St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on December 5, 1897 · Page 16
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 16

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St. Louis, Missouri
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Sunday, December 5, 1897
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Page 16
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10 SUNDAY MORNING ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH DECEMBER 5, 1897. BICYCLE RACING TRANSFORMS LOVELY WOMAN FROM A PALE BEAUTY INTO A PERFECT FRIGHT. t0 &eorffe csfa (if till 4(i&iU Ili tl uvvvoo v " " the OPraotice of SBiCjei hiding as a li II mrnnnfa f7ho Women uAmslz?&s Mdmituh uheu w ( 'ill BrQak pillion MILLIE AgEPSoM 0tY pAYjptt"A nsyjo rth " s . y 1 . THE GIRLS HT THE FINISH OF5 THE SIX DAYS BICYCLE RACE IN THE COLISEUM, By Mrs. Martha Frazer, Matron at the Unson Depot. $ "The riders dashed by at a frightful speed. I shuddered. Their bodies were bent almost double. I wondered when they would stop. When I learned that these young women subject themselves to such tests of endurance for money, I was grieved. It pained me to see them forfeiting health for gain in such a way. I was almost tempted to say: 'They are selling body and soul.' Such a strain is bound to wreck the body. God intended women to te better than horses.' 8 4 JV 4 1 Dottie Farnsworth of Minneapolis. 4t Racing is hard work, and we are called upon to show a great deal of pluck. I have a fractured knee cap as a souvenir of my Kansas City race. Why do I ride with such a knee? Becauss this is like the stage. You are booked and you can't stay out if you once start in the business. I do not train at all. I am forced to save all my strength for the races." 8 8 I By Dr. George L. Kearney. "The physical and mental strain is tremendous. A wempn's vital organs are much more quickly affected than a man's by any violent or unusual strain. It is very easy to induce disorders which may become chronic These women are bound to be injuriously affected by the close g mental application, the great anxiety and the physical exertion, which I think is greater than in any other form of athletics. Enlargement of the heart is produced, which may end fatally. Physical collapse is sure at the g end of each rac:." THAT dtnncp en1s enchantment to the view is as true to-day ns It was in tho tim of Thomas Campbell. Tills is what I thought the other day when I wfnt to the Hotel Tidvl.Wo to interview the hevy of nw?ru!ar younR wnrm-n who had "Just come to town"' to participate in the bicycle race at the Coleum, smuMi wurlil's records, win prizes nnj lo oilier re-marUalilo thiiiRsi for the benefit of the public who were pleased to admire their per-formanets at cents a heal. They were tanned and hardened by tho summer nuns and winds, and the sever life they lead had left an Indelible Impress on their looks, us we'd ns manners. The women bicyclists under the plare of the electric lights, in tivir ray colored costumes rf tittlits or rhort knickerbockers and sweaters, are different entirely in ap-peranee frotn the masculine looking females 1 saw In their "at hem." costumes. I was shown Into the room of M'.ss UT.ie Williams of tim.ihn. Neb. She w as formerly a compos. tor on tie Omaha l'.ee. where (he earned f ;l wi . I;, until the bee of bicycle race r! '.lug chanced her ootirs of life. What w.Mi'.d your grandmother have sa.d If ?he could se,. yo-.i In tho costume you wear In the ra e?" I sail. She laughed. "What my mother pays is more to the point. h Is shoeked, and s-o are my family, but ' how elso can one rlie? Not In skirts or tdoomcrs, as they would hinder our movements. I went into this business on account cf my health. When I worked In the off!e I was called little; you could hav spanned my waist, nr.d fee,'' nntt, getting up, you couldn't Jo that now." "1 was persuBC"el into entering a, rac one month after 1 bean 1o ride, and I won It. much to my own surprise amj that of my f rientis. "I beRsn to Improve in health and I was ncourapel by my frieniS to enter other ra ces. "I make fr'im three to four thousand dollars a year, while as composi'or I ma lo or.ly J0 a week. Quits a difference, you see. "I vii correspondent from Kr.Rlaud for th Omaha lice, and mad quito a eum out Of tfc "I train Just like a man preparing for a rrlze-figrht. I pt up In the morning, punch the has for ten mir.utes and then box for another ten minutes. Sometimes I wrestle ar.d Jump rope till I get up a profuse perspiration, then my maid rubs me down. "I avoid all fat-makins substances in my food, and take excellent care of my general health. "Yes. this Is hard on a woman, and I think It will eventually break us dovm and make us old before oar time, "Will I Introduce you to the other girls? Well, I guess not. We are hardly on speaking terms with each other half the time. There is much Jealousy among us. "These girls ride a great deal harder for the applause than they do for the prize. "You know how women are, they are Jealous If they are not the ones to get the notice and approval." Miss Williams Is 5 feet Ci Inches In heisht and weighs 130 pounds. Her hair is short and black, her eyes are blue, and her features are strong and masculine. Her fkln Is tanned to a dark brown, end roughened by the wir.d. Bhe was clad In a blue striped shirt waist and plaid skirt. Her stride was that of an athlete, and she had an independent air about her that gave the Impression that she could fight for her rights, and punctuate her remarks In a way that would be remembered. I was next shown Into the room of Miss Id.i Peterson and Miss Clara E. rrehmel. "How do we tralnT Why, Jump rope and rid the wheel. We are from the far North, Minneapolis, and we are on the road to mnk money, and because we like It. "Our costumes you can Imagine shock our relatives nearly to death, but If we are In this business we have to dress the way we can ride the best. Yes. It Is hard work, and will tell on a girl If she Keeps It up long enough." "We don't filet much. Tou see I am quite fleshy now," ,a!d M't-'s Ida. or "IVte," as men and w omen of tho combination call her. Her height li S feet 7 Inches and her weight IS." pounds. She showa off to much MATRON MARTHA FRAZER DENOUNCES BICYCLE RACES FOR WOMEN. ACCOMPANIED by a representative of the Sunday Tost-Dispatch, I went to the Coliseum Tuesday night to see the women's bicycle contest. Before entering the place I had but slight idea of what I was to see. I knew from hearsay that several young women were on exhibition there as expert bicycle riders, but I had no definite comprehension of what the show would be. In short I went there free from prejudice. I went there to see, I saw. I had not looked upon the scene more than ten minutes until I reached a conclusion. I saw eight young women riding wheels around a ring, said to be one-tenth of a mile. The riders dashed at a frightful speed. I shuddered. Their bodies were bent .-Jmost double. They passed the point where I sat and around again so swiftly that it made me dizzy. I will not speak of their garb. It was scarcely enough to deserve mention. T wondered when thev would stop. I was sorry for the poor creatures. I thought they would surely fall from their wheels from exhaustion. When & I was told that according to programme the riders were required to spin around the ring incessantly for two hours, and that daily for six days, I g was astonished. I was shocked. I was amazed. V hen I learned that these 5 young women subject themselves to such tests of endurance for money I was grieved. It pained me to sec them forfeiting health for gain in such a 9 wav. I was almost tempted to say. -They are selling body and soul." But to waive the question of morals, I see many other reasons to con- g demn the Coliseum Bicycle Show. Such strain is bound to wreck the O body. The owner of a valuable horse would not allow the animal to test g his endurance to such a point. No. He would be solicitous for the life $ of the horse. God intended women to be better than horses. But in the 10 Coliseum Tuesday night I saw women probably the daughters of good parents taking the place of race horses. Yes, even going to a greater S extreme in the test of speed and physical endurance. The sight was not pleasing. I was more horrified than pleased. St Somebody may say that I am opposed to bicycle riding in any form. V That is not true. I see no harm in ladies indulging in bicycle exercise. 8 By this I mean that in my judgment a lady may ride a wheel with perfect g propriety, provided she r:des in a ladylike manner. A spin on the boulc- 0 vard or through the park, in proper costume, is certainly not harmful, 8 cither to morals or hearth. g Briefly summarized, try observations at the Coliseum result in the con clusion that the "show and 1 tlunk show is the correct word to use '.s demoralizing. Since I am asked by the Post-Dispatch for my opinion. I must say that 1 denounce bicycle races by women. If the men are foolish enouph to race under such strain, let them do it My chief interest is in the elevation and improvement of woman. (MRS.) M. FRAZER. 0 OC-CO-0CKCCKO.W?CK A PHYSICIAN'S DENUNCIATION. To the Editor of the Sunday Post-Dispatch. 1W"EfT to the Coliseum last night and sat where I could observe the effect of their exertions on the female riders. My observation confirmed my previous conviction, based upon my knowledge of general physical and metaphysical laws, of the harmful effects of. auclf contests, especially upon women. The physical and mental atratn Is tremendous. It would be exceedingly Injurious even to men who were not scientifically trained and carefully dieted. A woman's vital organs are more delicate than a man's They are much mors quickly affected by any violent or unusual strain. It is very easy to Induce disorders which may become chronic These women do not appear to me to have been adequately trained. Some of them look as though they had not tra-ncd an hour. They are bound to be injuriously effected. Disorders are often caused merely ly too close application to studies. I venture to say no girl ever lived who was so studious as to apply herself to the task of Retting ahead In her classes as theae young women do to getting ahead on the sucer-shaped track. There Is the close mental concentration which Is reflected In the tensely drawn features, coupled with the greatest anxiety and physical strain, which I think, greater than In almost any other form of athletics. - The violent exertion makes undu demands upon the blojd-umplng capacity of the heart. The effect Is enlargement of the organ, with resultant weakness. It would not be Strang,, for a woman w-ho per,is.s In such exercise to fall deal cn the track. I anticipate at the least that the racers will suffer a pty,lcal collaps at the end cf each race. r.vn t . . iE.AU.MiI, xi. L). better advantage In her cycling costume than in feminine wearing apparel. Her complexion la the fairest of any of the riders, and her eyes are blue a the skies. Her hair Is a very light brown and her features are prominent and wetl shape!. She wore a loose red wrapper made "Empire," and ehe had the Independent air that characterizes t(iem all. Mies Drchmel Is the smallest of them all. She Is also the prettiest. Her hair Is black, her skin olive, and her features are regular. Ehe i& 5 feet 4 Inches in height and weighs 120 pounds. She had one black eye and one blue. The black was the reult of a severe fall In Kansas CUy. She aM: 'I don't think this exercise ta Injurious to a g'.rl. If they are well taken care of when it's over. My parents are shocked at tt costume I wear, but It pays me to be in thl business, and I have to do a the other do. I had never been engaged In any other occupation, until I went Into this." I next saw Dottie Dayton Farnsworth. She Is known as Dayton. 'I think," eald Dottie, "that a girl has as much right to ride races as she has to go on the stage. U I hard work, though, and wo are callel upon to show a great deal of pluck I have a fractured kr.ee cap as a a0uvenir of my Kansas City race. V.l.y do I ride with such a knee? because this ! like the stage. You are booked and you can't ftay out If 'oa once start In the business. I do not train at all. I am forced to save all my strength for the race..." How would a girl's ri ling compare with a man's of equal weight and height?" It would be a tos-up. I think. A girl seems constituted to endure a strain of this kind as long as a man. and I ara sure, with equal advsntages. It would be a tie." fJMlss Farnsworth Is five feet ve Inches in height and weighs 111 pounds. She has brown eyes, black baJr and regular, well-dhaped features. M ,i Lixz'.e Clevelanl O'.iw live In Chicago is of German extraction, is not a beauty by any means, ha. l!ht hair, blus . i.r'r features, she was c:ao eyes in a loose wrapper and a pair of worn-out bicycle shoes Incased her feet. Sal 1 M'ss Claw: "I train by boxing some and Jumping mpe. I have not done It as much as I should, but I am going to begin by doing It more regularly. I like this business because I make money, and money buys comforts. "My costume," she ?a!d, shrugging her shoulders, "Isn't very big. I coul 1 get it In p. cheese bcx, but you see they all wear Vm." Miss TIHIe Anderson was engaged In the feminine occupation of embroidering. Kh was born In Sweden, but has lived In Chicago most of her life, having been engaged in dressmaking before going on the road la her present occupation. "I have been in eighty-four races," says Miss Anderson, and won eighty-two of thrn. On one occasion I lost the rsi-t on account of a broken wheel, and the other time was when Miss Olaw beat me a lap. I went and gave her a gla 1 hand, however, as I knew ehe won It fairly. I won the race Monday n ght and I had bruises all over me, too. before entering. "I take excellent care cf my health whether I am racing or not. If ell cf the girls would do that I think many of them wouli ride better. "Do we ever pull hair? Well. I dn't, because I have won so much that I haven't been Ji-aious, but there have b. e-n sm pretty bad fights among s-me of the girls. "I Jump rope for nrd and eat a grr.it deal of very rare steak. I avoid all f. prolucir.g fools and eat everything that makes bone and mucle." M s Anderson I S feet I inches in height and we'ghs 10 pounds. She has light yeiljw talr an! blue eyes and has clear cut, regj. lar feature. She a clad in a dark rr,y lath rote ard she had a l!f shoddy pair of old hies on hT feet. "Ji.'ti't you f.id worn cut after your rat-?' I ask-d. "Oh, no. I am solid muscle; see." ant she rslsel her sleeve. Her muscles to4 out as bra wry and solid an a blacksmith's, and it showed what woman, lovely woman, could bring- herself to. JTANXT ARUJfO. i

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