Whirring wheels

It’s a few weeks ago now but a quick trip to Japan and an imploding laptop have slowed things down around here. Back in September, the 22nd to be precise, Val and I enjoyed having Rod Charles, author of ‘A Whirr of Many Wheels’ on the Yarra BUG Radio Show.

RodCharlesRod is a very entertaining guest, as you’ll hear, and has written an incredibly comprehensive history of cycling in Geelong from 1869 to 1914. Of course, since everything that happened in Geelong came via somewhere else, his history of course ends up spreading a far wider net and is in effect a history of cycling worldwide, as it arrived in Geelong. One aspect that particularly impressed me is the inclusion of women and women’s cycling in the history, to an extent that is all too rare. You can catch up with the podcast of this program here;


If you’re interested in buying a copy of Rod’s book, or the two planned sequels, you can find the details over here.


Fancy Cycling

A while ago I was sent Fancy Cycling to review. Fancy Cycling 1901 was first published in 1901, and documents all sorts of tricks to do on your bike. Yes, they were doing tricks on their bikes, back in 1901! This won’t be news to any of you who’ve heard about the bicycle craze that swept the world at the end of the nineteenth century. What makes Fancy Cycling so much fun are the photos accompanying each trick described. They feature poker-faced edwardians, in suits or corsets and petticoats, diligently executing all sorts of tricks on their bicycles, which back then, were fixed gear. One interesting aspect of the book is that many of the photos show women performing tricks on their bikes, and it is written by a woman, Isabel Marks. How many contemporary books/videos/photos show women performing tricks on bikes? (no, not those kind of tricks ……) Val and I wanted to review the book for 3CR’s Yarra Bike Radio Show but it seemed appropriate to have someone ‘test’ the book in a practical sense. Sanso from Itchy the Movement kindly offered to help us out. If you’ve spotted a group of riders at Melbourne Museum lately, clutching a book and between fits of giggles, performing strange contortions on their bikes, well that just may have been them. Here is the podcast from the Yarra BIKE show on 3CR when Sanso came in to tell us all about Fancy Cycling.

Yarra Bike Radio Show on 3CR # Sanso at 3CR for the Yarra Bike Radio ShowIf you’d like to test out a few of the tricks in Fancy Cycling then get in touch with Sanso over at Itchy the Movement.

Tyres are for wimps

Great great uncle Henry and his tricycle. Collars were in and tyres for wimps. (Circa 1900, somewhere in Prahran)

I scanned this about eighteen months ago but thought I’d try it again. I’m amazed and pleased to discover that my scanning skills have improved. Especially with the colour, tones and brightness, even if I do say so myself! I’m really looking forward to doing some more now.

When only wimps had tyres