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The Self-Propelled Voyager: How the Cycle Revolutionized Travel

Hardcover - 16 September 2015
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Before the last quarter of the nineteenth century, people who wanted to travel independently either walked or rode horses. Then a newly invented machine changed forever the nature of personal transportation. The cycle-self-propelled bicycles, tricycles, and tandems-allowed almost anyone to travel around town, around their region, and around the world. While dramatic developments in equipment, clothing, road surfaces, and amenities make the physicality of cycling much different from the earlier era, the experience of cycling has seen little change. The Self-Propelled Voyager: How the Cycle Revolutionized Travel recounts how a transportation innovation opened the world for not only those who made the journey but also for the armchair travelers who read with interest the cyclists' accounts of faraway places. Following a brief history of the development of the cycle, this book describes the exploits of long-distance riders who wrote of their experiences, their triumphs, and their tragedies. Duncan R. Jamieson chronicles their journeys, their personal stories, and the times in which they lived, revealing that, despite the continuing rise and fall of cycling interest, people continue to enjoy traveling in the slow lane. Drawing on books and articles by the women and men who rode and wrote of their travels, The Self-Propelled Voyager also features photographs from the 1880s up to the modern day, illustrating the development of the cycle through history. Accessibly written yet comprehensive in its coverage, this book will interest not only the cycling enthusiast but historians focusing on sport and sport tourism as well.

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