Beer Bike 1957

One of my colleagues in the Woodson recently brought in a couple of boxes of stuff from Hanszen College. Among the many treasures are some scrapbooks, one beginning all the way back before the college system was in place and continuing through the ’70s. There are some really great things in there but the most remarkable (and by far the rarest) are three images taken at the first Beer Bike race in the spring of 1957. This first one is actually dated on the back. Interestingly, it was developed by a drugstore in San Antonio so it might be possible to figure out who took it.

Hanszen spring 1957 Beer Bike

These next two aren’t labeled but they clearly belong together and in one of them we can see the fellow in the bowler hat who also appears in the shot above.

Hanszen very early beer bike 2

Hanszen very early beer bike 1

Even I am amazed by this discovery.

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8 Responses to Beer Bike 1957

  1. James Medford says:

    Excellent find! About a year ago I met Emil Tejml, the first president of Hanszen. He said that Hanszen was disqualified in the first Beer-Bike race for taking a shortcut.

    • Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

      Very appropriate for the name of Emil Tejml to appear during college baseball playoffs.

      • Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

        I also realized just now that the Beer-Bike racing began the year after my graduation.
        I wonder why I have never heard any of my classmates who were 5 year graduates mention it.

  2. Judging from the stadium in the background, I think the first picture must have been taken approximately across from Autry Court near what would have been a giant empty field then. Wasn’t Beer-Bike originally 1.) on the inner loop 2.) intended to have riders doing the chugging and 3.) the cause for a whole lot of injuries until it was moved to the stadium lot and chuggers and riders were separated?
    The bike in the first picture is probably what would have been called an English lightweight (like Raleigh) I can’t see any evidence from the pictures that the “racing” style derailleur bikes were in use here yet (they certainly existed in Europe but didn’t catch on here until the mid-late 60s. You would have to have been a serious bike buff to have one at this time.) Interesting that the riders were wearing t-shirts and shorts but that was considered athletic wear and far too casual for everyday. The guys are wearing dress shirts, slacks, polo shirts, and slip-on loafers.

    • Richard Miller (Hanszen '75 & '76) says:

      According to what we were told the answer to all three is yes. Accoriding to the tribal knowledge the worst spot on the inner loop was the turn from the N-S portion to the portion in front of the colleges. Before it was built up, there was a car wash location right at that corner and many riders wiped out there. I remeber that car wash when I was there

  3. Grungy says:

    Classic Sturmey Archer 3-speed shifter.
    The first shot might have been taken on what is now called Alumni Drive.
    The final shot shows the tower in Hanszen in much the same POV that we used to have from The MOB’s practice field (where the Baker Institute and the fountain are now).

  4. Karl Benson says:

    I am almost certain that the student in the left foreground of the second photo is Hugh Rucker, Hanzen ’59.

  5. James Parker says:

    The screen with the three Beer Bike race photos (large center photo flanked by smaller shaded photos to the upper left and right) caught my attention. The upper left photo is of Henry G. “Hank” Coors, wearing a sleeveless jersey with the number 9, crossing the finish line. Hank was the anchor for the Baker College team. He earned a B.A. Degree in Civil Engineering in 1957 and then joined the Navy to fulfill his NROTC commitment. After his naval service, he entered law school at the University of Colorado where he graduated in 1964. From 1964 to 1969 we were together as young lawyers in the Modrall Law Firm in Albuquerque, NM, Hank’s home town. Today he lives in Albuquerque, where he retired from practicing law. His address is 7404 Old Pecos Trail, NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113-1338 and his phone number is (520)-483-7991. No doubt, he would love to hear from old Beer Bike participants.

    James A. Parker, U.S. District Judge, Class of 1959

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