Boss’s bike inside the Queen Mine
Starting in the mid 1960’s, the "Boss’s Bike" was primarily used by the shift bosses in the Bisbee mines. Their daily jobs required them to travel thru the extensive underground to inspect each workplace once or twice. Because of the great distance traveled by the bosses, the bikes were conveniently introduced.
There were only a few bikes, with noted locations of 1100’ & 1200’ levels in the Cole and in the 1550’ Dallas Mines. While on their shift, most bosses did not regularly ride their bikes walking their routes instead, An exception was Al Hart Sr. Other personnel were not to use the bikes; however, on occasion, miners hastened their duties by borrowing them. Pete Oller remembers using one to pick up some explosives in the Dallas Mine and suddenly, three guys climbed aboard to get a ride to a distant workplace.
A basket in the front was used to carry sample sacks. The back shelf was occasionally used for sample sacks or sometimes a person would stand there and ride.
When using the bike, the shift boss had to follow all the traffic rules that applied to the trains such as using block lights. The bikes were notorious for derailing on curves and it was best to walk around them to prevent an accident. Made of simple construction in the mine shops in Bisbee, they were outfitted with purchased accessories as pedals, seats and aluminum wheels. The light construction made it easy for them to be lifted off the track; thus allowing trains to freely pass. Although, they were easy to stop, they had one major design flaw. They were equipped with no brakes!
Pete Oller 2010, pers. comm., 8 February
Henry Hernandez 2010, pers. comm., 2 February
Richard Graeme IV 2010, pers. comm., 8 February