chapter  1
28 Pages

For a Geography of Cycling

During the past quarter century there has been a coming of age of the literature on cycles and cycling. In the beginning it was all about the technologies invented and adapted in order to bring the latest bicycle or tricycle to market, with authors and correspondents often becoming rhapsodic about the latest technical developments. This cheered the mechanics who dominated the bicycle trade, and cyclists who generally aped the mechanics. In the 1880s and 1890s the annual technical reports by Sturmey and Griffin on the latest additions to the cycling stable had a large following.1 As technologies improved and cycles moved faster, cycle sport become a second focus for commentators, with cycle races, on the track and on the road, attracting a large following.