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Feature Article on ‘Birdie’ Dickas. TOPIC: SPORTS & PEOPLE
Compiled by Doris Dilbone in June, 1999

BIRDIE BREAKS HIS BIKE - 1881

The Society has used the photograph at right of a Shelby County biker in its literature for youth education programs. It was found in the Ross photo file in the Amos Memorial Public Library in Sidney. Society member Doris Dilbone recently found more information about the biker — "Birdie" Dickas — in the Shelby County Democrat, Aug. 26, 1927:

"One of the interesting pictures displayed at the Sixty Year Club banquet by G. H. Dickas and also at the antique show was a picture of his brother C. O. Dickas. "Birdie" as he was more familiarly known in early days. The picture is that of Charlie and his famous bicycle, a sixty inch wheel which had to be made to order. The picture was taken in 1881 and shows Mr. Dickas standing at the side of his bicycle in his bicycle suit wearing one of the badges he won in one of the many races he took part in.

"One especially interesting race in which he was the winner was at the Shelby County fair when in his anxiety to hurry along and win the race he went over the top of his bicycle and broke the back of his bicycle. One of the bicycle riders of those days was Hugh Mathers. He was at the fair with his fifty-four inch wheel and Dickas borrowed the Mathers wheel and finished and also won the race.

"When the report was circulated over the fair ground about Dickas having his wreck in the bicycle race the report became garbled and when it reached the ears of his mother who was at the fair, it had been changed and she got it that Charlie had broke his back in the wreck instead of the back of the bicycle being broken and she was overcome but was soon all right after being correctly informed.

"The bicycle is a relic now held by the Dayton Bicycle club, presented to it by the late Edward Burkhardt, former mayor of Dayton, who was a former Sidney resident. Mr. Dickas is one of the best known residents of this city. He has been in the barber business all his life in this city and is still at that business."

 

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birdiedickasandhis60inchcustommadewheel.gif (74202 bytes)

"Birdie" Dickas and his 60-inch, custom-made wheel, 1881.

 

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