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Bicycle News from the past

It's interesting to read what past commentators have written in the cycling news publications. Here's a few interesting tidbits from bicycle history.


The Future of Cycling - The Pall Mall Gazette - 1884

The Pall Mall Gazette reported on a prediction made by Sir Charles Dilke that cycling would be:

the future diversion for all inhabitants of large towns

A pdf file with this news article can be found at the New York Times website


Cycling Bad for the Young - London Daily News - 1890

A bit of bad press for cycling, but here's the article which appeared in the London Daily News on March 30, 1890.

Dr. Richardson admits that since he first warned us of the dangers of immoderate cycling, changes have taken place in the construction both of bicycles and tricycles which materially modify the old drawbacks.
He is still, however, of opinion that cycling should never be practiced by boys and girls, since it differs from other excesses in the fact that it molds the bodily framework, as it were, to its own mode or motion; and riders in course of time almost invariably acquire what he calls "the cyclist's figure," which is not graceful, and is not indicative of the posession of perfectly balanced powers.

In brief, this eminient sanitary authority is convinced that Mr. Punch's picture of the deformed skeleton of the cyclist of the future, though overdrawn, was not altogether wide of the mark.

Of two things at least he is satisfied.
They are that the temptation of competition is to an earnest and practised cyclist a "demon of danger," and that the systematic pursuit of cycling should never be fully commenced before the age of twenty-one.

A pdf file with this news article can be found at the New York Times website


The Future of Cycling - The New York Times - 1897

Albert A Pope made a submission to The New York Times in which he noted that physicians had even recommended bicycling to those who had passed the middle age of life.

Pope predicted that:

The bicycle is likely to be improved in the details of its contruction, although it seems as though mechanics and inventors had nearly reached the limit of progress in this line of work.

A pdf file with this news article can be found at the New York Times website

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Punch Magazine's Cyclist of the Future

The Cyclist Exhibit as drawn in Punch in 1889

The inscription on the exhibit reads:

Restoration of British Cyclist.
20th Century. British Museum.