Orie Steele, Sr.
(Including Bicycle World)
June 22, 1927
Rochester, N.Y. - The high light of the motorcycle sectional hillclimb held at Egypt, N.Y. was the beautiful ride of Orie Steele in the 61 professional. Steele went over flawlessly with not a jolt nor jar, making the grade in 8 1/5 seconds, the best time of the day by more than two seconds. At last year's climb, Steele's performance was wonderful, that further improvement seems impossible.
A crowd of about 8,000 people witnessed the four events - 45 amateur, 45 professional, 61 amateur, 61 expert - a remarkably large number to draw on a day which looked as unpromising as Sunday. It rained fitfully throughout the morning, and there was a very high, chill wind blowing, which not only made it uncomfortable for spectators but hampered the riders as well.
Promptly at 2 o'clock the first event, the 45 amateur, was started. D.M. Hughes, riding an A.J.S., captured this going over in 12 1/5 seconds. The A.J.S., an English machine, seen for the first time by the writer, was only about half the size of the other entries in this event and had all kinds of pep and power, but was difficult to control. Whether it was the machine , or the rider, can't be said, but what Hughes lacked in experience he made up in pure spunk and a couple of rather nasty spills did not lessen his zeal. Jose Ubelacker, 13 1/5 seconds, Super Ex, was second and Jack Snyder, 219 feet, Super Ex, was third.
The second event, the 45 expert, was won by Orie Steele in 11 seconds flat, Steele having practically no competition in this event and giving the impression of much reserve power. Ubelacker, 13 3/5 seconds, Super Ex, was second, and D.M. Hughes, 296 feet, A.J.S., was third. The 61 events were more prolific of excitement than the 45's although Hughes and his A.J.S. furnished plenty. The 61 amateur event was won by Wilt, who rode his Harley-Davidson over in 12 2/5 seconds, a nice ride which won him much adulation. "Rabbit" Richards of Rochester was second in the event, going over on a Harley-Davidson in 13 3/5 seconds, a spectacular ride, which brought forth gales of laughter from the crowd, as a wobbly start made it appear that he could not possibly make the top. Richards, 13 3/5 seconds took second, and Jose Ubelacker, 14 seconds, Super Ex, third.
The 61 professional was the real event of the day. This was the event made memorable by Steele's perfect ride, followed by De Koker, who made the most spectacular ride of the day to win second place. De Koker started with a tremendous burst of speed, hit the 250 mark all smooth, then lost control of his machine, but never lifting his feet from the boards he regained control, increased his momentum and went over. His ride attracted more applause than any other, and for sheer gameness and nerve he surely deserved it.
The climb was sponsored by Clark Schoenheit, president of the Rochester M.C. The referee was Harry Gunn of Rochester and the clerk of course Edward R. Lighthouse of the Rochester M.C. The timers were Frank Zimmerman and Fred Hunt of Rochester and F.E. Quennell of Toronto, Ontario. A dollar bill race for boys up to 15 helped amuse the crowd who were on hand an hour or more before scheduled time. Charles Belle of Rochester won $3 and George Story, Avon, N.Y., $4. As there were no more dollar bills offered, that finished the race.
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