Urban Velo

Bicycles In Milwaukee Since 1876

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently ran a piece on some local cycling history dating back to 1876. From one of the earliest and largest cycing clubs in the country up to today where Milwaukee hosts some of the domestic cycling industry and has a reputation as a leader in cycling advocacy the article by John Gurda covers a bit of it all.

The Milwaukee Bicycle Club was founded in 1880 and grew quickly to 65 members, making it the largest in the nation for a time. The group raced on occasion, but its real passion was touring the dusty roads of Waukesha County. The club thoughtfully published its route before each ride so that farmers with skittish horses knew which roads to avoid.

One of Milwaukee’s larger dealers was Julius Andrae, whose son, Terry, was a state racing champion — and the man for whom a popular state park is named. In 1893, the Andrae shop sold the Featherstone, an entry-level bike, for $35 — about $875 in today’s dollars. That was a significant sum in a blue-collar town like Milwaukee, but thousands made the investment.

Read the entire article at www.jsonline.com

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