A cycling tour guide from 1896!

While putting together the BBF Christmas cycling quiz, I found an old cycling magazine that fascinated me.

It’s 120 pages of one man’s advice for all things cycling in NSW, from all the way back in 1896!

These old magazines are so interesting and a lot has changed.  Have a look at some of the crazy and fun things I found in addition to all of the wonderful touring route maps and advice from Mr Joseph Pearson, Member of the Sydney Bicycle Club.

  • “Don’t drink when thirsty – perhaps a little whisky at the end of the ride”  (p4) 
  • Discard cotton clothes – “let everything be of a wooly nature” (p4) 
  • Ladies – keep your skirt a clear 4 inches from the ground! (p7)
  • Keep mouth shut (p8)
  • “The true ideal of the enjoyment of cycling is to tour intelligently and get some idea of the country you are travelling over, thus benefiting your health, physique and mind.” (p12) 
  • “Riding in Newport is a trifle hilly, but the views are grand” (p15)
  • The absence of finger (sign) posts “is of considerable inconvenience” (p73)
  • “No machine for touring purposes is complete without a brake” (p75)

Not all of this quite holds up in today’s age – but it sure makes good fun reading!

Check it out for yourself!  You can download the whole magazine here through the State Library of NSW.

Stay safe,


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