Into reverse for 99 years

I do try to stay focussed, I really do. But my dedicated team of researchers (thanks Allie) unearthed a 1904 copy of the Blue ‘Un that was packed with delights, from a description of a run to Land’s End (slowed down when the guide was run off the road by a cow) to a clutch of smashing ads (the classifieds are a treat) by way of a fascinating batch of technical queries (a chap planning to ride across the USA wondered what sort of motor bike he should buy, and asked where he could find a map). I’ve just finished uploading the editorial and ads; the new yarns are all at the end of the year, the new ads are at the start of the advertising section. Diverting to 1904 reminded me how fast motor cycling evolved but the obsession bikes aroused in their riders was clearly as strong then as it is now. I’ve also been adding more pics to the melange—mon ami Francois unearthed some fab images from the great war—and I’ll work on the backlog before getting on with 1932.

I suspect this is a contemporary sketch and, judging by the contract between the chinless British officer and the sturdy poilluts, I reckon the artist was French. Note the way that demoselle is using her riding crop…

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