Cycling in History

Events in Sport

  • 1817-07-12 Karl Drais von Sauerbronn demonstrates bicycle course
  • 1818-02-17 Baron Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun patents "draisine" (early bicycle)
  • 1819-05-21 1st bicycles (swift walkers) in US introduced in NYC
  • 1866-11-20 Pierre Lallement patents rotary crank bicycle
  • 1868-05-31 Dr James Moore (UK) wins 1st recorded bicycle race, (2k) velocipede race at Parc fde St Cloud, Paris
  • 1868-12-05 1st American bicycle college opens (NY)
  • 1869-11-17 Englishman James Moore wins 1st bicycle race, racing 13K Paris to Rouen
  • 1877-12-22 "American Bicycling Journal" begins publishing (Boston, Mass)
  • 1878-02-11 1st US bicycle club, Boston Bicycle Club, forms
  • 1880-05-31 League of American Wheelmen (1st US bicycle association), forms in Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1887-01-04 Thomas Stevens is 1st man to bicycle around the world (San Francisco to San Francisco)
  • 1888-10-31 Scottish vet John Boyd Dunlop patents pneumatic bicycle tyre
  • 1889-12-24 Daniel Stover & William Hance patent bicycle with back pedal brake
  • 1893-05-11 Henri Desgrange establishes world's 1st bicycle world record, travelling 35.325 km an hour
  • 1893-07-01 San Francisco Bay City Club opens 1st US bicycle race track, made of wood
  • 1894-06-27 American Annie Londonderry [Annie Kopchovsky] sets out to become first woman to bicycle around the world (completes her journey September 1895)

  • 1895-09-12 Annie Londonderry [Annie Kopchovsky] completes the first round-the-world trip by a woman on a bicycle in 15 months and collects her $10,000 prize
  • 1895-10-05 First UK individual cycling time trial is held on a 50-mile course north of London; Frederick Thomas Bidlake organiser
  • 1896-01-06 1st US women's 6-day bicycle race starts, Madison Square Garden
  • 1896-05-26 1st American intercollegiate bicycle race, Manhattan Beach, NY
  • 1899-02-12 1st 2-man team 6-day bicycle race in US begins, Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 1899-10-10 African-American inventor Issac R. Johnson patents the bicycle frame
  • 1902-11-20 Geo Lefevre and Henri Desgrange create Tour de France bicycle race
  • 1903-01-19 New bicycle race "Tour de France" announced
  • 1903-07-01 Tour de France: Inaugural race begins in Montgeron, a south-eastern suburb of Paris
  • 1909-03-21 Moran & MacFarland (US) wins Europe's 1st 6 day bicycle race (Berlin)
  • 1909-08-01 Tour de France: François Faber of Luxembourg becomes the first foreigner to win the cycling classic
  • 1914-08-18 Oscar Egg sets new cycling hour record (44,247 km)
  • 1926-04-13 Cyclists without bicycle-tax-stamp rounded up in Amsterdam
  • 1933-08-26 Jan van Houten bicycles world record time (44,588 km)
  • 1936-06-18 1st bicycle traffic court in America established, Racine, Wisconsin
  • 1936-08-10 First time the Olympic cycling road race is conducted as a mass start event with Frenchmen Robert Charpentier and Guy Lapébie taking gold and silver, and France winning the teams gold medal
  • 1937-09-04 15 year old cyclist Doris Kopsky becomes 1st Amateur Bicycle League of America woman's national champion in 4:22.4 in Buffalo, NY
  • 1937-09-29 Frans Slaats bicycles world record time (45,563 km)
  • 1937-11-03 Frenchman Maurice Archambaud cycles world record for distance in one hour, 45.796 km in Vigorelli, Milan, Italy
  • 1941-05-19 Germany occupiers in Holland forbid bicycle taxis
  • 1942-07-19 German occupiers confiscate bicycles in Rotterdam and The Hague
  • 1948-08-09 Italian rider Mario Ghella beats Reg Harris of Great Britain for the gold medal in the cycling sprint final at the London Olympics
  • 1948-08-13 José Beyaert of France wins the cycling road race at the London Olympics; Belgium takes gold in the teams section beating Great Britain & France
  • 1955-08-19 US raises import duty on bicycles 50%
  • 1960-08-29 Italy wins cycling team pursuit and Sante Gaiardoni takes the sprint gold medal at the Rome Olympics; Italy wins all 4 track events and road team time trial to thoroughly dominate sport

  • 1967-10-30 Ferdinand Bracke bicycles world record time (48,093 km)
  • 1969-08-23 Audrey McElmory (US) wins World Cycling Championships, Brno Czechoslovakia
  • 1969-08-23 France's Une De Mai wins International Trot at Roosevelt Raceway Czechoslovakia (1st American to win cycling race title since 1912)
  • 1970-02-28 Bicycles permitted to cross Golden Gate Bridge
  • 1972-09-07 Future world professional cycling road race champion Hennie Kuiper of the Netherlands wins the road race gold medal at the Munich Olympics in 4:14:37
  • 1974-02-25 Veronica & Colin Scargill (England) begin tandem bicycle ride a record 18,020 miles around the world, completed on August 27, 1975
  • 1974-09-10 Teuvo Louhivouri sets cycling distance record of 515.8 mi in 24 hrs
  • 1975-08-27 Veronica & Colin Scargill (England) complete tandem bicycle ride, a record 18,020 miles around the world
  • 1976-10-06 John Hathaway completes 50,600 mile bicycle tour of every continent
  • 1979-05-02 -May 10] Vivekananda (Sri Lanka) begins nonstop ride, cycling 187 hrs, 28 min, around Vihara Maha Devi Park, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 1979-05-06 Fred Markham set a bicycle speed record of 818 kph over 200 m
  • 1980-10-27 Dave Gryllis sets world bicycle speed record of 94.37 kph
  • 1983-02-20 Roland Liboton becomes world champ cross-country cycling
  • 1983-06-08 Charlos Vieira begins 191 hr "nonstop" cycling in Leiria, Portugal
  • 1983-06-16 Charlos Vieira completes 191 hr "nonstop" cycling in Leiria, Portugal
  • 1984-01-19 Francesco Moser bicycles world record time: 50,808 km
  • 1984-01-23 Greatest unpaced 1-hr bicycle distance, F Moser (Italy), 51.15 km
  • 1985-10-04 Henry G Perry completes 157 day, 14,021 mile bicycle tour of Australia
  • 1986-08-07 Daniel Buettner, Bret Anderson, Martin Engel and Anne Knabe begin cycling journey of 15,266 miles from Prudhoe Bay Alaska to Argentina
  • 1987-06-13 Daniel Buettner, Bret Anderson, Martin Engel & Anne Knabe complete cycling journey of 15,266 mi from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Argentina
  • 1988-04-22 Women are allowed to compete in Little 500 bicycle race (Indiana)
  • 1988-06-10 Greatest number of participants (31,678) on a bicycle tour (London)
  • 1988-06-16 In Santa Barbara, CA, a team of 32 divers begin cycling underwater on a standard tricycle, to complete 116.66 mi in 75 hrs 20 mins
  • 1988-06-19 32 divers finish cycling underwater on a standard tricycle, to complete 116.66 mi in 75 hrs 20 mins
  • 1989-05-14 1st Tour de Trump bicycle race run (Atlanta)
  • 1993-07-17 Graeme Obree bicycles world record time, 51,596 km
  • 1993-07-18 Graeme Obree bicycles world record time (51,596 K)
  • 1993-07-23 Chris Boardman bicycles world record 1 hour distance (52,270 km)
  • 1994-03-23 Graeme Obree bicycles world record 10 km (11:28)
  • 1994-04-19 Graeme Obree bicycles world record 10km (11:25.88)
  • 1994-04-27 Graeme Obree bicycles world record time (52,713 km)
  • 1994-10-22 Tony Rominger bicycles world record time (53,832 km)
  • 1994-11-05 Tony Rominger bicycles world record for distance covered in one hour for second time (55.291 km)
  • 2008-08-17 Four years after winning Olympic silver in the rowing quad sculls in Athens, Briton Rebecca Romero becomes only 2nd woman to earn medals in 2 different sports at the summer Games when she wins the pursuit track cycling gold in Beijing
  • 2008-08-19 Chris Hoy encapsulates British dominance of track cycling at the Beijing Olympics beating team mate Jason Kenny to win the sprint, adding to his keirin and team sprint gold medals
  • 2008-08-19 Britain's Victoria Pendleton beats Anna Mears in the women's cycling sprint final at the Beijing Olympics; GB dominates the track winning 7 of 10 gold medals
  • 2012-08-01 Bradley Wiggins' win in the London Olympics cycling time trial gives him the most aggregate medals (7) of any British Olympian (4 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze)
  • 2016-08-13 Great Britain sets a world record of 3:14.051 to comfortably beat the United States in the women's cycling team pursuit at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics
  • 2016-08-14 An all-British final in the men's cycling sprint with Jason Kenny beating team mate Callum Skinner at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics
  • 2018-09-16 Cycling land speed record broken for men and women by Denise Mueller-Korenek riding 183.932 mph (296.010 km/h) Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1837-05-09 Adam Opel, German manufacturer (cycling, motorcars)
  • 1901-08-26 Tullio Campagnolo, Italian bicycle manufacturer (Fiat)
  • 1920-04-09 Alexander Moulton, English engineer and bicycle designer (folding bicycle), born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England (d. 2012)
  • 1922-12-16 Pierre Chany, writer/cycling journalist
  • 1937-05-12 Beryl Burton, UK, won record (7) women's cycling titles
  • 1957-09-05 Peter Winnen, Dutch bicycle road athlete, born in Ysselsteyn German war cemetery, Netherlands
  • 1978-01-18 Thor Hushovd, Norwegian former professional road bicycle racer widely considered the greatest Norwegian cyclist of all time, born in Grimstad, Norway
  • 1983-05-22 John Hopkins, Anglo-American motorcycling racer

Deaths in Sport

  • 1891-08-29 Pierre Lallement, inventor of the bicycle (b. 1843 or 1844)
  • 1983-02-01 Tullio Campagnolo, Italian bicycle manufacturer, dies
  • 1994-02-11 Antonio Martin, Spanish cyclist, dies in cycling accident at 23
  • 1996-06-18 Pierre Chany, writer/cycling journalist, dies at 73
  • 2012-12-09 Alexander Moulton, English engineer and bicycle designer (folding bicycle), dies at 92