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1895 Bike Race, Maquoketa Iowa

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1895 Bike Race, Maquoketa Iowa

Old 08-09-20, 11:00 PM
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1895 Bike Race, Maquoketa Iowa

This is a family item from my great grandfather, who was a physician in Maquoketa Iowa. Its a prize for "One Mile Open" it says on the front. The reverse side says "First Prize. Boys under 16 years old. Time, 3.M.8S August 15, 1895. Maquoketa Iowa." Its a cool heirloom, and funny how slow the speed was!



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Old 08-10-20, 11:07 AM
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That is very cool! Maybe they had to ride through the caves. That would explain the slow speeds.
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Old 08-10-20, 11:32 AM
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Almost 20mph on an 1895 bike on 1895 roads by a kid under 16? Sounds pretty good to me but I will readily admit I am slow.
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Old 08-10-20, 11:32 AM
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So a 15-year-old managed nearly 20 mph (from a dead stop I assume) on some janky dirt road and you think that's slow?
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Old 08-10-20, 11:36 AM
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Better than 19mph average. Assume from dead stop on 1895 roads on whatever kind a bike a 15 year old could get his hands on back then. Not bad!.
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Old 08-10-20, 11:41 AM
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I have a just-turned 16 year-old who's no slouch by 21st century standards (he won the Sacramento CX U19 series last fall), and I'm not sure he could do just under 20mph on a 1895 fixed gear on a dirt road.

Your great granddad was a Scorcher.
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Old 08-10-20, 11:56 AM
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as someone who grew up a stone's throw from Maquoketa, I find this quite interesting!

I wonder if the race was held at the county fairgrounds?

Steve, currently in Peoria

quick quiz: how many here know how to pronounce "Maquoketa"?
Since Murray knows about the caves, I'm going to guess he can do it!
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Old 08-10-20, 11:57 AM
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Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for posting.
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Old 08-10-20, 11:58 AM
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Maybe we should arrange a virtual 1895 1-mile challenge.
  1. Fixed gear would be ideal, but you could just pick 1 gear, no shifting
  2. Flat road. Elevation gain is OK, no elevation decrease
  3. Start from a dead stop
  4. I want to say dirt road, but I don't have a mile of dirt road anywhere near me, so how about dirt if you got it
  5. Post your time here
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Old 08-10-20, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
as someone who grew up a stone's throw from Maquoketa, I find this quite interesting!

I wonder if the race was held at the county fairgrounds?

Steve, currently in Peoria

quick quiz: how many here know how to pronounce "Maquoketa"?
Since Murray knows about the caves, I'm going to guess he can do it!
SImilar to Chequamegon?

Mah-wah-kee-tah is my guess. Emphasis on the wah.
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Old 08-10-20, 01:31 PM
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Ma-Coke-It-Uh

My mother was born there; that's how she said it.
Either way, fun to say.

Wednesday I'll be in Loogootee.
Luh-go-tee. Go figure. Or is that goo figure?
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Old 08-10-20, 01:43 PM
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Confession - I've been wondering about that pronunciation ever since I moved into the region.

WI has no shortage of such gems. Shaw-no, Trivers, Muh-waukee, and yes, Che-wam-egon.
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Old 08-10-20, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Ma-Coke-It-Uh

My mother was born there; that's how she said it.
Either way, fun to say.
I would say the syllables are broken up as ma-co-ke-ta... but it is pronounced fairly quickly, so it's not really clear where the breaks are.
The wiki page has a fairly good guide to how the vowels sound... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maquoketa,_Iowa
No mention of where the bike races are held.

another trick word.. Wapsipinicon, as in the Wapsipinicon river, a bit south of Maquoketa. Not really a trick, but it helps to have heard the word before you see it.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 08-10-20, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Confession - I've been wondering about that pronunciation ever since I moved into the region.

WI has no shortage of such gems. Shaw-no, Trivers, Muh-waukee, and yes, Che-wam-egon.
I'd nominate Waupun as a non-obvious Wisconsin pronunciation. I've got a sister in Beaver Dam, so I've heard and seen it. But.. as noted, the list of weird pronunciations would be a long one!

Steve in Peoria
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Old 08-10-20, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
quick quiz: how many here know how to pronounce "Maquoketa"?
Since Murray knows about the caves, I'm going to guess he can do it!
Been to the caves many times, I live in between you and the QC. Maquoketa; Oquawka; Keokuk......... oh yeah I can pronounce 'em all. I can even tell you where the Sauk Fox village of Saukenak where Blackhawk lived was.
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Old 08-10-20, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
I would say the syllables are broken up as ma-co-ke-ta...

another trick word.. Wapsipinicon, as in the Wapsipinicon river, a bit south of Maquoketa. Not really a trick, but it helps to have heard the word before you see it.

Steve in Peoria
Yeah, that's how most of us pronounce it , "muh - ko- kuh- tuh" and very quickly as far as the Wapsipinicon most folks here about just call it the "Wapsi", much easier LOL.
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Old 08-10-20, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
Yeah, that's how most of us pronounce it , "muh - ko- kuh- tuh" and very quickly as far as the Wapsipinicon most folks here about just call it the "Wapsi", much easier LOL.
yep... and to use it correctly in a sentence, you would say "the Wapsi is flooded again".
It used to flood and block highway 61 frequently when I was a kid and the new 4 lane version of 61 wasn't even a concept yet.

just to get back to the original theme of the thread.. I've got a pic of my great-grandfather and paternal grandfather that is circa 1897. I'm guessing it was taken around Bellevue, Iowa, which is a bit east of Maquoketa and part of Jackson country. It provides a little context for the bike race in Maquoketa. Honestly, a bike was a luxury back then, and it's not like there were many wealthy folks in the area. I'm surprised that there were two bikes to race!



Steve in Peoria
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Old 08-10-20, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
yep... and to use it correctly in a sentence, you would say "the Wapsi is flooded again".
It used to flood and block highway 61 frequently when I was a kid and the new 4 lane version of 61 wasn't even a concept yet.

just to get back to the original theme of the thread.. I've got a pic of my great-grandfather and paternal grandfather that is circa 1897. I'm guessing it was taken around Bellevue, Iowa, which is a bit east of Maquoketa and part of Jackson country. It provides a little context for the bike race in Maquoketa. Honestly, a bike was a luxury back then, and it's not like there were many wealthy folks in the area. I'm surprised that there were two bikes to race!



Steve in Peoria
Nice pic. Iowa, Iowa county, the buildings/architecture are pretty much one in the same. 117 years forward, celebrating Gino Bartali's birthday.

DSC_0031 by iabisdb, on Flickr
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Old 08-10-20, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Nice pic. Iowa, Iowa county, the buildings/architecture are pretty much one in the same. 117 years forward, celebrating Gino Bartali's birthday.

DSC_0031 by iabisdb, on Flickr
the level of formality in photos has taken a nosedive in the intervening century or so.

Limestone is a readily available building material in the area, so I'll guess that this is what these buildings are made of. Clearly, the quality and uniformity of the blocks has improved over the years!

St. Joseph's Catholic church in Bellevue uses similar materials......

a somewhat recent photo....



and a shot of my aunt and uncle's wedding at this church, probably in the early to mid 50's?



Limestone quarries are common in the area, but I'm not ruling out the possibility that it might be some other local material... or maybe they brought some nicer stone in via barges on the Mississippi?

Steve in Peoria
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Old 08-10-20, 06:54 PM
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I have a couple of those type medals from 1949-1950. I was 55 years late compared to the man above..
{ Sorry I removed most of this as I got crossed with another thread that mentioned Ice skating.}
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Old 08-10-20, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
the level of formality in photos has taken a nosedive in the intervening century or so.

Limestone is a readily available building material in the area, so I'll guess that this is what these buildings are made of. Clearly, the quality and uniformity of the blocks has improved over the years!

St. Joseph's Catholic church in Bellevue uses similar materials......

a somewhat recent photo....



and a shot of my aunt and uncle's wedding at this church, probably in the early to mid 50's?



Limestone quarries are common in the area, but I'm not ruling out the possibility that it might be some other local material... or maybe they brought some nicer stone in via barges on the Mississippi?

Steve in Peoria
The house at the Bartali party was built around 1850, probably the same time as your great grandfather's house. Cornish miners pretty much founded Iowa county. I think they were digging up lead. On their way down, they found limestone and built their homes and churches.

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Coppi 100 11 by iabisdb, on Flickr
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Old 08-10-20, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
as someone who grew up a stone's throw from Maquoketa, I find this quite interesting!

I wonder if the race was held at the county fairgrounds?

Steve, currently in Peoria

quick quiz: how many here know how to pronounce "Maquoketa"?
Since Murray knows about the caves, I'm going to guess he can do it!
My great grand fathers owned most of the area. Lindus Riggs was a doctor, owned a hospital, local buildings, etc. His home was huge, now the town funeral home. The Hurst side of the family owned the lime kiln works, now a state park in Hurstville. And they had for a while a train stop as well, Riggs Station. Alfred Hurst was a state senator, has a huge monument/gravestone in the cemetery.
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Old 08-10-20, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
So a 15-year-old managed nearly 20 mph (from a dead stop I assume) on some janky dirt road and you think that's slow?
I had a different metric in my head, I was thinking of runners and the 4 minute mile. So yes, on a bike that was good number based on the old safety bikes of the day
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Old 08-10-20, 08:00 PM
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"You See Them Everywhere. Columbia Bicycles" Another one from same area. Promo pin:
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Old 08-10-20, 08:20 PM
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Campaign poster for state election, not sure which year.
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