130 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.
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 . . .
Come to the grand opening of Cafe Rouler tonight at 5:30. I will be giving a short historical talk on the Louisiana Cycling Club.
David 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.
I’m very pleased to be working with Rouler to launch Bike-Tastic New Orleans Summer 2016.
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.
**Grand Opening of Rouler
** New Orleans cycling history talks
** Historical cycling history tour and a race at Audubon Park
** Art show and market
** Benefit for Bike Easy at Castillo Blanco
** NOLA Cycle History Story of the Week at Rouler
****** Details to Come *****
Join the event page