Monday, January 20, 2020

Cycle Gleanings

Image result for william s. beekman

The student of nature has in the bicycle a very serviceable friend.

I’ve got a special bookshelf devoted to my favorite oddball classics of cycling literature. It includes copies of F.W Bockett’s Some Literary Landmarks for Pilgrims on Wheels, J.W. Allen’s Wheel Magic, and Charles Brooks’ A Thread of English Road, all works that no-one could call “great” books--they’re too weird and uneven--but that are nonetheless wonderful in some strange way. 

That’s where I’d love to someday put a copy of William S. Beekman’s Cycle Gleanings: or, Wheels and Wheeling for Business and Pleasure and the Study of Nature (1894). I say someday because it’s almost impossible to find extant copies of this book. I got to look at one of the seven existing copies listed in the worldcat via interlibrary loan, but good luck trying to acquire a copy for yourself. It’s rare and expensive (years ago I saw a copy online going for $700), which makes it even more of a gem, if you ask me.