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Bicyclists: watch out for “stupid people”, 1878

From The Times, London, 5th September 1878

“The bicycle has come to the front, and is fighting for existence. Dimly prefigured in the mythical centaur…the bicycle has now surmounted the difficulties of construction, and adapted itself to human capabilities it augments at least threefold the locomotive power of an ordinary man. A bicyclist can perform…a daily journey to and fro between London and the distant suburbs with just the usual results of moderate exercise.

“[But] the bicyclist will have to submit to the same rules as all others enjoying some advantage over foot passengers. He will have to use bells when required…He will have to use his eyes. Above all, he will have to bear in mind that in every thoroughfare, at almost any hour of the day, there will be a large proportion of stupid people, and a not very small proportion of people a little the worse for drink.”

4 thoughts on “Bicyclists: watch out for “stupid people”, 1878

  1. Mark Brewster / Reply January 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Reminds me of a scene in the movie ‘Billy Jack’, in which a young girl read a speech excerpt about domestic and political unrest that, at the time, sounded eerily current; the excerpt came from a ’30’s speech by Adolf Hitler. Fortunately, THIS quote ‘out of time’ is a little less loaded with the weight of evil. “…large proportion of stupid people” hasn’t really changed, has it?

    • carltonreid / Reply January 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      Of course, speeding motorists could also claim they’re not at fault when they hit “stupid people” crossing the road.

  2. derek / Reply February 11, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    what was the price of the first bicycle when they were first produced

    • carltonreid / Reply February 11, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      Depends what you mean by first bicycles and when?

      Either way, very expensive.

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