Cycling in Lewisham timeline

Cycling has a long history in the Lewisham borough area, from the first velocipede races held at Crystal Palace in 1869 to the Tour de France in 2007

1817
Baron von Drais of Baden invented the 'running machine' to help him move quickly around his forest. It became known as the 'Draisienne' and was a popular toy of the London and Parisienne upper classes

1840
Scotsman Kirkpatrick Macmillan fined 5 shillings for knocking down a child on the road from Dumfries to Glasgow

1869
First long distance ride from London to Brighton

Velocipede races held at Crystal Palace

1870
First cycling club formed - known as the Pickwick Club

1877
First Annual Bicycle and Tricycle Show

1882
New track built at Crystal Palace

1885
Lewisham, St Peter's of Brockley and Mount Pleasant Cycling Clubs formed

1886
Catford Cycling Club formed

1887
First Catford Cycling Club run

Frederick J. Horniman became patron

1888
John Boyd Dunlop invented pneumatic tyres

1894
W. Henie, Catford CC member, becomes World Champion at Antwerp

1895
Catford Track opened. It was the largest in Europe and widely considered to be the best, with a concrete surface, ramps and seating for 1,000 spectators

1896
Simpson Chain Matches are held at the Catford Track with an audience of 12,000 to 20,000 people. The Gladiator pacing team came over from France to pace the racers. Henri Toulouse-Lautrec accompanied the team and used sketches from the Matches for his Le Chaine Simpson poster

1897
Bicycle polo invented at Crystal Palace

Catford CC has 434 members and branches in Paris, Bristol, Cardiff and Nottingham

Catford CC member John W. (Jack) Stocks becomes World Champion at Glasgow

1900
Catford track sold for housing development

1903
First Tour de France race founded by Henri Desgrange, newspaper editor of L'Auto

1912
Two members of Catford CC took part in the Olympics at Stockholm. Frederick (Freddie) Henry Grubb won 2 silver medals - individual road race and team road race. William R. Hammond won 1 silver medal - team road race.

1914-1918
During the First World War, cycle-mounted infantry, scouts, messengers and ambulance carriers were widely used by all sides

1919
Yellow Jersey introduced to the Tour de France

1922
Catford CC member H.T. (Tiny) Johnson becomes World Champion in the amateur sprint at New Brighton Stadium

1940s
Over 100 members of Catford CC served in the forces

1963
Schwinn introduces the Sting-Ray which helped launch the BMX craze

1960s
Catford CC continues to flourish with a programme of races and social events

mid 1970s
Annual London to Brighton bicycle run begins

1980
Introduction of aerodynamic bicycles with a stable construction

1984
American 'Super Bike' used at the Los Angeles Olympics

2007
Tour de France starts in London for the first time and passes through Deptford

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