Fringe Box



The Way We Were… Cycling in the 1920s – Part 3

Published on: 29 Nov, 2013
Updated on: 29 Dec, 2013

Our third look at 1920s cycling is on the subject of kit. What to wear and what to carry. You might be a little surprised.

In this third article on cycling in that “roaring” decade, more extracts are reprinted from “The Modern Cyclist 1923″.  Martin Giles

The front cover of The Modern Cyclist 1923

The front cover of The Modern Cyclist 1923


“What you take with you in the way of luggage on a cycling tour is largely a matter of your age and the distance you are going. the young man will set off for a week with nothing but a waterproof cape – I have done it very often. For a shirt is good for a week, even worn day and night.

“If your knees and stockings are wet when you cease riding for the day you push newspapers down inside your breeches, one in front of each leg, and it is sound practice in both physics and physiology.

“You don’t worry about wet stockings, because the area of evaporation and radiation is not large enough to chill the whole body. If it stops raining after tea or supper, a sharp walk will dry all your clothes and destroy the last chance of chill.

“This tourist does not carry a shaving kit because there are barbers en route. he may carry a spare soft collar and “hanky” in his breast pocket; and if he has any disreputable old hankies he may take two or three and leave them behind as he go. After these elementals, you take just what you “cannot do without.”

Kuklos Cape

A cape that would fulfill all your wants for 14/6 is a pretty good deal – even in 1923. Good to see that Kuklos has also purchased a rain proof pipe.

Women on tour

“The following note is contributed by “Klossie”: “When on tour I carry a change of underwear, spare stockings, a pair of light evening shoes, a simple one-piece dress of some uncrushable material for hotel wear in the evenings, and a princess petticoat made of washing silk to wear under it; a silk nightdress (warm and takes up little room) brush and comb etc.

“For riding in ‘rational dress’ I wear a fairly short and well-cut tweed skirt and knotted jumper to tone with it, and Ia LSO carry a knitted coat at matches the skirt to wear if cold.  Hanging from my handlebar in front is an ordinary school satchel, and this carries either waterproof or the wooly coat – they are not often needed together. I never buy a ‘lady’s waterproof ‘ – the masculine garment is much more satisfactory.”

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