Monday 1st June 1896
Sylvester Roper (72) a pioneering builder of early automobiles and motorcycles died whilst riding his a twin-cylinder steam velocipede, with a coal-fired boiler between the wheels, at the Charles River bicycle track, near Harvard Bridge, Cambridge, Massachusetts, US. He made several laps, pacing bicyclists who could not keep up with the steam powered machine. Roper was clocked at 2 minutes 1.4 seconds for the flying mile, for a top speed 40 mph (64 km/h). He was seen to wobble and then fall on the track, suffering a head wound, and was found dead.