The Cyclist, 1889 – 1900

identifier: CYCLIST 1889-1890 [SOLD]

One day in the mid-1960s, as I pedalled along the A23 I was overtaken by a man riding a penny-farthing bicycle. Curious as to what would happen when he reached the red traffic lights up ahead, I was impressed by his technique of slowing almost to a stop and then reaching out to the top of the traffic light pole for support until the lights went green, and then somehow shoving off and away. I think that was the last time I saw a cyclist stop at a red light. I never got to ride a penny-farthing (sorry – Ordinary) but some thirty years ago, encouraged by some cyclist ‘friends’, I entered the first (?) mass Annual London to Brighton cycle ride – on a borrowed ladies’ bike that had been made in 1913, and was equipped with one gear. I’d sold my own bike after too many near-misses with Belgian juggernauts on the New Cross one-way system. I was totally unprepared for the 50-mile ride, but none of us would be the first to give up – so we persevered, walking most of the last ten miles. The train brought us home, and that night my legs felt as if they were exploding. I still have a bike, and drag it out every few months for a flat ride, just a mile or two along the coastal path, but I wouldn’t call myself a cycling enthusiast. So I don’t need this wonderful and very rare book:

The Cyclist Christmas Number for 1889 and Year Book for 1890.


Title page: John Quillpen’s Ride by “F.S.S.” and The Compleat Cycler by Isaac Vaulton. Being “The Cyclist” Christmas Number for 1889 and Year Book for 1890.
Publisher: Illife & Son, 3, Bride Street, Ludgate Circus, London, E.C. and Coventry.
Total page count: 248. With loose-leaf 4-page supplement on blue paper, listing distributors of The Cyclist magazine. Size: 200 x 277mm.



John Quillpen’s Ride
The Compleat Cycler
Resume of Cycling for 1889
Gearing Tables
Racing Calendar for 1889
Who’s Who in Cycling in 1890
The Clubs of the United Kingdom
Volunteer Section
Results of Amateur Championships 1878-89
Tables of Amateur Path Records
Tables of Professional Path Records
Manufacturers, Agents, &c.

Editor: F. Sturmey. The illustrations are by George A W Moore.


Extremely rare. This isn’t in the British Library, or on WorldCat. The Bodleian might have it, and the Veteran Cycle Club Library has a scanned photocopy with pages missing.

Condition: Generally good, with text block in good condition. Repairs have been kept minimal. Some losses to edges of cover, now professionally repaired with acid-free paper. Sellotape staining to cover. The original binding method was stab-stitching near the left edge of the block, and the cord has now been replaced. The cover has been re-attached with Japanese tissue, and some loss to the lower back strip at the spine repaired. Now in an acid-free paper wallet, in cloth covered boards, ready for your bookshelf.


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