Imagine if Henry had taken this sojourn twenty years later on wheels. He who disdained the extravagance of carriage and horse would have had at his disposal the first gift of technology to individual mobility, appropriately self-powered and self-reliant, the bicycle. Meandering or mad-capping Henry could have extended his geography without distancing himself from the wayside landscape.
By 1885 when John S. Webber, Jr. published In and around Cape Ann: A Handbook for the Wheelman Tourist, bicycling excursions had become a popular recreation.
"After turning the curve in the road, near the old Babson homestead, a long gradual descent gives the opportunity for a delightful coast, and the tourist then catches a pleasing view of Folly Cove and the adjacent bay....The way now leads through a quaint little fishing settlement, and soon the wheelman enters the thriving village of Lanesville, after passing through a section of the road arched completely over with the thickly entwined branches of mammoth willows. A dismount at this cosy looking place, and you have the opportunity of partaking of ice cream or soda at the little wayside store here, kept by Mrs. Marchant. Beyond the willows the road rises with a gradual sweep, continues along by the deeply cut quarries of the Lanesville Granite Company."
|Velocipede rider, downtown Gloucester|
|Cape Ann Advertiser, February 12, 1869|
"The Californians look with contempt upon the new velocipede. 'They will do very well,' says an editor, 'for Paris, where many people cannot afford to keep horses, and could not ride them very will if they did. But they will never do in California, where boys of ten years of age ride full-grown horses at the top of their speed around the streets."' Cape Ann Advertiser (CAA), Jan 15.
"Surgeons and tailors are much interested in the velocipede mania. It suits both." Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph (CALGT), Feb 27.
|Velocipede club, internet photo|
Fourth of July Road
Gloucester Daily Times June 27, 1899