Few can resist the temptation to 'scorch.'

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    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."

    I've got a little Irish in me, sysbeep, and 4 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. threadseven 79 months ago | reply

      scorchers forever!

    2. yellowbike 79 months ago | reply

      Oh, the awful things that regular exercise does to the heart.... terrible, simply terrible.

      How did you find this??

    3. Jym Dyer 79 months ago | reply

      My heart is as big as the Grinch's, post-Whoville.

      I found this (and the next one) doing some research with Google News Archives. Useful search terms are "wheelmen", "wheelwomen", and of course "scorcher".

    4. 42ndmile 43 months ago | reply

      In further news, a local bicyclist (myself) has determined that all Medical Men suffer from a condition known as envy, and should not be taken seriously. >:)

    5. kaveman4130 40 months ago | reply

      those that can DO, those that can't PRACTICE.

    6. Jym Dyer 21 months ago | reply

      Richard Masoner ( ) found more coverage of the same remarks, in more detail:

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