Henderson Team Wins Oakland 868-Mile Elimination Run

By Unknown, Photography by Unknown

From the February 1918 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine

Oakland, Cal., Feb. 4.-With three Hendersons still running perfect at the end of the second 18-hour trial, the officials on the point of exhaustion from their long vigil, and the breaking of the tie nowhere in sight, the finale of the Oakland Motorcycle Club’s big double-header endurance-elimination contest came to a finish yesterday afternoon.

Out of the 21 original starters, but three remained perfect after something like 868 miles of riding, in two installments of 18 and 20 hours each, respectively. The trio of survivors, who couldn’t be eliminated under the rules in the hardest contest of its kind ever held, were Roy Artley, Homer Loudenclos and Al Clarke, all riding solo on 1918 Hendersons. It was a clean-up for the four-cylinder crew.

In the first half of the contest, which was held the previous week, “twenty-one riders started on 16 machines, there being five sidecars in action. After 372 miles of running in 18 hours, 12 machines and 16 riders were perfect, the five sidecars all coming through unpenalized.

Seven machines and nine riders who scored perfect in the first half, started in the second and final round, and three survived, the two sidecar, which went into action in the wind-up, being eliminated.

Equipment of the winning Hendersons included Berling magnetos, Duckworth chains, Persons saddles, A.B.C. generators, Santa Ana twin spotlights on Artley’s and Loudenclos’ machines, and Prest-O-Lite, with Old Sol lamp and Brilliant burner, on Clarke’s machine. All three used Firestone tires and came through on original air. In fact, Firestone cleaned up the tire honors, all machines starting on Firestones except two. Eleven of the 12 perfect scores in the first half were made on Firestones. Loudenclos used a Corbin-Brown speedometer.

A cash prize of $50 offered to the winner of the run will be divided among the three survivors, while second prize is awarded to Edward Allen on a Henderson, the last man to be eliminated. Allen almost lasted to the finish, which would have given Henderson four perfect and a 100 per cent showing on machines entered.

At 10 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26th, H.T. Welling, president of the Oakland Club, was given the word to go, at the Service Garage, San Leandro, and the first half of the big contest was on. The first section of endurancing called for 372 miles of riding in 18 hours on a 20-mile schedule per hour. The course was a 63-mile circuit, from San Leandro to Alvarado, to Warm Springs, to Pleasanton, to Dublin, to Castro Valley and return, the route to be covered six times. All kinds of riding surface was embraced from gravel beds to chuck holes, and miles of dusty roads.

Five minutes after Welling left, Glen Stokes and Albert Burns pulled out amid cheers, in their Excelsior sidecar. The others followed at five-minute intervals.

Checkers were stationed from 13 to 20 miles apart, and this part of the management was efficiently handled. Huge bonfires at the checking controls were popular with the riders as they rolled in. The night was crisp and cool, and as dawn approached the cold became really severe. Some of the riders dismounted and ran alongside, pushing their machines for a spell, to speed up their circulation.

San Leandro was selected for the start and finish, to avoid as much as possible the heavy Sunday traffic in the city proper. Being a suburb, the contest really began and finished in Oakland proper.

The checkers had little time for snoozing, the large field of entries and close schedule bringing riders in pretty regularly. Several ladies assisted in the checking, serving throughout the night and bravely fighting off sleep. Among the fair sex, who served as checkers were Mrs. C.A. Lewis, whose husband was competing, and Mrs. Charles Meyer, wife of the president of the S.F.M.C. Other checkers were E.D. Stevens, E.A. Quigley and Charles Meyer.

As Sunday wore along, interest became greater and large crowds stopped to watch the riders arrive and depart. Throughout Saturday night the crowd at the control never fell below 100, spectators constantly coming and going.

By Unknown
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