Glens Falls Lecture: Champion Bicycle Rider Harry Elkes

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Harry ElkesOn Thursday, November 6 at 7 pm, John Strough will speak at the Chapman Museum in Glens Falls NY, about the short but fascinating career of local bicycle racer, Harry Elkes, who achieved great fame but died tragically at a young age.  The program is free and open to the public.

Born in Port Henry on Lake Champlain, Harry started racing on 10 and 25 mile dirt courses when he was eighteen.  By 1898 he was winning races and setting records.  For two years he raced with great success in Europe, before returning to the United States to tackle distance events and the one mile record.

In 1903, while handily setting a new record in a lap race in Boston, Harry Elkes had an accident and was killed.  The following year fellow racers donated prize money toward a suitable monument to mark his grave in Glens Falls Cemetery.

The Chapman Museum is located at 348 Glen Street, Glens Falls, NY.  Programs are funded in part by the Town of Queensbury and the City of Glens Falls.  For more information call (518) 793-2826.

Photo provided.

One thought on “Glens Falls Lecture: Champion Bicycle Rider Harry Elkes

  1. Tisha Dolton

    I was able to attend this event & my 13 year old daughter went with me. Very interesting story. Who knows what kind of records Harry could have racked up if he wasn’t killed so tragically in a bicycle accident at 23? & the presenter did mention the importance of the bicycle in women’s rights & the suffrage movement! I liked how Mr. Strough put Harry Elkes life in a broader historical context. It is very helpful, when looking specifically at local history, to have an idea of the rest of the world.


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