Thursday, 20 June 2024 12:47

Broadway Marker to be Installed Wednesday Celebrating Historic Bike Ride to Saratoga Springs

At the hour of 6 a.m. yesterday, a tall, stalwart young fellow, 6 feet in his stockings, and with muscles tough as steel wire, stood at the corner of 59th St. and 8th Ave.
He was about to start for Saratoga…

  - On a Bicycle To Saratoga, New York Times, July 4, 1879. -

 

SARATOGA SPRINGS —Wentworth Rollins set off on a 52-inch Columbia high wheel bicycle from 59th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City bound for Saratoga Springs. The N.Y. Times chronicled the trip in a series of articles, calling his journey “the longest ever made here on a bicycle.” 

“Rollins was among the first, and quite possibly the very first, bicycle tourists in America,” said Ed Lindner, Advocacy Chair for Bikeatoga, “and he chose to ride to Saratoga.” The trip was challenging. Bad roads and bad weather forced Rollins to walk in some places and to take the train for parts of the trip. But he arrived in Saratoga Springs in early July, 1879, and summer visitors reportedly flooded out of the hotels to gawk at him. 

Rollins visited Saratoga for more than two weeks before continuing his journey west, cycling more than 1,300 miles, and earning the title of “king of bicyclists in America.” 

“We want to celebrate the fact that he chose to ride to Saratoga Springs,” Lindner said. 

At 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday June 26 Saratoga nonprofit Bikeatoga will unveil a new historical marker celebrating Rollins’ ride. The marker, funded by a grant from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, will be installed in front of the GAP store at 341 Broadway. 

 

 

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