New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Bobby Walthour, Sr.

Bobby Walthour, Sr. (Bicycle racing.  Born, Walthourville, GA, Jan. 1, 1878; died, Boston, MA, Sept. 2, 1949.)  One of the true folk heroes of American bicycle racing, Robert A. Walthour, Sr., not only set numerous world speed record in his motor-paced specialty but also won two six-day races at Madison Square Garden in the early years of the 20th century.  Walthour was such a well-known star in the American sports firmament that his elopement with Miss Blanche (Daisy) Bailey was thought to have fostered a popular song known variously as “On A Bicycle Built for Two” and “Daisy, Daisy” (although the song was written in 1892, when Walthour was 14).  In 1901, Walthour and Archie McEachern won the six-day event at Madison Square Garden and he won again in 1903 with Benny Munroe as a partner.  In 1902 he performed one of his greatest feats.  On a cement track in Cambridge, Mass., Walthour set 26 national records in a 31-mile race during the National Motorpace Championship.  In 1904, he again set records for five, 10, and 25 miles in the Motorpace Championship.  He went to France in 1904, winning 16 races in a row, then captured the motorpace world title in London.  But before his retirement in 1917, he had suffered 32 broken ribs and 46 collarbone fractures, among other injuries.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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