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VERY RARE American Six Day Cycle Race Medal Minneapolis won by W J Morgan 20th to 25th December 1886, Minneapolis. Morgan covered 1405 miles, Albert Shock 1165 and Mlle Louise Armaindo 1050. Made by F Vernon embossed Sport Velocipedique (The definition of velocipedic in the dictionary is locomotion device with two wooden wheels rimmed iron, unequal diameter, originally operated by the only help of the feet on the ground, then perfected in 1861 by the addition of pedals until the current bicycle).
Wm J Morgan b: 1855, Wales; living at Oroville, Butte, California in 1880 US Census. Since his first six day win was in the USA it is likely that he never raced in Britain. However he did promote at least four British Sixes and bring US riders over to Britain to compete. He was the oldest competitor, at age 60, in the Old-Timers’ race at Newark, NJ (New York Times 7-Oct-1918).
“W. J. Morgan, known as "Senator" Morgan (a title obtained at a Pennsylvania fair through making a Republican speech, although himself a Democrat, in favor of General Beaver in 1884) is a Welsh-Englishman by birth, having been born in the mixed county of Monmouthshire, England. The "Senator" learned to ride the old bone-shaker in 1878, and remembers many mishaps and hard knocks received from the hickory joints and iron-shod old wheel. He tells of a wild ride down a mountain road in 1878, from Blaenavon to Abersychan (that's Welsh), through the breaking of the old thong brake that was manipulated by turning the handlebar, which leather thong or string pressed an iron spoon-brake on the back wheel. This gave way on a very steep grade, and the "Senator" declares that the time made by the old bone-shaker in its mad run with him aboard would put Windle and "Zimmy" to blush. Turning a sharp corner at express speed, he struck a stone curb, which had the effect of shooting his body forward into a beer tavern, his head striking a table at which several coal miners sat drinking ale out of pint mugs. The table, mugs and these gentry thought an earthquake had struck them, but after picking himself up, Morgan volunteered to fill the mugs, and the good landlady having repaired a breach in the "Senator's" pants and helped to wash some coal dust out of a nasty cut in the knee, he proceeded down the Welsh mountain singing softly of "The March of the Men of Harlech."
Morgan's performances have been briefly as follows: Won thirty-six hour race, Coney Island, 1882; second place, Chicago, seventy-two hour race, 1883; second, New York, twenty-six hour race, 1883; first, Milwaukee, eighteen hour race, 1883; first, Memphis, Tenn., forty-eight hour race, 1884; second. Chicago, seventy-two hour race, 1884; first, Minneapolis, forty-eight hour race, 1886; first, Minneapolis, one hundred and forty-two hour race, 1886; second, Omaiia, eighteen hour race, 1889; second, San Francisco, fifty-six hour race, 1889; first, Portland, Ore., eighteen hour race, 1889.
Morgan's short races are innumerable and many wins and defeats could be credited to him. his best mile time being 2:37, made in England with the famous American team at Bridlington Quay in 1888. Morgan originated and successfully carried out the tour of the first American cycle team that crossed
the Atlantic, making a stay of over a year, racing all through Europe and Great Britain, and he also managed the great six-day tournaments of London, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Birmingham. Morgan holds the world's records of two hundred and thirty-six miles without a dismount in a race made in Minneapolis in his race against Schock; the world's forty-eight hour record of seven hundred and forty miles, also, with a partner, all professional tandem records up to two hundred and fifty miles. The "Senator" is quite a newspaper man, writing for many of the cycle papers, and he prides himself on the fact that his contributions are never refused.” Sporting Life (USA) 10-Oct-1891
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