Victorian Cyclist

Cycling in Kent

Bicycles are so much a part of everyday life nowadays, it can be surprising to realize that for the late Victorians these “velocipedes” were a novelty disparaged as being unhealthy and unsafe – and that indeed tricycles were for a time seen as the format more likely to succeed.

Some people however adopted the new-fangled devices with alacrity, embarking on adventurous tours throughout the countryside. One of  them documented his ‘rambles’ around East Kent in such detail that  it is still possible to follow his routes on modern cycles, and compare  the fauna and flora (and pubs!) with those he vividly described.

In addition to providing today’s cyclists with new historical routes to  explore, and both naturalists and social historians with plenty of material for research, this fascinating book contains a special chapter  on Lady Cyclists in the era before female emancipation, and an  unintentionally humorous section instructing young gentlemen how  to make their cycle and then ride it.

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