I have read both Mike Cooley’s and Dale Bowden’s articles on cycling and the $10,000 bikes. I would like to add my two bits’ worth.
There was a group of 10-12 Idaho Daily Statesman carriers who had an informal cycling club from 1937 to the early ’40s. Our bicycles of choice were English bicycles manufactured in Birmingham, England with the brand name of Hercules. We bought our bicycles at Morler’s Cyclery in Boise for about $90. This was a lot of money in those days. Twenty-five cents per hour was the going hourly wage for work at the Statesman stuffing inserts on Saturday night in the press room. This room is now Tom Grainey’s Pub on 6th Street.
In 1938, one of the group, (we all had nicknames in that ear), Frank “Bugs” Davidson, rode his Hercules bike from Boise to the San Francisco World Fair. He rode from Boise to Marsing and then had to wind his way through the southwestern Owyhee County and northwestern Nevada to Winnemucca on dirt roads. He then went to Reno and over Donner Pass to San Francisco. There was no Idaho/Oregon/Nevada cutoff at this time.
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The Statesman printed his story and picture on the front page when he finished in San Francisco.
All of the old Statesman carriers that I knew served in the Armed Forces in the 1940s. Several never made it back home to Boise. May they and all veterans rest in peace.
Robert P. “Bones” Jones, Boise