days from west to east. But that didn’t matter. The car captured the American
imagination in a way bikes never had, and for decades, Wyman was almost completely forgotten.
Son... Of... A... Bitch.

Griff  Saturday Mar 19 09:13 AM

Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
I’m not living in the past, but there is some respite in looking at history, so on with the show.
/off track
One thing they had in the past was space. If you're feeling anti-social you grab your pack and walk or fire up the bike. Supposedly, we're gonna top out at 10 billion humans on this little marble. There are some folks who like and work towards high density urban living. That's a great choice for whatever % of humans can handle it. When it stops being a choice though you're gonna need better meds.

xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Mar 19 09:41 AM

That could be solved with a couple of nukes.

Griff  Saturday Mar 19 10:10 AM

Praying for an asteroid myself.

Clodfobble  Saturday Mar 19 02:01 PM

You can all come to Texas, we've got tons of space. Oh, WATER you say...?

xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Mar 19 02:36 PM

Originally Posted by Griff View Post
Praying for an asteroid myself.
That works, I read when the biggie hit the Yucatan, the Dinosaurs in Canada were all dead in two minutes.

Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
You can all come to Texas, we've got tons of space. Oh, WATER you say...?
Lone Star.

Your reply here?

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