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The experience of suburban modernityHow private transport changed interwar London$
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Michael John Law

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089190

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089190.001.0001

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‘In the Joyous Rush’ –Bicycles and Motorcycles

‘In the Joyous Rush’ –Bicycles and Motorcycles

(p.37) 3 ‘In the Joyous Rush’ –Bicycles and Motorcycles
The experience of suburban modernity

Michael John Law

Manchester University Press

The bicycle was the dominant form of independent vehicular mobility in the inter-war period. Almost every home had access to one. The bicycle was particularly important to women, who were often unable to drive cars, and for children. Cycling was a popular group activity; cycling clubs were prominent in lower-middle class areas of London and they provided both exercise and association. Cycling when combined with London’s new arterial roads provided an opportunity for an encounter with modernity. This is demonstrated through an analysis of lone cyclist John Sowerby’s diaries. Motorcycling had many characteristics that were shared with the cycle, but because of its association with dirt and transgressive speed attracted suburban disdain. It was the most common form of powered private transport for working class men, but was in decline by the late 1920s due to the rise of the car

Keywords:   Bicycle, Motorcycle, Clubs, Suburbia, London, Inter-war, Modernity

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