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Re Cyclists : 200 Years on Two Wheels (Hardcover) (Michael Hutchinson)
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Somewhere in a German forest 200 years ago, during the darkest, wettest summer for centuries, the story of cycling began. The calls to ban it were more or less instant.
Re:cyclists is the tale of what happened next, of how we have spent two centuries wheeling our way about town and country on bikes--or on two-wheeled things that vaguely resembled what we now call bikes. Michael Hutchinson picks his way through those 200 years, discovering how cycling became a kinky vaudeville act for Parisians, how it became an American business empire, and how it went on to find a unique home in the British Isles. He considers the penny-farthing riders exploring the abandoned and lonely coaching roads during the railway era, and the Victorian high-society cyclists of the 1890s bicycle craze--a time when no aristocratic house party was without bicycles and when the Prince of Wales used to give himself an illicit thrill on a weekday afternoon by watching the women's riding-school in the Royal Albert Hall.
Re:cyclists looks at how cycling became the sport, the pastime and the social life of millions of ordinary people, how it grew and how it suffered through the 1960s and '70s, and how at the dawn of the twenty-first century it rose again, much changed but still ultimately just someone careering along on two wheels.