Walter Bardgett was considered the outstanding authority on bicycling racing in America until his death early in 1953. Bardgett raced all over the world from 1898 until about 1918 and was rated highly. Retiring from competition, Bardgett became editor of the American Bicyclist, the only regularly published cycling magazine in the country, and also reported the sport for various European publications. Bardgett, although asked repeatedly for his list of the top ten American cyclists, always named fifteerl, it being his contention that he could not limit the list to ten. With the exception of Reggie McNamara, Bardgett did not consider any rider after 1930 up to the caliber of those on his list because the professional sport has waned in this country ever since fire destroyed the New York Velodrome in 1929.
Bardgett’s selections follow (the first three are named in order of preference; the others were rated of equal ability):
Frank L. Kramer, East Orange, N.J.; E. C. (Cannon) Bald, Buffalo, N.Y. (later of Pittsburgh); Iver Lawson, Salt Lake City, Utah; Tom Butler, Cambridge, Mass.; Tom Cooper, Detroit; Owen S. Kimble, Louisville, Ky.; Earl Kiser, Dayton, Ohio; Willie Fenn, Waterbury, Conn.; Floyd McFarland, San Jose, Calif.; Nat Butler, Cambridge, Mass.; Bobby Walthour Sr., Atlanta, Ga.; Major Taylor, Worcester, Mass.; Alfred Goullet, Newark, N.J.; Reggie McNamara, Newark, N.J.; Jackie Clarke, Newark, N.J.