Oklahoma Racing History

OkieBikers Another completely random article.   This one about two cycling friends and competitors in the 1930’s.

During the Depression, two Oklahomans spent three years on the semipro bike circuit. Earl Bigelow and Carl Spencer were notorious for setting sprint-worthy paces in long-distance races. They were teammates, competitors and friends.

. . .

As teens, these two developed strong calves and thighs while competing as messenger boys in Oklahoma City. Bigelow delivered telegrams for Western Union, Spencer for rival Postal Telegraph.

“We became not only close friends,” Spencer said, “but we became a team.”

Today, Americans like Lance Armstrong can gain fame as cyclists. But these reputations are forged in overseas races, most notably the Tour de France. Bicycling has never held a dominant position in American sport, but it had a higher profile in the Depression. Bigelow and Spencer were regional stars when they formed the Oklahoma City Cycling Club in 1937, a year after Bigelow placed in the Texas Centennial race and Spencer won Oklahoma’s state championship.

The course of a friendship

See also