"The citizens of Saratoga, recognizing the great popularity of cycling..."

Saratoga Illustrated floral parade pulling bicycle

This photo was part of a section not about cycling, but about the Saratoag floral parades. "No single event at Saratoga can perhaps compete with the grand floral parade given annually in September."

While flipping through the 1900 Saratoga Illustrated guide book for background on that ostrich farm, this photo caught our eye because it's just sort of goofy.

But we thought this nearby passage about bicycling in turn-of-the-century Saratoga Springs was interesting -- both because of the glimpse it provides of cycling before the advent of the mass car culture (production of the Model T would start in 1908):

The citizens of Saratoga, recognizing the great popularity of cycling, and the demands of so many visitors to Saratoga for proper facilities for this healthful and delightful exercise, have prepared several cycle paths especially set apart for the use of bicyclers. At considerable expense several delightful paths have been laid out, running from Saratoga Springs to various points in its vicinity. Recently a cycle path has been constructed along the side of the carriage road from Saratoga Springs to the several geyser springs. Another has been constructed along the south side of Union Avenue from Saratoga Springs to Saratoga Lake, making a route of eight miles for the round trip. Another very important path is from the village of Saratoga Springs to Glens Falls and return, making a round trip of forty miles.

After the jump is a set of cycle routes listed in the guide book -- it indicates there were cycle paths between Albany and Saratoga.

There's another photo/illustration in the book that depicts two very large rows of bicycles on Broadway (the image quality isn't great -- it's on pdf p. 29). And the descriptions of the some the hotels mention they provided bicycle storage rooms for guests.

Anyway, the guide book -- which is available as a pdf from archive.org -- is full of illustrations and descriptions as Saratoga Springs appeared around that time, including many of the grand hotels and other tourist attractions.

For the information of visitors to the Springs a list of the more important paths and routes, with the length thereof, is here given :
3-Mile Ride--Geysers and return, via Cycle Path out Ballston Avenue.
4-Mile Ride--Yaddo and return, via Union Avenue.
5-Mile Ride--Woodlawn Park, via North Broadway.
6-Mile Ride--Around Cycle Path, via Ballston Avenue and South Broadway,
7-Mile Ride--Lake Avenue to Kinkleys, to Union Avenue, to Broadway.
8-Mile Ride--Saratoga Lake and return, via Union Avenue Cycle Path.
14-Mile Ride--Ballston Spa and return, via Ballston Avenue Cycle Path.
16-Mile Ride--White Sulphur Spring and return, via Union Avenue, along east bank of lake.
24-Mile Ride--Round Lake and return, via South Broadway.
40-Mile Ride--Glens Fallslls and return, via Glens Falls Cycle Path.
60-Mile Ride--Lake George and return, via Glens Falls Cycle Path.
80-Mile Ride-Albany and return, via Cycle Paths.
100-Mile Ride--Castleton and return, via Cycle Paths.

photo from Saratoga Illustrated: The Visitor's Guide of Saratoga Springs (1900) via archive.org

Comments

"several cycle paths especially set apart for the use of bicyclers"

That's pretty ironic since Saratoga is currently a very bike hostile city, with almost no bike lanes, pavement in poor condition and drivers who try to run you off the road (especially during track season).

I've long felt I was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now I know where and when I should have happened. Thank you for lending focus to my despair. *sulkingawayinblackclouds*

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Today's moment of summer

It turns out bumble bees love cosmos. Which it totally understandable.... (more)

It's outdoor movie season

Well, presumably, all of summer should probably be considered outdoor movie season, but for whatever reason movie-outside events tend to happen in greater numbers around... (more)

There's a second rail trail mural in progress, and an open call for artists for a third

The second Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail mural is in progress under the Cherry Ave Bridge. John DeMarco of Washingtonville has been selected to create a... (more)

Step away from the edge

Come for the beautiful drone video of Kaaterskill Falls in this NYT article, stay for its look at safety around the site and others like... (more)

What's up in the Neighborhood

Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: hoax or hope, TV, Willett Rock, the attempted abduction of Philip... (more)

Recent Comments

Who would have thought that the way to finally get Exit 3 made after 30+ years was to just name it 'Exit 4 II: The Other Exit 4'.

Here's the proposed design for the Albany Skyway

...has 14 comments, most recently from BS

Morning Blend for Aug 15

...has 3 comments, most recently from Sean

The Albany airport's getting terminal upgrades, a new parking garage, and a new connector road from Exit 4

...has 18 comments, most recently from Mike

Debbie's Kitchen is returning (with Debbie)

...has 7 comments, most recently from MM

Follow up: Delaware Supply

...has 4 comments, most recently from Dave