I want to ride my bicycle

Jesse Mercer Archer, Hancock County, Georgia, between 1895 and 1900

I recently purchased a bicycle. While it lacks the nifty bell possessed by this dapper gentleman’s bike (as pictured on the left), it does otherwise appear little changed to the casual eye. The larger difference by far is found in the rider, and I will not anytime soon be seen on, or even posing by, my new bike in a suit, tie and hat.

Style is a sacrifice, particularly if you insist upon it crossing boundaries. Living in Athens, Georgia, one sees spandex clad bikers at all times and places. Below are photographs of  a time when riders eschewed hyper-specific sports wear for the dignified clothes of their daily lives.

The DLG – and more specifically the Vanishing Georgia collection – has many historical photographs of bicycles, bike riders and even bike shops. Take a look.

Cook and Gentry Bicycle Shop, Rome, Floyd County, Georgia, ca. 1897
Group on bicycles, not after 1904
Florence Timmerman with a new bicycle, Lanier County, Georgia
Man on tricycle, Cedartown, Polk County, Georgia, ca. 1895
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2 Replies to “I want to ride my bicycle”

  1. Hey Andy – I also just bought a bike, which I sometimes ride to work. And well, I just never feel hip enough. I’m glad to be like these folks – dressed in my everyday garb for my ride to work….

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