- Historic Sites
The Great Bicycle Craze
If its day was brief, it raised the hem, leveled the classes, and widened a generation’s horizons
December 1956 | Volume 8, Issue 1
The surprising thing is that, with only about one million bicycles in use in the mid-Nineties, the bicycle talk was so much greater, so much more persistent than it is today with 23 million in use. What makes the difference is that today most riders are children and the heavy traffic prevents their going far from home. They ride to school or on errands. Bicycling is only an incident in their lives.
What brought an end to the craze, around the turn of the century, was probably, first of all, the development of the interurban electric railways; and then the coming of the automobile—not yet very practical, the autos in 1900, but good enough to indicate to the farseeing the explosive shape of things to come.