Richard Puffer ’59, a Cottage member, had been basking in the spotlight for weeks as campus gossiped revolved around his planned solo attempt to cycle the 130 miles to Yale University.
Disgruntled, five Ivy men decided to “take the light off of Puffer,” as one of them recounted later to the Daily Princetonian. They rented a 70-year-old five-man tandem bicycle and declared that they, too, would take on the cycling challenge.
The five Ivy men – Robert Garrett ’59, J. Vinton Lawrence ’60, Winslow Lewis ’59, Donald Morrow ’60, and Brinton Roberts ’60 – did not cover very much ground, however. All five were members of the crew or lacrosse teams, and the antique tandem was buckling under their weight. A chain snapped just as they passed by the Route 1 traffic circle. And, as Lewis ’59 recounted to the Daily Princetonian 25 years later, the bike’s spokes were all but demolished by the time they reached New Brunswick.
Puffer ’59 had more luck, reaching Yale in just over 15 hours and pocketing a handsome $150 for winning his bet of completing the trip in under 22 hours, as the Daily Princetonian reported on Nov. 17, 1958.
Meanwhile, the Ivy five drove the remaining distance to the outskirts of New Haven, and from there rode on their tandem to the Yale Bowl, Lewis ’59 told the Daily Princetonian in 1983. Roberts told the Daily Princetonian, Princetonians showered them with chairs, and Yalies pelted them with tomatoes.