Friday, June 15, 2012

117 Year Ago Today!

On June 15, 1895--117 years ago today--El Paso was in the midst of a cycling craze.  The newspaper had a daily front page column on cycling, there were several cycling clubs in town sponsoring races, and the city was eagerly anticipating the visit of Annie Londonderry, the first woman to cycle around the world.  (These are clips from the front page of the El Paso Herald from 6/15/95.)

Starting next Thursday, we'll tell a bit of the story of Londonderry's visit to El Paso through our Texas Mountain Trail social media venues--our Facebook page, our Twitter account, and right here on our Texas Mountain Trail Daily Photo.  It is a wild story that offers a slice of life view in the city in 1895, and interesting intersection with a classic story about gunfighter, John Wesley Hardin. 

You'll hear about women getting started as cyclists and having to make a difficult decision whether to remove their skirts in favor of bloomers, of squabbles over road conditions and safety for bicycles, and the excitement of first-time riders. And in the process, learn a little bit about life in 1895 in Far West Texas.

Today, El Paso sports some of the best mountain biking opportunities around, mostly in Franklin Mountains State Park.  Our friends at GeoBetty have mapped some great mountain biking and some road cycling routes in the city. 
Photo courtesy Pinata Publishing, credit: Dennis McElveen
 This year, we'll just give a sketch of the story.  We're hoping to secure funds to give a full view of the Annie Londonderry story next summer!

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