Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
RubaDub
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Joined: 30 Mar 2019, 10:27am

Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby RubaDub » 31 Mar 2019, 11:00am

I'm new to this forum and have been searching for threads that discus my interest which is early cycling history. So far I've been drawing a blank.

Can anyone direct me to a particular thread or forum section?

reohn2
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby reohn2 » 31 Mar 2019, 11:59am

What did you wish to dicuss?
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I cycle therefore I am.

RubaDub
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby RubaDub » 31 Mar 2019, 2:15pm

reohn2 wrote:What did you wish to dicuss?


I collect early cycling material, cycling maps, guide books, photographs, etc. and have an interest in the early development (late 19th & early 20th centuries) of cycling for transport and leisure. Being from Ireland I'm particularly interested in how it relates to this island but also the rest of the world.
Here's a link to an album of photos of part of my collection: https://1drv.ms/f/s!Fv-NlJsKWC3udXlSMHdGeTZHTzY0JAw

What do I want to discuss? Anything and everything about early cycling.

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kylecycler
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Location: Kyle, Ayrshire

Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby kylecycler » 31 Mar 2019, 2:23pm

If you've never seen it, look no further than oldbike.eu - I could spend many a boggle-eyed hour there if I didn't have other things to do.

http://www.oldbike.eu/museum/

Anything that catches your interest (where would you even start?!), feel free to share on here - plenty to discuss! :)

Also, this is a wonderful blog.

https://vintagebicycle.wordpress.com/

RubaDub
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby RubaDub » 31 Mar 2019, 2:49pm

Thanks for the links. I knew the first one but not the second.

Lots of blogs around but was really looking for a forum.

JakobW
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby JakobW » 31 Mar 2019, 4:26pm

There's a fair number of historical threads on here, but they tend to be about specific queries and spread around the place a bit. Does the V-CC have a forum?

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kylecycler
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby kylecycler » 31 Mar 2019, 9:51pm

RubaDub wrote:I collect early cycling material, cycling maps, guide books, photographs, etc. and have an interest in the early development (late 19th & early 20th centuries) of cycling for transport and leisure. Being from Ireland I'm particularly interested in how it relates to this island but also the rest of the world.
Here's a link to an album of photos of part of my collection: https://1drv.ms/f/s!Fv-NlJsKWC3udXlSMHdGeTZHTzY0JAw

Here's another one for your files - I knew it was in the laptop somewhere, searched for it this afternoon but couldn't find it - an article from 'The Cycle and Motor World', February 24, 1897, about R.J. Mecredy, who I believe was the 'father' of Irish cycling (and motoring) - I saw you had a copy of Mecredy's book 'Health's Highway' in your OneDrive files. It's just a one page article, and it might not tell you anything about Mecredy that you don't already know, but I found it interesting when I came across it a while ago - it was the first time I'd heard of him. If you blow it up it's perfectly readable. Never tried printing it out but it should print on to one page.

34219-29755-4.jpg

I've never got around to copying the text, but here's an extract.

"As a road rider for pleasure he has always been noted. He is never so happy as when jogging easily over the rough and mountainous roads of Dublin and Wicklow, with a physical hardihood that defies the inclemencies of the weather. Consequently it is not to be wondered at that he shone at road racing directly he took to that form of sport [he was by then a highly successful and experienced track racer]. In the first races of the Irish Road Club he beat records right through, and 1894 tried, for the first time, the game of long-distance road riding. On a tandem with T. Meredith, both devoid of road training or experience, Mecredy started light-heartedly out for a twelve-hours' jaunt; and, after riding for over a hundred miles, alone, in strange country, and for hours in a thick fog, they covered 204 miles, which was actually world's record at the time."

Just like that, eh?! It was the age of adventure, but a cycle ride can still be an adventure for any of us - that hasn't changed.

scottg
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby scottg » 31 Mar 2019, 11:05pm

Join the Veteran Cycle Club

http://www.v-cc.org.uk/
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

RubaDub
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby RubaDub » 31 Mar 2019, 11:56pm

kylecycler wrote:
Here's another one for your files -


Thanks for that. Yes I can read it perfectly and have saved it to my files. Yes Mecredy was considered the father of both Irish cycling and Irish motoring.
2016-09-03 12.47.46.jpg

RubaDub
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby RubaDub » 1 Apr 2019, 12:09am

scottg wrote:Join the Veteran Cycle Club

http://www.v-cc.org.uk/


I've given them quite a number of scans of items in my collection that now are in their online library and have considered joining in the past but never made the leap. I might join for a year and see after that whether I want to continue. Unfortunately they don't seem to have an online forum.

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andrew_s
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby andrew_s » 1 Apr 2019, 1:57pm

Cyclechat has a vintage section
https://www.cyclechat.net/forums/vintag ... -bikes.50/

It's mostly about the bikes though, as far as I've seen (not much). Who knows, it could effectively be the V-CC forum, in the same way as YACF does duty as an Audax UK forum.

Freddie
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby Freddie » 1 Apr 2019, 6:42pm

What era of 'early cycling' is of interest:

1860s-1880s - Ordinary/Penny Farthing
1880s-1920 - Safety bicycle/diamond frame
1920s onwards - beginning of the 'lightweight' bicycle trend

unless you are more interested in journals and stories of cycling exploits, more so than a specific period...

RubaDub
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby RubaDub » 1 Apr 2019, 10:16pm

Freddie wrote:What era of 'early cycling' is of interest:

1860s-1880s - Ordinary/Penny Farthing
1880s-1920 - Safety bicycle/diamond frame
1920s onwards - beginning of the 'lightweight' bicycle trend

unless you are more interested in journals and stories of cycling exploits, more so than a specific period...


1860s-1880s - The term 'Ordinary' only came in at the very end of this period where 'high wheelers' overlapped with the 'safety'. Prior to that they were just called 'bicycles' to differentiate them from 'tricycles' and other human powered machines with more than two wheels. the term 'penny farthing' was first recorded about 1892.
Once the diamond framed safety with pneumatic tyres had established itself as the overwhelming people's favourite it's only competitor as a means of private transport were motor cars and motorbikes.
I don't really think in terms of dates once this rivalry was started. The development of the bicycle continued in terms of weight, gears, price and the public interest which ebbed and flowed.
My interest is mostly in the social history side; how people used it and how it influenced social developments; women, conventional & unconventional warfare, public health, the camping movement, etc.
Maybe people are less interested in the past and how we got to where we are today???

This photo shows a 'Singer 'ten-in-hand', a centipede like machine towing a luggage wagon on tour in Ireland in 1886.
P1060597.JPG

Brucey
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby Brucey » 2 Apr 2019, 9:40am

one of the things that is easy to overlook is that in the early days, owning a bicycle was beyond the reach of most folk; they were pricey items, almost exclusively owned by the wealthy. Thus the attitudes of the cyclists were largely those of the social group from which they came, and the way others reacted to them was likewise; 'class war?' -almost.... However in real terms the cost of a bicycle plummeted once mass production started, and this opened up bicycle ownership to an ever-widening section of the population. They still weren't 'cheap' but it became possible for an ordinary working man to afford a bike. Arguably this was the single biggest change that had ever occurred in personal mobility.

There were many other impacts on society; cycling spurred improvements in road quality, thus paving the way (literally) for the motorcycle and motor car. Without the bicycle industry, the development of such mass-produced items ('enablers') as ball bearings, wire tension wheels, thin gauge tubing, pneumatic tyres, roller chains, epicyclic gearing, indeed mass production itself, would all have been much delayed or perhaps altogether absent. It is absolutely no accident that most of the early car, motorcycle, even aircraft makers first cut their teeth in the world of bicycle manufacture.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

eileithyia
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Re: Why there's so little discussion of cycling history?

Postby eileithyia » 2 Apr 2019, 1:02pm

I recommend a visit to the Museum of British Road transport in Coventry it is more than just vehicles, but includes whole social history about the development of the cycle and subsequent motor trade, factories and the mass movement of people as the factories and the houses needed to accommodate them developed in the Midlands.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells