Cycle touring over 100 years ago...

Cycling Article Index

I have in my posession an 1887 copy of the Badminton Library's 'Cycling' book.


This is a substancial volume covering all aspects of cycling at that time and is utterly fascinating - both to see the changes that have taken place and the things that have stayed the same. Here are a few short pieces lifted from this age where the Penny Farthing Bicycle was king, where there were no cars and when 'Gentlemen' rode bikes:-)

This is the introduction to the chapter on 'Cycle Touring' and I think that though written over 100 years ago, every word still rings true, though you'll notice that it's for 'men only':-)

The perfect place to stop after a hard day's cycling
THERE is little doubt that by far the largest number of active cyclists find their pleasure in touring on their machines. The racing man has to undergo an elaborate and strict preparation marked by many rules and precautions, and although his enthusiasm may carry him through, yet it must be admitted that for the most part the work is very severe. On the other hand, the pottering cyclist who never ventures far from home has no idea of the enjoyments to be found in country rambles on the wheel.

Many men are precluded by business engagements or physical incapacity from indulging in the fierce joys of competition, but the touring field is practically open to any rider who has the time to devote to it, and the number of quiet cyclists who thus spend their holidays is yearly increasing, as the records of many an old wayside inn on the more favoured routes will abundantly testify.

These holiday tourists, guided by the experience which they have obtained in previous years, or by the advice of their more practical fellows, plan out their trips with an eye to personal comfort, and after a few days of enjoyable riding return home invigorated and instructed. If they wield the pen with facility they fight their battles over again in the pages of the wheel press, and the short summer tour becomes a fund of lasting amusement, an event to be looked back to with pleasure or anticipated with delight.

A Small Favour

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