This entry was posted on Monday, November 28th, 2011 at 4:24 pm and is filed under Bicycle advocacy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
I’m writing a book about roads history and will be focussing on the period 1880-1905, which saw the Bicycling Boom and then - pop - the start of Motoring Mania.
You can learn more about this free e-book in this pitch:
The book will be free to download online. I chose this publication model in order to get the book seen by as many eyes as possible. You may know that Victorian cyclists did an awful lot to rehabilitate the use of roads - and helped to get them sealed, too - but this isn’t terribly well known outside of cycling. I’d like to change that. Producing a print book would make me more money but it restricts readership.
The book sprang from the ‘history of the Road Fund’ research I did for iPayRoadTax.com. I then happened upon characters such as William Rees Jeffreys, an official with the CTC who started his 50 year career in getting better roads in Britain as a cyclist and who never forgot his roots.
In a 1949 book he wrote: “Cyclists were the class first to take a national interest in the conditions of the roads.”
Researching deeper and I found Rees Jeffreys wasn’t the only cyclist to have made a lasting impression on highways. In the US, the Good Roads movement was a nationally significant political force and without 30 years of campaigning it’s fair to say motoring wouldn’t have hit the ground running when it came to infrastructure.
If I can rehabilitate some of this history, and turn just a few peoples’ heads, I’ll be happy.