Bigger than Cadel: Australia’s century-old love affair with cycling

The velocipede created one of several cycling booms in Australia. Harpers Weekly (Dec 18, 1868)

CYCLING IN AUSTRALIA: Forget about the wild scenes of public adulation for Cadel Evans following his Tour de France triumph. Forget about the widespread admiration for champion cyclist Anna Meares following her gritty comeback from debilitating injury.

Ignore the visible upsurge in cycling activity around annual Ride to Work days. And ignore the prevalence of lycra-clad, middle-aged cyclists clogging up the roads every weekend.

Australian society is unlikely to ever reach the heights of the bicycle craze that swept the nation more than a century ago.

A selection of velocipedes, circa 1887.