Cycle Babble:

Cycling in 19th Century Victoria


            “Going Places.”

      City of Victoria Archives PR91-7960 M08267

Copyright 2009. Vincent Gornall, Gavin Neil & Jason Chisholm

Many people see the recent popularity of bicycles as a new and unprecedented phenomenon. However, during the 19th century, cycling affected the human, physical and technological geography of Victoria.

The profound effects that cycling had on Victoria parallel many of the issues and concerns that people have with cycling today. Since there was a cycling craze across North America in the 1890s, these issues and concerns also connect with broader ones in Canadian history and in contemporary society.

This site deals with the effects cycling had on Victoria’s people, places and technology in the 19th Century. It applies an approach suggested by Glen Norcliffe in The Ride to Modernity: The Bicycle in Canada, 1869-1900, in which he suggests that the bicycle helped popularize ideas and technologies related to modernity in Canada. Because it deals with broader issues through a local case study, it is an example of microhistory.

Visit Victoria’s Victoria, a collection of student web sites created for History 481 at the University of Victoria.


    City of Victoria Archives

        98207-15-541 M05801


      Victoria Daily Colonist, “Cyclers and Cycling,”

    November 6, 1896, <>.