The “Wheel Notes” of the July 19, 1896 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the Women’s Rescue League based in Washington DC had issued a statement regarding the growing menace of women on bicycles. They proclaim that “bicycling by women and girls promotes waywardness” and that “the wheel is satan’s agent to demoralize and produce a tendency to make women degraded and outcasts from social purity.” They go on to claim that “bicycling by young women has helped more than any other medium to swell the ranks of reckless girls who finally drift into the standing army of outcast women.”
By the late 1890′s several of the clubs in town had permanent addresses. The Grand Opera House shown above was home to the Cincinnati Gymnasium Athletic Club (pending construction of their permanent location at the Cincinnati Athletic Club). The Grand Opera building was located at the corner of Vine and Longworth Streets.
The YMCA club was housed in their beautiful Richardsonian structure on the corner of Seventh and Walnut Streets. The club had an active cycling contingent well up into the 1900′s. They also had a summer club out on the banks of the Little Miami River just past Newtown.
Associated Cycling Clubs Clubhouse
The Associated Cycling Clubs Clubhouse was located at 119 East 9th Street. The space is now a parking lot – surprise. This building was built to provide a permanent location for several clubs, including The Porkopolis Wheelmen, The Athletic Cycle Club, America Bicycle Club, The Queen City Cycling Club, and unattached riders who paid 75 cents a month dues.
Here’s another view of the club with members lounging on the stoop seen above:
Cincinnati Bicycle Club
The Cincinnati Bicycle Club clubhouse, here shown in an Enquirer sketch from 1897 was located on 7th Street near the corner of Elm Street. By looking at the front stoop I have to assume that the wheel room was off the side or from the alley.
And of course, our friends the Brighton Bicycle Club in front of their clubhouse 88 West 14th Street (just to the side of Music Hall):
In 1900 the rage for racing cyclists was motorpacing. The advent of motorcycles as pace vehicles led in short order to the banked tracks we now associate with velodromes. With a motorized pace vehicle a cyclist could achieve remarkable speeds over distance. The image above, from the May 20, 1900 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer, is interesting because the motor bike is a tandem. Cincinnati’s wheelmen were early adopters of the motorcycle and many became prominent dealers in automobiles at the turn of the Century.
Miles from home…
Great photo from the Kackley archives in the Kentucky Historical Society’s collection.
A group of cyclists out of Maysville rest on the side of the road.