Fellowship on the road?
During day-long, even weekend excursions by bicycle clubs, a bugler signaled orders from the group’s “Captain:” prepare for mounting, mount, form single rank, form twos, dismount, and—most important of all—dinner call.
“Now I am a bold Bicycler
And I ride a great big wheel
I’m a member of the brotherhood,
That binds us firm as steel.”
—League of American Wheelmen’s Club Songs for Wheelmen, 1885
Early bicycle clubs were enclaves of upper-class white men; they excluded women, African Americans, and recent immigrants. Although this Currier & Ives print uses derisive stereotypical ethnic caricatures, it shows that cycling was becoming a pastime for more and diverse riders—many of whom formed clubs of their own.