2016-05-19 / Island History

Cycling: Back pedaling through history


Four men do not seem dressed for a ride, although “casual” was less informal in 1900 than it is today. Perhaps they are on their way to work. From left, Clifford Willis, an unidentified man, Herbert Willis and Alderson Willis. Four men do not seem dressed for a ride, although “casual” was less informal in 1900 than it is today. Perhaps they are on their way to work. From left, Clifford Willis, an unidentified man, Herbert Willis and Alderson Willis. The automobile and the modern bicycle developed as reliable means of transportation at about the same time. The first bicycle with a chain and a frame similar to today’s models went on the market in 1885; the internal combustion engine was patented the following year.

Velocipedes and large-wheel bikes had been around since the 1860s. Jamestowners, including Harry Luther, the son of Jamestown’s first real estate agent, made the newspaper with stories about their cycling expertise. By the 1890s, the bicycle was a familiar form of transportation. In honor of National Bike Month, the Jamestown Historical Society’s Rosemary Enright and Sue Maden uncovered some old photos that depict the town’s two-wheeling pastime.



LEFT: Clara Lewis, who would later become a schoolteacher in town, stands by her bicycle circa 1935. LEFT: Clara Lewis, who would later become a schoolteacher in town, stands by her bicycle circa 1935.

RIGHT: Fuzzy Andreozzi rides in the Jamestown Classic on Oct. 13, 1977. The bicycle race, hosted by the Rotary Club, is held annually on Columbus Day. RIGHT: Fuzzy Andreozzi rides in the Jamestown Classic on Oct. 13, 1977. The bicycle race, hosted by the Rotary Club, is held annually on Columbus Day.

ABOVE: A woman stands beside her tandem bike in 1905. Her co-rider may be the photographer. ABOVE: A woman stands beside her tandem bike in 1905. Her co-rider may be the photographer.

LEFT: According to an ordinance passed in 1892, this woman on Southwest Avenue circa 1915 is breaking the law. Riding on the sidewalk was prohibited. LEFT: According to an ordinance passed in 1892, this woman on Southwest Avenue circa 1915 is breaking the law. Riding on the sidewalk was prohibited.

RIGHT: Hans Musselman, 5, wins first prize in the long jump at the town’s bicycle rodeo on Halloween 1974. RIGHT: Hans Musselman, 5, wins first prize in the long jump at the town’s bicycle rodeo on Halloween 1974.

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