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Some interesting early west coast cycling history in this article by SF Historian Woody LaBounty called Bicycles West

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gkeep

I live for the CABE
An excerpt from the article.

After a long struggle with the park commission, San Francisco bicycle clubs won greater access to Golden Gate Park's excellent roads in the early 1890s. Every weekend, packs of cyclists rode through the park to Ocean Beach, where a section of the Great Highway had recently been graded and paved. One Sunday in 1896, an Examiner reporter stationed himself on a park path to count the cyclists that passed between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. He tallied almost 3,000.

Suddenly, beachside roadhouses and refreshment stands competed for the bicyclist trade. Wooden racks for bike parking went up beside hitching posts. The Villa Miramar, a bar at the end of today's Irving Street, put up a sign advertising itself as the "Wheelmen's Rest." North of the park, Adolph Sutro had a three-story chalet erected on the southwest corner of La Playa and Fulton Street that he named "Cycler's Rest."

It wasn't only wheelmen taking to the park and beach roads. Scores of women took up riding, some shockingly forsaking skirts and dresses for more comfortable blousy-trousered "bloomers." (The Examiner reporter who did the one-day Golden Gate Park census tabulated that bloomer-wearers outnumbered skirt-wearers 4 to 1.) One club of female cyclists, the Falcons, actually had a major role in starting the community of Carville by renting an old horsecar from Adolph Sutro to use as a clubhouse.

falcons.jpg

Falcons lady bicyclist club and clubhouse in old horse car at Ocean Beach, 1890s. -
After hard rides, the Falcons took naps on the soft, long seats of the old transit vehicle. They built a shed addition on the back of the car to store their bikes, and installed a kitchen with three coal oil stoves. The members held frequent dinner parties, often with tongue-in-cheek descriptions sent to the newspapers to mock conventional society recaps. An outdoor banquet in August 1896 was listed to have entrées of "brown beans, baked beans, barnacles, spider toes, frog legs, and Frangipanni." A men's bicycle club soon followed the Falcons and also rented a car clubhouse from Sutro.

By the early 1900s, many of the young bicyclists who once enthusiastically spent their Saturdays pedaling to San Jose began drifting off to newer and faster technologies like motorcycles and automobiles. Autos, begun as weekend toys and novelties, rose in the twentieth century to being essential tools of commerce and American life.

Link to full article.

Building with the pointed roof on right near the Windmill is said to be Adolph Sutros "Cyclists Rest" establishment.
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Bay City Wheelmen ride to Laguna Honda Lake on April 13, 1890.
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Golden Gate Park riders in 1915.
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Boys with bikes in the Sunset District dunes 1910s.
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There must be some old photos somewhere of cyclists and wheelmen hanging out at the Cyclists Rest.
 

gkeep

I live for the CABE
This is great history on our hobby. Thank you very much for taking the time! Do you have more TOC history on cycling? Respectfully Rich
I just run into stories like this and figure they're worth sharing. I know there are a fair number of Cabers here in the greater bay area and all the TOC photos, stories and ephemera get the juices flowing. For me it doesn't matter here in the world the story originates if it's interesting history. Just a history geek at heart.
In the past I crewed and worked on a number of 1880s-1890s two masted schooners. Chipped rust and paint on teh WWII Liberty Ship Jeramiah O'Brien and even ran an 1890s steam donkey engine back in the 80s. Grew up getting hauled to live steam events by my dad who was a toy train/antique toy collector and live steam fan. Sorry I didn't get sucked into the vintage bike world until I'd reached my 50s, just in time for a second childhood riding and wrenching on old bikes.;)

Have a great Christmas and New Years!
 
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