Tips for tricyclists (Erddig)

Front cover of Tips for tricyclists by Professor Hoffmann

Front cover of Professor Hoffmann’s Tips for tricyclists. In publisher’s pictorial paper boards.


With summer (kind of) upon us and the Tour de France starting in about a fortnight, this week’s post features a wonderful little book from Erddig.

Tips for tricyclists was published in 1887, riding upon the increasing popularity of trikes

Title page of Hoffmann's Tips for tricyclists

Title page of Professor Hoffmann’s Tips for tricyclists (1887)

in Britain in the early 1880s. This copy doesn’t contain ownership marks, but both Philip Yorke (1849-1922) and his wife Louisa (1863-1951) were keen cyclists.

The alphabetical list of contents reveals an astonishing range of instructions to the discerning tricyclist. From how to cycle to what to wear; what to do when lending your ‘machine’ to friends; what to bring on cycling tours and which organisations to join. It also includes information on maintenance and where you could hire a trike while on holiday.

Professor Louis Hoffmann was the pseudonym of Angelo John Lewis (1839-1919), an English lawyer and prolific writer on the subject of games, magic and sports.

Chaps in tweed suits ready for their tricycle ride from Tips for tricyclists

Dapper looking chaps in tweed suits, ready for their tricycle ride through the countryside. A far cry from the outfits worn by cyclists today.

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