19th century bicycling — New club at Glens Falls

Maury Thompson
3 min readNov 27, 2023

Another bicycle club was organizing at Glens Falls, making at least three clubs active in the village.

The dues seem to have been steep, but offered chances to win new bicycles.

“A movement has been instituted to form what will be known as the Glen Bicycle Club. The membership will be limited to eighty-five wheelmen,” The Morning Star reported on May 2, 1894. “The weekly dues will be one dollar (the equivalent of $35.79 in 2023 dollars), and at the end of each week a bicycle will be disposed of by lot to one of the members of the club.”

An established club was championing opening a new bicycle track at Glens Falls.

“The Ariel Cycling Club will hold a general meeting next Tuesday evening when the question of securing a suitable bicycle track in Glens Falls will be discussed,” The Morning Star reported on May 25, 1894. “There is a strong sentiment current in favor of leasing grounds and building a first-class track in the village, and the project will probably assume definite form at the meeting.”

The club continued to promote recreational bicycling.

“The Ariel Cycling Club will take a run to Lake George this evening,” The Morning Star reported on June 20, 1894. “At 6:30 members will form in line at the fountain. All members of the club are requested to take part, and every wheelman in the town is invited.”

The club’s ride was successful, The Morning Star reported the next day.

“No attempt was made at fast time. It was simply a leisurely jaunt, and those who made the trip enjoyed it.”

In other 19th century bicycle news collected from historic newspapers of the region:

  • “Frank Murray of Bolton called on friends in town one day this week. He rode his wheel over and back,” the Stony Creek correspondent reported in The Morning Star on May 12, 1894.
  • “Landlord Rutledge had thirty-seven guests at dinner Sunday, nearly all being bicyclists,” The Granville Sentinel reported on May 18, 1894. “A dozen or more were from Salem, who came by the way of Pawlet to visit the slate quarries. General John Long and Editor Cruickshank Jr. of the Axiom were among the number.”
  • “A young lady on horseback gave a bicyclist quite a race on Broadway last evening,” the Fort Edward correspondent reported in The Morning Star on Aug. 23, 1894. “It was almost a dead heat, slightly in favor of the lady.”
  • “A number of the fast wheelmen are training on the Washington Park track nearly every evening,” the Sandy Hill correspondent reported in The Morning Star on Jan. 9, 1894.
  • “George L. Loomis, one of Glens Falls’ fastest bicycle riders, rode a Stearns wheel yesterday from the Opera House block to the nine-mile post, Lake George, and return in one hour and ten minutes,” The Morning Star reported on June 11, 1894.
  • “The already large list of bicycle dealers is growing. P.F. Madigan has secured the agency for the Dictator,” The Morning Star reported on June 13, 1894.
  • “William Hand of New York City and Dr. Wilmarth of this village (Glens Falls) started on their wheels last evening to race from the Arlington at Caldwell to The Van Cott (in Glens Falls),” The Morning Star reported on June 16, 1894. “Dr. Wilmarth was the scratch man (no handicap), but on account of his having fallen from the wheel above the Halfway House, it was decided no race. It will be run over the same course Saturday evening.”
  • “Many of our young people have new bicycles,” the Pottersville correspondent reported in The Morning Star on June 23, 1894.

Click here to read the most recent previous 19th century bicycling post.

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY