Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bicycling Etiquette of Yesteryear

Don't try to raise your hat to the passing "bloomer" until you become an expert in guiding your wheel.

Every bicyclist in the land will rise up and call the inventor of the ammonia gun for dogs blessed. Nothing is more annoying to the rider than to have a mongrel dog barking at his pedals and scurrying across his pathway in such close proximity to the front wheel as to be a constant reminder of a possible "header." The gun is calculated to make an annoying dog sneeze and sniff away all future ambitions to investigate the pace of a rider. It is said to be a perfect instrument in every way. The advantages enumerated for it are: Positively will not leak; has no spring to press or caps to remove, and will shoot from five to twelve times from fifteen to thirty feet with one loading.    
Don't absent yourself from church to go wheeling, as you and your bicycle are welcome at most houses of worship.

A Few Don’ts for Cyclers:

Don't try to raise your hat to the passing "bloomer" until you become an expert in guiding your wheel.


Don't buy a bicycle with down-curve handles. It is impossible to sit erect and hold that kind of a handle.


Don't go out on a bicycle wearing a tail coat unless you enjoy making a ridiculous show of yourself.


Don't travel without a jacket or loose wrap, to be worn while resting. A summer cold is a stubborn thing.


Don't allow a taste for a bit of color in your make-up to tempt you to wearing a red or other gay-colored cap.


Don't get off the old gag about "that tired feeling" every time you stop by the roadside for a little breathing spell.

                                                   
Don't smile at the figure others cut astride their wheels, as it is not given you to see yourself as others see you.

Don't absent yourself from church to go wheeling, as you and your bicycle are welcome at most houses of worship.


Don't leave your bicycle in the lower hallway of your flat-house for the other tenants to fall over in the dark.


Don't believe the farmer boy who says that it is "two miles to the next town." It may be two, four, six or twelve.


Don't be more than an hour passing a given point, although wheeling on a dusty road is honestly conducive to thirst.



Don't smile at the figure others cut astride their wheels, as it is not given you to see yourself as others see you.
Don't coast down a strange hill with a curve at its bottom. There is no telling what you will meet when it is too late.    


Don't ride ten miles at a scorching pace, then drink cold water and lie around on the grass, unless you are tired of life.



Don't try to carry your bike downstairs under your arm. Put it on your shoulder, or you will come to distress.


Don't laugh the watchful copper to scorn because your lamp is burning brightly. He can afford to wait his time to laugh.


Don't dress immodestly or in the costume of a track sprinter. Sweaters worn like a Chinaman's blouse are almost indecent.


Don't forget that the modern law of the road requires you to turn out to the right in passing another bicycle or other vehicle. 
—From Maude C. Cooke's "Social Life," 1896



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