This Day In Cycling History: 1892, 1903, 1918, 1930 & 1946

A Minneapolis congregation is terribly perplexed over the behavior of its pastor who rode to church Sunday morning on a bicycle. The minister was right. There is no more harm riding to church on a bicycle than to use a carriage or walk

The St. Helena Star, California … 1892


Random historic cycling photo!


Well, a few mornings ago I was out on my bicycle. A fat woman was crossing the street diagonally, wabbling along from side to side. She saw me distinctly. Besides that I rang the bicycle gong. The street was at least fifty feet wide. But that woman just came straight toward me like a blooming old idiot. I dodged this way, then that with the bicycle, but she seemed dead bent on meeting it head on. It was with considerable difficulty that I at length escaped her. Did you ever see a woman advance in front of a coming carriage, then when she had nearly crossed the street start and run back?

One Mountain Home, Talladega, Alabama … 1903.

This is from a syndicated column by Eliza Archard Conner (1838 – 1912). She was a trailblazing journalist, feminist and championed the cause of suffrage. Sorry about her body shaming! She’d know better today.


A unique device produced by a Jersey City inventor is a water bicycle. At first sight this machine looks like a bicycle, with sleigh runners instead of wheels; but it carries, also, two large air tanks to support both machine and rider. It is said to be nonsinkable.

The Champaign Daily Gazette, Illinois … 1918


PARIS, Nov. 18 – There is one bicycle for each six persons in France, a bicycle census reveals. At the end of 1929 there were 6,767,058 bicycles in France.

Altoona Mirror, Pennsylvania … 1930


Indianapolis – (UP) – It’s some time until Christmas, but an Indianapolis youth has been playing Santa Claus anyway. Because he felt sorry for penniless small boys, 22-year-old James Stoltz presented a “a number of them” with stolen bicycles. In all he said he stole about 17 bicycles over a three-month period. Police charged him with vagrancy.

The Edinburg Daily Courier, Indiana … 1946

More cycling history? I’m going to do This Day In Cycling History every Wednesday because … it’s fun. I hope you agree. Here’s the link to my story on what’s generally considered the first bike race in the USA, although I’m starting to think and find evidence it might not be. Stay tuned.

Here’s the link to my Biking France books (Provence, Bordeaux, Normandy, the Loire and the Dordogne). I recently took all five off Amazon, iBooks and all the other eBook platforms because they took about 60 percent of the revenue. Now, thanks to even more tech advances, I can make them available as PDFs.


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