Bicycle racing promoter and former bicycle racing champion George Hendee hired Oscar Hedstrom to build gasoline engine-powered bicycles to pace bicycle races. In February, Hedstrom began work on the motorized pacing bicycle in a shop in Middletown, Connecticut. He completed the first motorized bike in May and shipped it the 38 miles to Hendee in Springfield, Massachusetts. The machine, and the other two bikes Hedstrom built in 1901, proved to be powerful and reliable, establishing the company’s reputation for outstanding performance. Later that year the company’s first factory was established on Worthington Street in downtown Springfield.