Sunday, August 11, 2013

Guides du cycliste en France: de Paris à Toulouse et aux Pyrénees (1895)

The Internet Archive text archive (mostly books) has a great deal of interesting material, mostly published during the early 20th and late 19th century, but the assignment of subject keywords is not entirely regularized - one often finds surprising gems by trying different things. "Bicycle touring" for example returns only 18 hits - some of the items are advice about how to (do bicycle touring) while others are about particular bicycle tour experiences, although clearly most books in the later category have not been assigned this subject keyword pair (since there would be far more hits).

Among those 18 items I found this French guide from 1895 - Guides du cycliste en France: de Paris à Toulouse et aux Pyrénees published in 1895. My French is fairly poor but I can get a sense of what is being discussed (usually).

The well-preserved cover of Guides du cycliste en France ... from Boston Public Library

Advice on Hygiène

Le voyageur


Les règles d'hygiène que doit s'imposer le touriste cycliste sont fort simples et des moins gênantes; Porter de là flanelle, et en avoir une de rechange pour l'étape. Prendre le plus souvent possible une douche froide très courte ou un bain chaud.

S'abstenir d'alcool : absinthe, liqueurs, chartreuse, apéritifs, etc. Proscrire l'alcool même dans le café.

Ne jamais partir à, jeun. Ne pas fumer en route.

Par les grandes chaleurs de l'étc, porter des conserves en verre fumé pour préserver les yeux de l'éclat éblouissant de la route.

Se faire un couvre-nuque avec un mouchoir pour se préserver des insolations.

Ne jamais forcer l'allure ni chercher à monter des côtes que l'on sent au-dessus de ses forces.

Google Translate renders this thus:

Hygiene rules should impose cycling tourists are very simple and less intrusive; Wear flannel there, and have a spare for the stage. Take as much as possible a very short cold shower or a hot bath.

Abstain from alcohol: absinthe, liqueurs, chartreuse, cocktails, etc.. Outlawing alcohol even in coffee.

Never leave an empty stomach. Do not smoke while driving.

By the great heat of étc, wear canned smoked glass to protect the eyes from the blinding light of the road.

Getting a neck guard with a handkerchief to protect against sunburn.

Never force the pace or trying to climb hills that we feel over its forces.

While there is a certain fractured nature to Google's rendering, generally it is clear enough. The exact advice might be updated in various ways but the issues remain, not surprisingly, the same.

Map of the region of France relevant to this guide

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