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

Reggie McNamara

Reggie McNamara (Bicycle racing. Born, Grenfell, New South Wales, Australia, 1887; died, Newark, NJ, October 1971.) Though born in Australia, Reggie McNamara became an American citizen early in his racing career in this country. McNamara was also one of the great stars in bike racing in an era when there were plenty of competitors. The years between the wars were the high noon of bicycle racing, and rugged European teams were a major feature on the U.S. circuit. McNamara set his first world record at the Newark Velodrome in 1915, and by 1920 held five world records for unpaced speed at various distances. But it was in the six-day bike events at Madison Square Garden that McNamara made his reputation. He won seven of them with six different partners between 1918 and 1932. He accomplished this despite a series of injuries that included four broken collarbones, 12 cracked ribs and a pair of skull fractures sustained in a variety of collisions and crashes. From a mileage standpoint, his best victory in the Garden was 1918, when he logged 2,447.0 miles, but his finest season was 1926, when he won the six-day grind in both March and December in the Garden, a rare feat.

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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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