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Van der Plas Publications


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Quest for Speed

A History of Early Bicycle Racing 18681903
Andrew Ritchie

Format: 7 x 10 in. hardcover
Description: 496 pages with 120 photos
ISBN: 978-1-61364-264-1
Price: US$49.95

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The authoritative history of the development of bicycle racing

About the book:

No sooner was the bicycle invented or it was adopted by the athletes of the day in sporting competition. Quest for Speed traces the development of the sport from its beginnings in 1868 to the evolvement of "modern" road racing, around the time of the first Tour de France.

About the author:

Andrew Ritchie was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and grew up in South London. He graduated from Cambridge University in Art and History, and later in life obtained a PhD in Sports History from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland. After working as a broadcaster and photo-journalist, he moved to the United States. He has authored a number of books on the history of cycling, including Major Taylor, "The Fastest Bicycle Racer in the World." He lives in El Cerrito, California.

Table of Contents:

1.  The Origins of Bicycle Racing

2.  Expansion of Bicycling in Britain

3.  The Beginnings of Bicycle Racing in the United States

4.  Expansion of the High-Wheel Sport

5.  Sport, Speed and Safety, 18851893

6.  The Foundation of Modern Road Racing

7.  International Competition

8.  Bicycle Racing and Modernism

9. Non-Competitive Cycling in the 1890s

Chapter Notes




From the contents

The 1868 Bicycle Tournament at Liverpool.

Arthur du Cros, R.J. Mecredy and Harvey du Cros were members of the "Irish Brigade" that raced successfully in international competition in 1890.

For a time when shutter speeds were not usually fast enough for action photography, this is a rare action shot showing the excitement of bicycle racing around the turn of the century.