No, by Golden Age I meant the Golden Age of American racing, when riders like Major Taylor were winning World Championships. What I was questioning was whether there was any significant road racing in America in this era, or if the competition was all on the track. If all on the track, this would imply the increase in American road racing in the late 60's was not a renaissance, but a new phenomenom. Except that there was probably always a little road racing in America, emulating Europe and involving recent European immigrants.
One thing which makes me suspect that there was not much road racing in America in the early 20th century: I was watching the DVD of Lance's Worl Championship in Oslo in 1993 a few days ago. Phil Liggett, who was commentating, mentioned that was the 100th Professional World Championships, the first being held in Chicago around 1900. However, he said the first Professional Road Race World Championship was not held until about 1927. That there was no Professional Road Race World Championship until 1927, even though the Tour de France started in, I think, 1901 would imply that perhaps in the early part of the 20th century, road racing was a mostly European form, with limited interest in America, and perhaps in the British Empire.
Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX
firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: If I am following this correctly Jerry is referring to a Golden age of road racing in Europe between 1890 and 1920. Clearly that was the period when the Monuments and National Tours were founded but does that constitute a Golden age? I'm not sure it does. I suppose you would need to know numbers competing, public and media interest etc. to identify the right era. I think I would plump for the thirties and forties when bikes were "modern" but the races were still over heroic distances and terrain. On another topic I read that the British are "socially conservative" Maybe, but equally there is a long tradition of eccentricity at all levels of society. After all how conservative is a grown man racing a trike? Also in many towns there was a frame builder who would, for a modest sum, express your personality in steel. One of the last frames that I saw at Bill Philbrook's had "Bates" forks and "Hetchins" stays and all for the price of a weeks holiday on the Costa Brava ! Jerry writes:- Of course, one could argue that America never did have any significant road cycling in the "golden age" and that there was no renaissance in the late 60's but the discovery of the European form of road cycling virtually for the first time. If this is true, it makes the Paramount even more remarkable. Anyone know of any good books or other sources which discuss American road, as opposed to track, racing between say 1890 and 1920? Certainly American's did a lot of cycling on the road for recreation and transportation before the automobile killed most of this off, but I've seen little information about road competition in that era.
Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX
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