Cleveland-Indy 1909 Endurance Ride

This image artifact was derived from a photo that originally appeared in the August 12, 1909, Indianapolis News. It was part of the coverage of the two-day Cleveland-to-Indianapolis endurance ride that was almost certainly the most successful aspect of the weeklong Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) gathering in the Hoosier capital city that culminated with the August 14 first motorcycle race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
While the image is grainy, be patient and spend time with it. it provides useful information and helps your mind visualize what took place. We believe the blurry background to be shrubbery or trees lining the roadway and not spectators. This was an open public roads event and while there were clusters of people along the way, the course, for the most part, ran through sparsely populated countryside. You can see some men standing about the bike and the rider who is apparently working on a wheel-tire assembly. These were G&J Tire Company officials who rode in a first-aid car. You can find this referenced in the article linked to in above paragraph (Cleveland-to-Indianapolis).
The original newspaper layout had this photo coupled with an image of the G&J first-aid car noted above, both under a heading, "Scenes Along Route of Endurance Run." The caption reads, "Repairing a tire and eating watermelon. " While that statement may cast the ride in a less serious light, like some kind of picnic, I suspect the use of watermelon was a way to keep the participants hydrated while efficiently transporting the refreshment. Make no mistake, the Cleveland-to-Indianapolis endurance ride was a major test of man and machine.

EnduranceRide_opt.jpg56.6 KB