January 1, 1890
“Twin Citians’ hop on bicycles in a fit of pedal-mania. Women shorten their skirts, and men clip their trouser legs for easier pedaling. Streetcar revenues decline, and there are complaints of a parking problem in downtown areas.
An outbreak of “scorchers”–bicyclists going over the speed limit of 6 miles per hour on sidewalks and 8 mph on streets–prompts the St. Paul Police Department to establish a bicycle squad in 1899.” *
Thank You Father for inspiring the invention of the bicycle. More exactly, the Scottish blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan, b. 1812 – d. 1878 who is generally credited for creating the rear-wheel driven bicycle!** What a useful means of transportation, and what a wonderful act of worship on his part!
Thank You for the heritage of bicycling in Minnesota. Thank You for the willingness of citizens, as well as the cities and enforcement agencies, in their embrace of this ‘new’ technology. What a gift to put reliable transportation within the economic grasp of nearly every person! Will You bless the heritage of bicycling in all aspects in Minnesota? Will You inspire us again to increase its’ usefulness, and keep inspiring inventors of human powered vehicles?
Lord, I also want to acknowledge our separateness from Your authority and order. Forgive us our propensity to defy established laws! It seems humorous to us in the present to hear those going 8mph labelled as “scorchers”. However, it still is telling of our character that once a standard is established, we often seek to ride the line or exceed it. Will You have mercy on our acts of rebellion no matter what size?
We have failed You by our failing to respect the safety of our fellow man. We have failed You by failing to recognize civil laws as being standards that You have established. We have rejected Your leadership in part by rejecting our human leaders and laws. In Your mercy, hear our prayer!
One thought on “Bicycling Craze 1890”
May everyone who can ride a bicycle pedal towards Jesus, Amen.