Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Whirls of the Wheel" (1897)

In the 1890s many newspapers had coverage of cycling in the sports section as well as elsewhere, since much of what was discussed wasn't that sporty (that is, having to do with competition - but that's true today, I suppose).

Here is an example, a column titled "Whirls of the Wheel" in the Scranton Tribune of 1897.

One finds a laundry list of items:
The French Touring club has 50,000 members.

A low gear is a slow gear. A high gear is a fly gear.

Harry Tyler denies that he is about to resume racing.

Jay Eaton will follow the southern bicycle circuit from Nashville.

There is a rumor that J. V. Parsons has married an actress in Melbourne.

When buying a bicycle it is a good thing not to forget to take a receipted bill.

A bill for the taxation of bicycles has been defeated in the Vermont legislature.

The Louisville Track association is planning a match race between Bald and Kimble.

The bicycle has developed another deadly characteristic. An Ohio man has killed his wife by sand-bagging her with a bicycle tire.

During the week ending April 1, 1,359 new members joined the League of American Wheelmen, making a total membership of 60,029.

A visit to a second-hand bicycle shop is the best thing in the world for a man who wants to study the advances made in blcycle construction.

Tom Winder, the around-the-coast cyclist, is to repeat his trip this year. This time he will do it in search of new material for his course of lectures.

A bill has been introduced in the New York legislature for the prohibiting of the propulsion of baby carriages on the cycle paths of that state outside of the cities.

Jacquelin, the speedy Frenchman, has asked for a two weeks' furlough from army service, so he may compete in the Grand Prix, tho greatest race of the year in France.

The duty imposed by the German government on American made bicycles is only $1, and in consequence large numbers are sold there. Evidently the German finds no trichinae on the American bicycle.

John V. Clendenning, of Louisville, the new treasurer of the League of American Wheelmen, has been given a surprise. The executive committee has named a New York bank as the repository of league funds.

Five months ago A. P. Black, of Brooklyn, was run over by a truck while riding his wheel and injured, so badly that he has been confined in a hospital over since. Through the League of American Wheelmen he has brought suit for $10,000 against the owner of the truck.

This is the way the states stand on the bicycle baggage bill question. For Arizona, California, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina 8. Against Kansas 1. Doubtful-Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan-3. Non-commtttal all the others.

What, one wonders, was the "bicycle baggage bill" being considered before Congress???

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