COLUMN: Cycling to Goldstream a leisure activity in the 19th century

Cycling became an activity enjoyed as a pastime that allowed women to enjoy increased mobility

With five kilometres of bike lanes and more to come with the Admirals Road corridor improvement project, Esquimalt continues to be bicycle friendly. And with the 21st annual Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week in full swing, a brief look at cycling history seems appropriate.

As with the modern variations of bicycles, the early bicycle went through many developments from the two-wheel velocipede, the high wheel bicycle (Penny Farthing) to the safety bicycle.

While the bicycle was undergoing changes, the activity shifted from a mode of transportation to a leisure activity for men and, more importantly, women.

Cycling became an activity enjoyed as a pastime that allowed women to enjoy increased mobility through towns as well as participate in group outings and picnics.

Group outings to parks, such as Goldstream, were common in the late 19th century.

Given the long journey, Six Mile House in View Royal, offered a rest spot for riders. Owner Mrs. Price even included a room for women to refresh themselves while en route.

In the picture above, the women are donning cycling suits; these outfits differed from the traditional garb worn everyday as it offered greater mobility while riding.

It wasn’t long before cycling became competitive.

It is generally accepted that the first recorded bicycle race took place on May 31, 1868 in Paris, when James Moore won a 1.2-kilometre race on a wooden bike with iron tires inlaid with ball-bearings, helping him beat his competitors.

Road racing quickly became popular especially in Europe and the United Sates, as did endurance racing.

Local brothers William (Torchy) and Doug Peden, became internationally known as champions on the Six-Day racing circuit. These gruelling multi-day events drew huge crowds to indoor venues like Madison Square Gardens.

•••

Greg Evans is head archivist at Esquimalt Municipal Archives.

 

 

Just Posted

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

City of Victoria announces two more affordable housing projects

The city commits nearly $2M to projects in James Bay and Hillside-Quadra neighbourhoods

Saanich could become the new home of the world’s largest gnome

Galey Farms could find out Tuesday whether it will host the eight-metre-tall structure

Appeal by Victoria to province for regional police puts pressure on Saanich

Mayor Fred Haynes opposes push for regional policing

Victoria council denies VicPD coverage for Employer’s Health Tax

Several cuts to police costs have dropped the proposed municipal tax from 4.3 to 3.9 per cent

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Most Read