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Few can resist the temptation to 'scorch.' | by Jym Dyer
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Few can resist the temptation to 'scorch.'

New York Times | 01-Jul-1898



Recruiting Officer at Chicago Refuses

to Pass Habitual Fast Bicycle

Riders Into the Service


CHICAGO, June 30. -- Dr. S. C. Stanton, who has charge of the examination of recruits for the United States regular army in this city, has caused a sensation among medical men by declaring that a habitual fast rider of bicycles or a "scorcher" is unfit, physically, to serve as a soldier in the army.


He has made this matter the subject of his severest tests in the examinations of applicants for enlistment, and many men have been rejected because of a "bicycle heart," as the practitioner terms it, caused by excessive exercise in riding a wheel. The doctor says: "The persistent scorching, or fast riding, has a tendency to enlarge the heart and thus interfere with its proper action." Few enthusiastic bicyclists can resist the temptation to 'scorch,' and as a consequence the physician believes that the heart of a large proportion of this class of riders is more or less affected.


"This being the case, they would be unable to endure the hardships that army life imposes and should not be permitted to enter the service. The excitement caused by war is also attended by deleterious effects to those whose hearts are in any degree affected."

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Taken on July 1, 1898