"Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There's no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving."
―Gail Tsukiyama, Dreaming Water
ln the late 19th century, the bicycle became all the rage across Ontario. As the cadre of wheelsmen grew, clubs were formed in every town and village. In Owen Sound, the cycling fraternity belonged to the Crescent Club. The membership of this wheel association read like a "who's who" of the most prosperous in town. There was Alfred J. Frost, the leader of the boneshakers. The other names are familiar; Rutherford, lnglis, Chisholm, Creighton, Easton, Harrison, Miller, Mackay and the highly touted invincible wheelman, Robert McDowall. The Crescents, in their smart striped red and black jerseys, were among the most envied "sports" of the port community. And they proved to be fast and furious riders. Soon, Crescent Club riders and their cycles were boarding the daily train to provincial races in Toronto, London, Guelph and Woodstock. Bob McDowall and Edward Miller were strong wheelsmen, finishing high among the leaders in every race they rode. ln 1893, the Crescent Club executive decided that it was time to bring a major wheel race to Owen Sound. lt would be an invitational competition and the best riders in Ontario would be invited. By mid-July, enthusiasm for the upcoming Owen Sound Cycle Races was running high. $1,000 in prize money was announced and permission to close off Poulett Street had been gained from an appreciative tourist minded town council. The racer days were set for the weekend of August 23rd, 1893. Promoters were planning on crowds in the thousands as the competition kicked off with a gigantic parade of wheels and riders through the streets of Owen Sound. Tightrope walkers performed high above the spectators as the glorious days of bicycle racing got under way.