Timetable: 8 am – riders leave from Millburn
• 2 pm – riders at Bordentown
• 4:30 pm – riders gather in parking lot near old District Restaurant (N corner) for Community Ride – Carlos Rogers to M/C
• The Community Ride ends at Memorial Park, where refreshments will be available and a short ceremony will be held commemorating the event
• 7 pm – Dinner at Orange Blossom – $15 pay at door
PS: Perfect Timing – Thank you to HSR’s Susan Dechnik for writing a cover story for Editor Regina Collinsgru’s June issue of The Positive Press.
These webpages have recounted the exploits of the riders of the 1895 New York Times Tri-State Relay Racemore than a few times. As that event unfolded in June 1895, Annie “Londonderry” Kopchovsky, a young mother of three children, was just three months from completing her goal of bicycling around the world – a remarkable achievement she supposedly undertook on a wager between two wealthy Boston club men.
Seemingly impossible conditions imposed on the bet was that she start penniless, not accept handouts, earn $5,000 along the way, and complete the journey in fifteen months.
Mrs. Kopchovsky financed her adventure with income earned through product endorsements, by displaying advertising banners on herself and on her bike, by giving riding demonstrations, selling photos and souvenirs, and by making personal appearances.
Not far into her trip, newspapers dubbed her Annie “Londonderry,” a sobriquet earned when she started to display a placard for the Londonderry Lithia Spring Water Company on her bike as a promotion.
It would be generous to say that she was given to tall-tales and embellishment in telling of her exploits. In interviews and later writings the natural entrepreneur and master of self-promotion constantly reinvented her own back story and told sensational tales of hunting Bengal tigers with a German prince, close calls with encountering highwaymen in France, and of time spent in a Japanese prison. She may have even fabricated her claim that a wager inspired her.
Periodicals of the era chronicled her adventures much as they followed the travels of Nellie Bly in her successful attempt in 1889, to break the record of Phileas Fogg, the fictional character from Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days.
Annie completed her circumnavigation in just under fifteen months.
But unlike the her globe-trotting counterpart Nellie Bly, the exploits of Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, which advanced women’s bicycling in the United States and made her one of the most celebrated women the 1890s, were largely forgotten until author Peter Zheutlin penned Around the World on Two Wheels in 2007.
In 2006, filmmaker Gillian Klempner Willman sought to recreate the leg of Annie’s 1894 trip from New York City to Boston with the help of Gary Sanderson, antique bicycle enthusiast and current editor American Bicyclist Magazine, and others.
The Society is most fortunate to have Gary Sanderson appear with his c.1895 Indian Racer at the Historic Riverton Century and 3-Mile Community Ride Ceremony on June 11.
Rob Gusky, originator of the June 11 event reports that at least six women athletes have registered to ride at eventbrite.com.
Carlos Rogers’ Historic Riverton Criterium on June 12 features a Women’s Cat 1/2/3 event that promises a $500 purse, neutral support, beauty and haircare gift baskets for the top 3 places, and cash primes!
When you watch those women athletes next weekend remember the debt owed to the legacy of Annie Londonderry which has helped make their participation possible.
And make some noise with those cowbells. – JMc
Not to know what happened before you were born is to be a child forever. – Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106 BC – 43 BC
Key bullets resulting from a conference call with Rob Gusky this morning and an email from Phyllis Rodgers about the upcoming Historic Riverton Century,3-Mile Community Ride, and Historic Riverton Criterium follow:
Today there are computer camps, karate camps, space camps, basketball camps, art camps, and many more, but the place for legions of boys around here during the 1950s was Medford Township’s Camp Lenape.
My friend and frequent collaborator, Harlan Radford, Jr., is preparing an article on Camp Lenape, a 400 acre Boy Scout camp that developers bought in 1987 and turned into building lots for luxury homes.
If you know where he might find a map or diagram showing the layout and names of campsites within, please advise.
The 3-Mile Community Ride planned to welcome the Historic Riverton Century Riders on June 11 is not the first bicycle procession around the streets of Riverton.
In September 1894, in conjunction with an upcoming bicycle race on Riverton’s race track, the Ladies Floral Tournament Club of Riverton orchestrated a complex parade of some twenty-five carriages through the main roads of Riverton.
The wheelmen of the Riverton Athletic Association on their decorated bicycles traveled in opposite directions.
Participants were awarded prizes for the best decorated carriages and bicycles.
It ended with refreshments at the clubhouse of the Riverton Athletic Association.
Another article publicized the innovation of bicycle races by a dozen electric arc lights for the September 25th meet.
Imagine the spectacle of a day given over to the sport of bicycling attended by almost 4,000 fans.
You don’t have to imagine because soon Riverton will devote two days to cycling events – the Historic Riverton Century and Community Ride on Saturday, June 11, and the Historic Riverton Criterium the next day on Sunday, June 12.
Come back the next day on June 12 to witness the thrill of competitive cycling on a .8 course through Riverton’s historic streets in the sixth running of Carlos Rodgers’ Historic Riverton Criterium. – JMc
THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF RIVERTON WILL BE THE PRIMARY BENEFICIARY OF FUNDS COLLECTED FROM THE HISTORIC RIVERTON CRITERIUM.
We need your help! For the Criterium on June 12th, 24 corner marshals are needed…this entails standing at one of the race corners making sure no one crosses the street while the bike racers are passing. Each marshal will spend one hour at a corner. The marshal needs to stand for the entire hour. If you feel you are not able to physically perform this task, perhaps you have someone in your family or a friend who could step in to help. You must be 16 years of age to be a marshal. Once you volunteer, specific directions will be sent directly to you. If you feel you are not able to do this task, volunteers are needed to sell tee shirts. We need 2 people per hour for the 5 hour duration of the race, each person working one hour.
Please contact Iris Gaughan at email@example.com or 856-829-8671 if you are able to give an hour of your time on June 12th.
Other items on the Annual Meeting menu include making nominations for Board members and ice cream sundaes for all members attending. – JMc