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1882: Bikes have equal rights says Cuckfield

The content and inborn hostility with which every proprietor of a pool and animal and a car regard to bicyclist will be aggravated by the decision of the Cuckfield magistrates yesterday, there is a bicycle has as much right to half the road as the Brighton coach or a Pickford’s van.

On the other hand, the bicyclist will be rampant, 'Nemo me impune lacesset' [No one would beat me with impunity] will be his motto, and we shall probably see a good many more such cases in the police-courts. This first mortal combat between the bicyclists and the aristocrat of the road reminds one of the lion and the gnat, and the lion has, as in the fable, got very much the worst of it.

To upset the Brighton coach and every one in it, to get one’s legs broken, to be practically fined £5, as the driver and guard were, and in future to give way to the victorious bicyclist, is enough to break the spirit of the most dashing driver that ever started from the White Horse Cellar.

Pall Mall Gazette, 22 August 1882

1887, Drawing of various antique 'velocipedes' or bicycles as they are now called. rom F.A. Brockhaus, Ed. (1887) Brockhaus' Conversations-Lexikon, 13th Ed., Vol.16, F.A. Brockhaus, Leipzig, Germany. Wikimedia public domain image.

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.



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