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Statesboro, Bulloch Co. bicycle derbies of 1949-50
Bulloch History
roger allen
Roger Allen

Note: The following is one of a series of articles looking at events in the history of Bulloch County.

The Bulloch Herald issue of May 12, 1949 reported that "Bill Hollingsworth Wins Bike Race." The newspaper reported that "Bill Hollingsworth won First Annual Bicycle Derby held Inst Friday." 

And, "When he pedaled the 10-mile course from Brooklet to Statesboro in 27 and 1/2 minutes to average more than 20 miles an hour. Forty-five seconds later Buck Barton rolled in for second place." 

"Other 'place-winners' are Archie Renau, third; Albert Stewart, fourth; J.W., Holloway, fifth, and Curtis Shaw, sixth. The winner was presented with a new bicycle by John Denmark of the Denmark Candy Company." 

Forty-two contestants took off on the bicycle race when the starting gun was fired (at 4:04 p.m.). State, county, and city police cooperated in keeping U. S. 80 clear for the bike riders during the race." 

The March 9, 1950 Bulloch Times and Statesboro News announced the race. It stated the “Entries for Bicycle Marathon Coming In... boys living near Pembroke can get their entry blanks from the Pembroke Journal.”  

The Pembroke to Statesboro 24-mile bicycle race was organized by the Statesboro Recreation Department. The contest is open to all boys who are not at least 13 years old.”  

The March 16, 1950 Bulloch Times and Statesboro News declared that “transportation will be furnished from Statesboro to Pembroke. It revealed “Logan Hagin is offering his truck for use in the marathon.” 

En route, the riders would be escorted by the Georgia State Patrol, the Bryan and Bulloch County Sheriffs and the Statesboro Police departments. Part of the race took place in a driving rainstorm.  

The Bulloch Times and Statesboro News of March 16 listed the first prize. “The sponsor is offering a new super deluxe bicycle...and the Statesboro Elks Club have added a $25 cash prize.”  

The March 16 Bulloch Herald stated “Mayor Frank Miller of Pembroke fired the starting gun at 2:45.” It also stated “Buck Barton is Winner in 24-Mile Bicycle Race.”  

It revealed he had pedaled “24 miles in 78 minutes in a driving rain” in order to win the race. The Herald also revealed that Barton had finished in second place in the first-ever Pembroke to Statesboro bike race last year. 

The Bulloch Times and Statesboro News stated second-place Hollingsworth received “a baseball glove, cap, and ball given by the sponsor and a swell Bronson rod and reel given by Watson Sporting Goods.”  

The third place winner was Elmer Towns of Savannah. He received, “a five-cell flashlight given by the Denmark Candy Company...(and) a $5 gift certificate given by (the) Minkovitz” department store.  

In addition, Towns also received, “a pair of Ked’s basketball shoes donated by (the) Donaldson-Smith” department store. The paper revealed the rest of the prizes.  

The Herald stated Ronel Wilson came in fourth place. It stated, “The Bulloch County Bank has added a two-burner Coleman camping stove to fourth place in addition to a pen and pencil set offered by the sponsor.” 

Albert Stewart came in fifth. The Herald reported he won “a one-year subscription to the Bulloch Herald...(a) fishing tackle box filled with tackle...a nice thermos bottle and flashlight (from the) Sea Island Bank.” 

Ben Sharp came in sixth. He won “two dozen individually wrapped men’s handkerchiefs.” In seventh place was the first Bryan County contestant, Billy Lee, for which “The merchants of Pembroke gave him a new bicycle.” 

The Herald noted, “The local winners were entertained at a chicken and fish supper by Mr. and Mrs. Phil Bean at Ogeechee Lodge on U.S. 301 near Dover.” 

Roger Allen is a local lover of history who provides a brief look each week at the area's past. Email him at

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