With all the local “bike talk” – it’s fitting that Mass Moments reminds us that on this day September 6, 1882, the Boston Wheelmen’s Association kicked off the nation’s first 100-mile bicycle race – entrants raced from Worcester to Boston. As home to the nation’s first bicycle club, first race, first indoor riding rinks, and first mass-produced bicycle, Boston became the hub for cycling enthusiasts, promoters and innovators. Whether as a transportation vehicle for the masses, a tool for the emancipation of women or a means to recreate and stay fit, the bicycle was a transformative invention.
…in 1882, seven men took over 12 hours to cover the distance from Worcester to Boston in the nation’s first 100-mile bicycle race. Boston was becoming the bicycle capital of America. Pedestrians strolling in Copley Square had to be wary of young men speeding by on “high wheelers.” The city was home to the nation’s first bicycle club, first race, first indoor riding rinks, and first mass-produced bicycle — Albert Pope’s “Columbia.” By 1882 Pope’s company was the world’s largest bicycle maker. Within a few years, the bike went from being a rich man’s plaything to a relatively affordable means of transportation. The car would soon replace it on the road, and the bicycle would become an essential part of American childhood.
Read more here at MassMoments.org: http://www.massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=259