First motorized bicycle to cross U.S.

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Dave31, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Dave31

    Dave31 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    11,207
    Likes Received:
    13
    George Adams Wyman was the first person to across the United States on a Motorized Bicycle.

    In 1903, Wyman rode his 1902 California motor bicycle from San Francisco to New York City in fifty-one days, finishing twenty days before Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson, the first person to cross the continent by automobile.

    The California had a 200cc, 1.5-hp four-stroke engine attached to an ordinary diamond-frame bicycle. The cycle was equipped with 28 x 1.5 in. tires, wooden rims, a leading-link front suspension fork, a Garford spring saddle, a Duck Brake Company front roller brake, and a 1902-patent Atherton rear coaster brake.

    A leathern belt-drive with a spring-loaded idler pulley directly connected the engine output shaft to the rear wheel. Using a standard steel bicycle frame, the California weighed approximately 70-80 pounds without rider, and was capable of approximately 25mph using the 30-octane gasoline of the day, with a range of 75-100 miles.

    http://www.angelfire.com/wa3/rif_addams/
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 Dave31, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  2. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,250
    Likes Received:
    2
    re: First MB to cross U.S.

    Nice piece of history I had not known.(^)
     
  3. Easy Rider

    Easy Rider Santa Cruz Scooter Works

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,143
    Likes Received:
    2
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    Thanks Dave, great piece of history.
    I bet most of the roads were dirt at the time as well.
     
  4. biknut

    biknut Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    6,365
    Likes Received:
    3
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    A real man would do it with 48cc.
     
  5. scotto-

    scotto- Custom 4-Stroke Bike Builder

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Messages:
    6,527
    Likes Received:
    5
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    Would that not make me a man if I did it on my 49cc HS? laff

    That is awesome (^)
     
  6. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,250
    Likes Received:
    2
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    And state of the art reflective tires lol.laff
     
  7. matthurd

    matthurd New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    i plan on visiting my brother in san diego during the summer, i live in MA, but mines a 66cc, where's that put me on the list of manliness if i succeed?

    although if dax gets that GT50R running in frame, i will be riding a 48cc instead :D
     
  8. biknut

    biknut Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    6,365
    Likes Received:
    3
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    Ok, but no gel seat for you since your motor is so big.
     
  9. biknut

    biknut Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    6,365
    Likes Received:
    3
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    66cc is huge. I guess you do have to be manly to handle all that power.
     
  10. LS614

    LS614 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    That is really cool. I am so inspired by stories like this, and the classic build and old pictures and scraps of information are what I then use when I envision a perfect bike. Very cool, I dare someone to make a replica of that bike, who will do it? :D
    -LS
     
  11. wdbtchr

    wdbtchr New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    Several years ago a gentleman on the "other forum" tried to replicate the trip. He wasn't successful, but was still a man in my book.

    Made great reading, and demonstrates just how tough travel was before the "improvements" we take for granted. Thanks for posting this Dave.
     
  12. Dave31

    Dave31 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    11,207
    Likes Received:
    13
  13. oldtimer54

    oldtimer54 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    I love these stories. I got in to this hobby because of the stories about my grandfather ridding his Indian motorbike half way across the country to Mt Shasta back in the early 1900s. I would be happy to ride mine across the state.
     
  14. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,990
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    PS, the post#1 says the rider used a 200 cc engine that ran on 30 octane gas! (modern gasoline at the pump is 87-96) So it probably didn't have very high compression, and probably didn't have a really high RPM range. 1.5 hp sounds about like the bike motors of today. I bet 80lb felt like a LOT when riding tall road wheels (with wooden rims and old school tires too!).

    I came across this thread by accident while trying to find if anyone had made a home-made drag brake for bicycling down long grades. I was thinking of things like the little wheel on old exercise bicycles that presses down on the tire, and has maybe a knob or nut to tension the washers against the wheel. I was thinking the device could double as a friction trainer for riding a bicycle on rollers (which don't usually have resistance units) or simulating hills on the flat roads here. :)

    Duck Brake, illustrated in old catalog (page 85) Hardware dealers' magazine - Google Books

    drawing of brake in action
    http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz338/tybrown-photos/bike parts/Ducks_Roller_Brake.jpg
     
    #14 happycheapskate, Sep 22, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  15. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    8,188
    Likes Received:
    9
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    Tinsmith built a stretch Worksman which looks a lot like the California and was his inspiration, I believe. His is powered by a 4 stroke with EZ transmission.

    To think of riding a motored bicycle all the way across the country... it is a **** of a long way by car, by train... what must that have been like? We think we get "that look"... what did the open mouthed people along the way think of this new thing, this new machine with a man riding it across cow pastures, down trails and muddy roads, over mountains, across the prairie... hoping he could find gasoline before he ran out. What do you do if it breaks down? Wow. That is epic and would be a great accomplishment even today. Hat's off to Mr. Wyman.
    SB
     
  16. happyvalley

    happyvalley New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    1
  17. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,990
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    I went on some road trips when I was a kid and sometimes saw bicyclists on the sides of the highways in Arizona and New Mexico. I wondered if they had motors because they were usually pulling boxy 2 wheel trailers with all their camping gear.
     
  18. Mozenrath

    Mozenrath New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    How was he able to do that? I can't imagine there were that many gas stations back then. Maybe he offered money to people for siphoned gas?
     
  19. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,990
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    Perhaps it ran on moonshine! :)

    TX is 800 miles across. I think I would be bored out of my mind after a ride from Texarkana to Dallas. Maybe a scenic ride of 100 or even 200mi might be fun, but what was this guy's motivation for crossing the whole country on an MB? Fame? Bets? Boredom of the depression era? Looking for work? Fascinating story though. I am so glad digital cameras are so small now. There are lots of great biking pictures and videos for people who can't travel far.

    Even now with Google Maps and Google Earth, I think it would be hard to plan such a trip. Think of all the rough sholders, rough roads, cold nights, tire changes, and more that it would take to get there. It would be a real Iron Butt ride, and probably pretty scary on some freeways and in the mtns.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceCOy-RM3DU&feature=player_embedded bicyclist filters through traffic in the Holland Tunnel NY)
     
    #19 happycheapskate, Sep 24, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  20. Dan

    Dan Staff
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    12,477
    Likes Received:
    49
    Re: First MB to cross U.S.

    Great thread! dunno how I missed it.

    Just met a gentleman yesterday. Thought my bike was a whizzer until he got up close. He had some thing similar in 1945/6

    Told me how his buddy had gone from coast to coast on one. Great to hear and see the joy in his eyes.
     

Share This Page