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M Gee

  • Road Captain
  • Country: us
  • Posts: 1482
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  • The user formerly known as hiero
Re: The American "Wheelmen"
« on: April 06, 2014, 16:27 »
I have to admit, prior to finding those PDF's i'd never heard of League of American Wheelmen, nor had I heard of League of American Cyclists either, I had a breif conversation with Vanessa O'Connell about their book being title "Wheelmen" as a cap doth to the originals.

From what I've looked at the League of American Cyclists certainly seem to claim to be a natural if not legal continuation of L.A.W. but i would need to read much more.

What is fascinating, I chose the Guide to Europe as an example just because I found it fascinating, but also in places histerical, but when you dig into some of their old publications regarding roads, road safety, much of what they were campaigning for is still being campaigned for today. In many ways they were ahead of their time.

I googled L of A Cyclists again, jic, came up with zip.  Yeah, the League of American Bicyclists is the natural descendent of the L.A.W. It's just that, in reading the detailed history, it seems the whole thing ceased to exist a number of times. What continuity there was was a progression from one to the other. I was being somewhat facetious, although I still think a far better job could have been done with the organization.

Although, all the organizational splintering of purpose and energy that went on in the 70's and 80's was possibly unavoidable, due to the personalities involved. The guy who got BikeCentennial cranked up on that course of action was definitely the "Road Captain" type - not one to follow others. I'm trying to remember the NYC group who got involved in a lot of bikeway design advocacy. They were pretty much the same - doing their own thing. But, like BikeCentennial, they made an impact. LAW would have had to have been big and successful when those others came along, in order to absorb that energy. And, in spite of the historic value of their name, they were a bit player in the scene, in my opinion. I don't think they were the movers and shakers, but they WERE there, and adding energy to the mix.

The L.A.W stickers were a thing of desire back when. That winged wheel, the triskelion theme, bounded by LAW. How cool is that! Very.
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