1886: NOBC Tour from NOLA to Boston in 30 Days

Thomas_Stevens_bicycle130 years ago, three members of the New Orleans Bicycle Club set out east from New Orleans on their penny farthings, following the railroad tracks out of the city and into the Louisiana swamp. Their destination: the annual meeting of the League of American Wheelmen in Boston. They had 30 days to get there. The first half of their journey would take them across the Deep South, where there were no long-distance roads and few local ones, across territory that had never before been traveled by bicycle.

This summer, as part of Biketastic Summer New Orleans, historian Lacar Musgrove will release “Astride Lofty Wheels,” a novella-length work of literary nonfiction that narrates in rich detail the historic journey of these three New Orleans cycling pioneers.

Excerpt:

The assembled three now headed down the broad avenue of Canal Street towards the Mississippi River, where they turned left and proceeded up Decatur Street toward Elysian Fields Avenue. Wishing to avoid riding on the cobblestones of the French Quarter, the oldest part of the city, the trio walked their bicycles along Decatur Street through the market district. To their right were the wharfs along the Mississippi River . . .

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150 Years of The Bicycle

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New Orleans will celebrate 150 years of the bicycle with Bike-Tastic Summer New Orleans, a series of events spanning May 26 to July 9 and concurrent with the special sports history issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas, which will feature an article by New Orleans’ cycling historian, Lacar Musgrove, on the first venue for cycle racing in New Orleans, which was located at Audubon Park. The sports issue of Cultural Vistas is “dedicated to ‘Hometown Teams,’ a touring exhibition produced by the Smithsonian Institute and the LEH.

Follow the event page for updates.

Other national events:

International Cycling History Conference: 150 Years of Bicycling in America

The Wheelmen: 27th Annual International Cycling History Conference (ICHC) And Sesquicentennial Of Bicycling

National Event Page

David V. Herlihy, Premier Cycling Historian, to Speak in New Orleans July 9

bicycle david herlihyDavid V. Herlihy, author of Bicycle: the History and The Lost Cyclist, will speak at the benefit for Bike Easy at Castillo Blanco Art Studies in New Orleans on July 9, 2016. The event is the capstone of Bike-Tastic Summer New Orleans, a series of bicycle history lectures, presentations, and tours that will include a talk by New Orleans Victorian cycling historian Lacar Musgrove and a bicycle art show and market. Proceeds will go to benefit Bike Easy and Stolen Bikes NOLA.

Herlihy is most noted in the cycling history community for settling, at the 1993 International Conference on the History of Cycling, the decades-old debate of who invented the bicycle: Pierre Michaux or Pierre Lallement. His seminal work, Bicycle: the History, launched a new and prolific era of scholarship on the the social, cultural, political, and technological history of the bicycle.

For anyone in New Orleans interested in the history of the bicycle, this event is not to be missed.

Follow this blog and the Facebook Event Page for updates.

Opening of Rouler in New Orleans

I’m very pleased to be working with Rouler to launch Bike-Tastic New Orleans Summer 2016.

Wes McWhorter, Rouler New Orleans

Wes McWhorter, proprietor of Rouler, a new cycle shop, cafe, and meet-up spot for the New Orleans cycling community and everyone else, too.

The kick-off event will be at their grand opening on May 26. And then I’ll be working there every weekend, serving up refreshments and a NOLA Cycle History Tale of the Week to whomever wants to hear it. It’s a really great space and I hope you will all swing by and check it out this summer.