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‘Great Savannah’ bicycle race comes through Statesboro

Note: The following article is one in a sequence of articles protecting occasions in Bulloch County historical past.

The March 11, 1937 Bulloch Times-Statesboro News-Statesboro Eagle reported “Savannah Bicyclists Coming Next Week.” And: “Statesboro is said to have a motorcade of unusual interest next Saturday.”

They are “a group of 20 or more youth from Savannah participating in a cross-country bicycle race. This group is sponsored by the Savannah Kiwanis Club, of course.”

And: “The start is on Friday afternoon in Savannah, from where the route leads to Jesup, Baxley and Lyon on Friday evening. The party leaves Lyon on Saturday morning and comes via Swainsboro.”

Then head to Statesboro for lunch and Savannah within the afternoon. The native member of the group is Ted Knipl, a brand new citizen who got here right here from Savannah.

Every week later, the March 18, 1937, Bulloch Times-Statesboro News-Statesboro Eagle revealed that whereas in Statesboro they “will make their headquarters at Minkovitz’s Store.”

The Bulloch Herald of March 26, 1937 introduced the results of the first-ever 249-mile “Great Savannah to Savannah Bicycle Race”. The native bicycle magician Ted Knipl, referred to as the “Flying Dutchman”, ought to win.

According to the Herald, Knipl drove your entire Savannah-to-Savannah circuit, which had consisted of 4 separate “legs.” The first leg of it was from Savannah to Jesup, the place everybody stopped to eat.

After the beginning of the race on Friday morning, catastrophe struck Knipl, who fell on the primary leg of the race and smashed the entrance wheel of his bike. Harold Jenkins, a rider who stop earlier, gave Knipl the entrance wheel of his personal bike.

The second leg of the race led from Jesup to Lyon, the place the contributors stopped for a meal. After lunch, racing resumed the third leg of the race, which stretched from Lyons to Statesboro.

When the climate turned to a torrential downpour, all riders stopped for dinner hosted by the Statesboro Chamber of Commerce on the Tea Pot Grille.

After lunch, the riders attacked the ultimate phase of the race from Statesboro again to Savannah. Knipl’s time was 14 hours 56 minutes and 56 seconds.

That meant his common pace was 16 miles per hour and he had a prime pace of 21½ miles. Savannah was no stranger to huge automotive racing.

In truth, from 1908 to 1911, 4 main auto races sanctioned by the American Automobile Association and the Automobile Club of America had been held at a specifically constructed racetrack in Savannah.

1908 was a fantastic yr for Savannah, which held the first-ever 1908 American Grand Prix. David Loney Bruce-Brown gained each the 1910 and 1911 races at Savannah. He died in 1912 whereas racing.

In May 1997, skilled racing returned to Savannah: the PPG-Firestone Indy Lights Championship, the Super Touring Championship, the Barber Dodge Pro Series, and the US Formula Ford 2000 Championship.

All had been raced at a circuit on Hutchinson Island. In 1982 the Great American Bike Race was established. Established in 1990, it’s now referred to as the Race Across America and traverses the nation from the West Coast to the East Coast.

Roger Allen is a neighborhood historical past buff who offers a quick glimpse into the world’s previous every week. Email him at [email protected]

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