Great Bicycle Meet at Hampton Court
It is not by any means a far cry back to 1874 and yet to those of the thirty-seven riders who took part in the first “big” meet of bicyclists instituted in that year, and who were again present at Hampton Court on Saturday, the thought must have occurred that their original, viz., that of holding a monster meet to give the non-riding public an idea of the growth of bicycling, had been well fulfilled. The weather on Saturday was lovely, and it is estimated that quite 25,000 spectators lined the route of the procession. There were a few tricycles only, but this is accounted for by the fact that tricyclists have somewhat separated themselves from bicyclists, having a meet of their own forthcoming. The number of clubmen accounted for are – metropolitan 1,523, provincial 251, while the exact number that followed these were 318, of which perhaps 100 belonged to the Touring Club, leaving the unattached at 418 and bringing the total number of riders at 2,292. There were, however, quite another 300 bicycles present that did not join the procession. The Temple heads the list of metropolitans with 48, while the Portsmouth stands first of the provincials with 32.
Leicester Chronicle and the Leicestershire Mercury, May 28 1881; pg 2