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Bicycling in Fannin County in the old days
By Malinda Allison, Fannin County Historical Commission
Sep 21, 2018
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Fannin County, Texas -- A big bicycle event will take place in Fannin County on September 29.

You may not know how popular bicycles were in the late 1800s.

Bicycling became very popular in Honey Grove beginning in about 1893, as witnessed by articles and advertisements from the Honey Grove Signal.

June 30, 1893

The bicycle craze has struck Honey Grove, and struck it hard.  There are now several handsome safeties in the city and the number is rapidly increasing.  The sport is fascinating and healthful and a person can get over ground mighty fast after mastering the wheel.

 

Ad from the Honey Grove Signal, July 14, 1893

Ad published in the Honey Grove Signal, August 4, 1893

 
May 4, 1894
A series of bicycle races will be inaugurated as soon as the roads are in good condition.  The races we learn will take place on the public square weekly, consisting of eight laps, estimated at one mile.  A gold medal will be donated by the merchants to the fastest rider to change hands as often as there is a change of winners.

June 29, 1894

The business and professional men of Honey Grove have purchased a beautiful gold medal to be awarded each week to the fastest bicycle rider.  The time, distance and route to be fixed by the Wheelmen's Club.


The Wheelmen's Club has set Friday, this evening, at 6 o'clock for the first contest.  They begin at Southeast corner of the Public Square, at Hockaday, Gray & Co's, corner; thence east of Market street to Fourteenth street, thence north on Fourteenth to Elm street; thence west on Elm to Eighth street, just west of Prof. Kendall's resident; thence to place of beginning by any route preferred.

Ad in the Honey Grove Signal, July 6, 1894

July 6, 1894
Charles Fiquet rode his bicycle Tuesday from Greenville to Honey Grove, a distance of 46 3-4 miles as measured by the cyclometer on his wheel, in 3 hours and 45 minutes, an average of 12 1-2 miles an hour.  This was remarkably good time and again verifies the statement that the wheel is a vehicle of general utility.

Theodore Fiquet left yesterday morning on his bicycle for Houston.  It is a long ride but Theodore believes that he can make the run in about four days.

Precious Lewis, col., went to Paris yesterday and ran a half-mile bicycle race with the champion colored rider of that city.  Precious won the race, making the half-mile in 1:20, and is happy as Junebug this morning.

July 13, 1894
Theodore Fiquet left for Houston on his bicycle at 10 o'clock last Thursday morning and Sunday afternoon he arrived safe and sound in the bayou city.  On account of rain he was forced to ride a short distance on the train.

July 27, 1894
The second of the series of bicycle races will take place this evening promptly at 6 o'clock.  On account of the rough condition of the streets the race has been changed to a ten mile road race and will be from the public square to Windom and return.

August 3, 1894

The second of the series of bicycle races was run last Friday evening and Joe McKee is wearing the medal this week.  There were only two entries, Charles Fiquet and Joe McKee, and as Charley was known to be the fastest rider Joe was given a two-minute start.  The race was 5 1-2 miles with a 1 and one-half minute rest at the half-way post.  McKee came in about 40 yards ahead.  Time Fiquet 22 minutes; McKee 23 minutes, 10 seconds.

Ad published August 3, 1894

Good luck to all the riders on September 29.