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Chester Park Velodrome

July 24, 2020

A racing scene at the Chester Park Velodrome in 1889 with the scenic railway in the background.

Chester Bicycle Track_Cincinnati by trolley, 1898-1899

Northside Ahead of the Curve

December 12, 2017

December 11, 1897

Mrs. Laura Wayne, the president of the Queen Cycling Club, a women’s-only club, recognized that there was a growing need for women cyclists to understand how to maintain their wheels.  She opened her home at 4225 Brookside to all women bicyclists with this invitation: “Owing to the fact that so few lady cyclers are unfamiliar with the different parts of their wheels, I have decided to introduce Miss Bi Cycle to members of the Queen Cycling Club…Should this be a failing of yours it will be to your advantage to do some investigating before the appointed time.”

She should know, because she was one of Cincinnati’s best women cyclists. She was a proven distance rider and had ridden to Dayton and back in a day.

Hanauer Road Book

January 9, 2017

Map page from the Hanauer Road Book compiled by William D. Kempton, of the Porkopolis Wheelmen in 1911. There are many recognizable landmarks and streets shown here. It’s interesting to note that the Garfield Monument gets special mention. This statue for years has been the place for Cincinnati area cyclists to rendezvous for their rides.  This guide likely began as his Vest Pocket Guide to Cincinnati and Vicinity published in 1892.


Happy New Year

January 7, 2017

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Happy New Year!  These great greeting cards from Brighton Bicycle club members Herman Bumiller, J.A. Flaig, Carl Burger, and J.E. Poorman have a lot of great details. They feature real photo’s of each superimposed over custom drawings of them on their bicycles.

Herman Bumiller’s card includes a reminder that at his place of employment, Pickering Hardware on the southeast corner of Fifth and Main Street one could purchase a new Columbia Bicycle. He’s shown racing down a country road on his safety and losing his cap. He’s dressed in the turtleneck sweater and riding pants of the Brighton Club.

Otto Carl Burger is shown encumbered with the tools and wares of the hardware store. He was a clerk at the Bode Hardware store and was captain of the BBC in 1895.

Frank J. Flaig was an accomplished engraver. He’s shown wearing the B.B.C. cap and a monogrammed jersey.

J.E. Poorman’s New Year’s card from 1897 features him wearing argyle socks and being chased by a country dog.  In the background are two cyclists sprawled upon the ground with a bicycle. This might be a reference to an event that occurred during the August Poorman race earlier that year at Chester Park where there was a big crash among a number of riders when one racer’s foot came off the pedal, which resulted in a big pile-up of twelve racers who were hot on his wheel. Several were seriously injured according to the Enquirer article covering the event.


Club Leaders

March 25, 2016

Here are the mugs of the officials of the Cincinnati Bicycle Club and the Gym Cycle Club from about 1896. Brighton Bicycle Club member Herman Bumiller is the skinny visage in the topmost position of the front wheel.cbc and gym club leaders

A Close Race

November 9, 2015

On July 3, 1894 the Brighton Bicycle Club held its annual road race. The racers lined up at the tollgate in Glendale and raced 19 miles to the finish line at Lindenwald Station in Hamilton Ohio. The race was won by 32 year old Al Arnot, a bicycle salesman and talented racing man with the Crescent Wheelmen. The race was hotly contested however by a young Theodore Brockmann who had only been riding for six months. At one point along the course he had a half mile lead over the others. Al had to catch him and barely won by half a bike length.  After the race the Brighton club road their wheels over to the German Kitchen in Hamilton for dinner.

Brighton Club relaxing on Ed Brookman's porch on Glenway Ave, Price Hill.

Brighton Club relaxing on Ed Brookman’s porch on Glenway Ave, Price Hill.

The photo here shows the club relaxing on Ed Brockmann’s porch on Glenway Ave, Cincinnati.

Al Arnot

Al Arnot

Brighton Clubhouse

February 13, 2015

Recently I was contacted by the great-grandson of William Windisch, who was a founding member of the Brighton Bicycle Club, and he shared with me some amazing photos.  I am researching them at the moment, but wanted to share these two images of the old clubhouse down on West 14th Street next to Music Hall. The photo shows the club assembling for a run up to the zoo on Vine Street in the spring of 1894. This was an annual event hosted by the club. They often invited riders from out of town to join them for a day of touring the Queen City. The Cincinnati Historical Society has a similar image, but it was taken before or after this one.

Here’s the image in the Cincinnati Historical Society’s collection:


Brighton Bicycle Club Clubhouse

Here the group is assembled at the front of the clubhouse, dressed in their uniforms, prior to the run.  The note at the foot of the photo is in Willie Windisch’s hand.

Brighton Bicycle Club Clubhouse

Brighton Bicycle Club Clubhouse

Norwood Bicycle Club

December 10, 2014

norwood wheelmen

Wheelmen in Miamitown

September 24, 2014


I was cycling on the West Side this past Sunday and flatted on Harrison. After patching the tire and filling it with “fresh country air” I started off again. About a mile outside of Miamitown I flatted again (the roads are terrible. Still!). This time I had to walk into town. My luck was with me because West Trails Bike Shop was open and I was able to get settled. Hanging in their shop is a photo that I’ve not seen before of a party of wheelmen resting after their ride into town. This photo is intriguing on a number of levels – There’s a mixture of uniforms, so this is a group of friends from different clubs, there’s a young girl peeping out the window, and there’s some variety in the wheels – including a safety bike for good measure. This is an undated photo, but perhaps with a little sleuthing more can be discovered about it.  Anyway, it was interesting to see the folks from a hundred years ago with their wheels. Clearly they were enjoying themselves.  When I set out again towards Oxford I felt like I was in good company.

Club rides to Hamilton County

September 5, 2014



club_butler county Here’s the Brighton Bicycle Club posing for a group photo on the steps of the Butler County Courthouse, which still stands in Hamilton County.  The club would frequently make the trip out to Hamilton because both Eddie Muhlhauser and Willie Windisch’s families had hops farms close by. Here’s the view today:

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