My 1st Annual Holiday Half-Price Sale & Strange, Holiday-Related Historical Stories

It’s a new year (thankfully), time to clear out some of the virtual inventory cluttering up my portion of cyberspace. So: My 1st Annual New Year’s Half Off Sale & Humorous History Blog.

First, thanks for reading my Biking France blog, which, due to the pandemic, wasn’t so much about cycling in France the past year. Instead, I’ve become a bit obsessed with the history of cycling, as you probably noticed. I love cycling and writing about cycling, and appreciate each and every view I get, and work hard to provide interesting content for you. And, knock on wood, 2021, will include a French cycling adventure. And more history, of course.

And now, the big sale!

Second: 50% Off. I’ve written five Biking France books: the Loire, Provence, Normandy, Bordeaux and the Dordogne.

They’re all on Etsy, here’s the link, and they’re all half price, $2.50 for Provence, Normandy, Bordeaux and the Dordogne; $2 for the Loire. “Steve, why is the Loire book cheaper?” people ask. OK, one person asked. The answer: It’s the oldest of the five, and some of the hotel and restaurant information could be a little out of date. The cycling routes and chateaux, and amusing stories haven’t changed.

Third: The printed version of my Numbskull novel is half off ($6.50) and so is the digital version ($4.99). Here’s the link to the first 14 chapters of Numbskull, check it out and see if you like it, and want to read more. Or not. That’s OK too.

Fourth: Here’s some holiday-related cycling history, from The Lance, Topeka, Kansas, December 25, 1886. Yes, it’s Christmas Day, so this must be a heart-warming story, right? Well, it seems a lawyer “by the name of Nicholson, who recently died,” the article stated, left all his money “for the purchase of bicycles for the school children …”

Well,, that’s sweet. But wait, the reason why, according to his will, was that, “The bicycle has protected me in my promenades against the excessively troublesome annoyance of people who make a habit of stopping me on the street, in the burning sun or a driving rain, and beginning a conversation.”

Here’s the last sentence of the story: ” … the children of Mr. Nicholson will contest the will.”

Of course they did. I looked and looked, but couldn’t find a follow-up story on the outcome of the courtroom battle.

Finally: One more Christmas story. From The Edinburg Daily Courier, Edinburg, Indiana, November 18, 1946, with an Indianapolis dateline …

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 “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.

But wait, there’s a happy ending to this story. According to The Indianapolis Star, “because he had given most of the 17 bicycles he had stolen to penniless boys, sentence was withheld … against 22-year-old James Stoltz.”

Sounds like a Frank Capra movie to me!

Thanks again for reading, and I hope you have a happy and safe and healthy 2021 … and get to go for a lot of rides.


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