Holiday makers in search of a novelty cannot do better than pay a visit to the Artillery Drill Hall, where there is at present in progress a twenty-hour ladies’ bicycle race. The competitors, it need hardly be stated, hail from the land of the Stars and Stripes, where such contests are no new thing.
£75, divided into three prizes of £40, £25 and £10, will be awarded to the three ladies covering the greatest distance within the time stated, and as the fair cyclists have each achieved records, and excellent race may be anticipated.
The contestants are five in number. Miss Jessie Wood, who is a native of London, is 17 years of age, and holds the 24-hour ladies’ world record, made in Omaha, U.S.A. She accomplished 356 miles.
Miss Lottie Stanley, of Pittsburg, U.S.A., is 18 years of age, and the 48-hour champion of the world, and the holder of the Police Gazette medal with a record of 679 miles. She is also the only holder of an English long-distance record, having won the 18 hour race at Sunderland with 269 3/4 miles. [Not sure if this was an even earlier six day race! Ed]
Miss Louisa Amiaindo, of Montreal, Canada, is 27 years of age, and is stated to be the oldest professional rider in the world. She is the possessor of the long-distance six-days’ championship, with a record of 1000 miles, having defeated such of well-known professional cyclists as Woodside and Morgan.
Miss May Allen, 17 years of age, is a native of Philadelphia, has also accomplished some good performances, and whilst at Sunderland she exhibited her pluck by riding 100 miles with a broken arm.
The last of the number is Miss Lillie Williams, of Omaha, U.S.A., who is 21 years of age, and is the holder of the U.S. 18 hour record and championship. It is noteworthy that she won the first professional race she entered.
There was not a very large attendance at the Drill Hall on Christmas Eve to see the commencement of the race, but as it grows in interest the number of spectators is sure to be largely increased. The five were started at half-past six, and at the call of time - four hours later - the following distances had been made:- Miss Stanley, 57 miles 1 lap; Miss Allen, 56 miles 8 laps; Miss Amiaindo, 55 miles and Miss Williams and Miss Wood, 52 miles 9 laps each.
Yesterday the competitors rode two hours in the afternoon, and from eight to ten in the evening, in the presence of a large number of spectators. When the gun was fired the distances covered stood as follows: Miss Stanley, 118 miles 4 laps; Miss Allen, 117 miles 2 laps; Miss Wood, 113 miles 8 laps; Miss Amiaindo, 113 miles 5 laps and Miss Williams, 101 miles 6 laps.