Died: October 21, 2015
Married: Dorothy Sargent
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 29, 1975
Ex-racer is 90 today — Herb Clouse of board track fame trains 'Little Joe' in cycling game.
SARANAC LAKE — Herbert Clouse is 90 years old this week and uses his cane to bat grounders to the dog. He leans on it once in awhile if someone ties up his ear.
Spry and alert Herbert recalls with clarity the days when he rode the splinter circuit in the early 1900's as a bicycle racer in Madison Square Garden and the 71st St. Armory.
In fact he still has a few medals from his competitive days. One gold and enamel baubel represents a first place win in the mile sprint and a silver medal he cherishes was awarded for second place in a two-mile classic in golden age of the six day bicycle races.
"When you're 90," Herbert says, "a medal is a pretty insignificant part of the past. My memories contain more gold than all the medals in the world."
He is teaching his son-in-law, "Little Joe" Gladd, the finer points of the racing, game. When Herbert Clouse rode for glory, riders strapped their feet to the pedals. Little Joe fought that idea right from the start. He is afraid of falling down and getting all scraped up before the big race on May 31st.
The riders in the early part of the century on board tracks usually went ten laps to the mile on a banked wooden saucer. A flat track was even more difficult. It was something when 5 or 6 riders would spill. It took hours to pull the splinters from the unfortunate ones who absorbed the creosoted slivers.
Little Joe skips rope and spies on his neighbors whom he thinks are trying to gain some secrets from his training routine. He says that Dick Burman and Hughie McLaughlin both take their bikes out at night and race up and down Park Avenue in the moonlight.
"They don't fool anyone", says Joe, who has several side bets going as to his prowess in the Old Times Race for the Supervisors Trophy next Saturday.
"In the first place," he says, "the race will be won by know-how and conditioning and nobody around has much of that but myself. Also my bicycle has a few advantages I incorporated from Herb's teaching, but all legal of course. Tire pressure, pedal heights and handlebar alignment. . . all important in the longer grind."
The bicycle race will be held on Saturday May 31 under the joint sponsorship of The Town of Harrietstown, Chamber of Commerce and Miller High Life. The main event is a 54 mile open feature which is drawing professional and amateur riders from across the Eastern states and Canada for prizes and savings bonds amounting to $1,000.
The 40-mile feature is a 15-lap event open to juniors over 13 years of age starting at 11 a.m. The longer showcase, event is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. from the Town Hall.
Entry blanks and information are available at 30 Main Street.
- Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 27, 2015, Joseph M. "Little Joe" Gladd