Cycling diversity in New England has flourished since the turn of the last century. People have been riding home-made pedal-powered contraptions for over a hundred years. With national bike to work week (May 13 - 17) upon us, we take a look back at some of the eccentric means of transport, from unique to antique, that have carried us to work and play. - Lane Turner and Lisa Tuite.
Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities
August 30, 1896: Participants in the Boston Bicycle Parade of 1896 included the Woodbridge bicycle club, whose members were costumed to resemble a cross between Cupid and Mercury. The parade route covered a distance of 8 1/2 miles and took 2 hours.
July 6, 1943: Vincent Grillo (right) held the patent for this doubledecker bike he and Wayne Chase (on the elevated rumble seat) rode down to New York City from their Hartford, Conn., home over the weekend. They built the bike themselves.
Stanley A. Bauman/Globe photo
July 26, 1953: Dale S. Caswell, 15, (right) of North Middleboro and Laurie M. Fernandes, 16, of Bridgewater were out for a ride in Dale's "Siamese" bicycle, in which two bicycles were made into one through the use of brass crossbars. One of the two was a boys' bike, the other a girls', and the handlebars were rigged for dual control by means of a chain to facilitate steering.
Ulrike Welsch/Globe Staff
August 9, 1978: A man on a tall bike made his way on Huntington Avenue in Boston.
David L. Ryan, Globe Staff
August 13, 1978: Out for a ride in a double-power bike were Louise Hackett and Anne O'Leary in Falmouth.
Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff
March 31, 1979: Bob Bulens, Bob Sawyer and John Vanderpoel (from foreground), took their high wheel bicycles for a spin around Larz Anderson Park in Brookline. All were members of the Wheelman Club of Greater Boston.
Janet Knott/Globe Staff
May 27, 1979: Ruth Rubin rode along Massachusetts Avenue with her poodle Bozie.
Bill Greene/Globe Staff
May 11, 1980: Cheryl Ouellette and Dana Gibson of Hudson, N.H., rode a side-by-side bike. They joined other members of the American Wheelmen Club who pedaled their antique bicycles around Boston Common.
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
July 29, 1980: John Goodman of Somerville pedaled his home-made three-wheeler along Cambridge Street in Cambridge. Parts for the the three-speed vehicle came from about 15 different scrapped bicycles. Goodman, who worked for Boston's Museum of Transportation, hoped to eventually equip his experimental tricycle with an electric motor.