Perhaps others have also noticed that Spring is brewing in Brooklyn. With last weekend’s record highs, bicycles and their cyclists came out in force all over the borough. I was one of these people churning over the Williamsburg Bridge on my folding bike on Saturday, parked by the grocery store on Sunday, and commuting via bike path to work on Tuesday. All of which gave me some time to think about bikes! Not only are they a great way to get around New York City, but they have seen some interesting leaps in terms of technology and design. Here are a few of my favorite examples from the photography collection:
A book from our collection called A sporting time : New York City and the rise of modern athletics, 1820-70 mentions pedestrianism as a sport that lived and died between 1835 and 1860. Bicycles and cycling, on the other hand, were the craze by the 1890s and I think they remain so. An article titled “Bike-riders had heyday circa 1890-1900,” found in our “Brooklyn and Long Island Scrapbooks,” talks about bike rides from here to Philadelphia and along Ocean Parkway to Coney Island (Brooklyn Daily Eagle July 13, 1952). Today being May 1, the beginning of National Bike Month, I must shout out to all the cyclists in Brooklyn who share my delight in this awesome machine. Let the bicycle craze continue well into the 21st century!