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“The final heat of the bicycle race will take place today at 5pm”

September 10th, 2014 | Posted by Nick Andrew in general cycling

Did you know that Bicycles were first mentioned in the English Language Hong Kong Newspapers on 11th May 1869?

It was a note about ‘velocipedeschools for ladies in brooklyn [USA]

Cycling in Hong Kong first appeared in the long-forgotten ‘Hong Kong Daily Press’ newspaper on the 18th February 1870.

1870-02-18The final heat of the bicycle race will take place today at 5pm on the road at the foot of the race course. The first and second in each of the heats will take part in the final.

And how did the race go..?… we find out in the HK Daily Press on the 19th February 1870:

1870-02-19The third and final heat was run yesterday afternoon, and as on the previous occasion, a very large crowd of spectators assembled to view the sport. Bush, Dawson and Smith came to the scratch, and got the word “go” with a fair and even start. Dawson at once took the lead, and went spinning round the course at a good smart pace; Smith and Bush following several yards behind. Once round in this order and Smith begins to press the leader for first place which he succeed in getting just over the bridge; Bush number two and Dawson falling behind. The race is now entirely between Smith and Bush, who are keeping close company until half round the course, where Bush “opens out”, passes Smith with ease, and literally runs away from him. The leader now had the race to himself and completed the third round without any difficulty, coming in a winner by many yards ahead of Smith, who gets second place. Dawson nowhere.
The velocipede used by the winner is one of his own manufacture, a fact which shows that Hongkong is not very far behind the rest of the world in a manufacturing point of view

They were likely racing Penny-Farthings or similar as the ‘safety bicycle‘ was not invented until the 1880’s, which are more like the bikes that we recognise today.

 

 

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