These cyclists are at Stortford Lodge, Hastings, circa 1930s.
Despite the state of Hastings' early roads in the late 1890s (and unkind Napier residents called them "Hastings beach" due to their uneven, stony surface), Hastings' first bicycling craze occurred, and posed a serious threat to the horse for transportation.
Many, however, disliked the bicyclists for frightening horses, and the editor of the Hawke's Bay Herald in 1881 served notice on one offender, stating he would "get no more than his just deserts when caught". And in 1896, a particular bicyclist in Hastings known for his speed was causing great concern and was seen "spinning along Heretaunga Street at the rate of a cannon shot".
"Tearing along the traffic burdened thoroughfare with staring eyeballs and reeking frame, this insane demon shoots past men, women and children, with nothing to announce his coming or mark his passage save a faint hum and curl of dust."Michael Fowler will be holding a talk "Sibling Rivalry: The Growing Pains of Hastings and Napier 1879-1935" at 7.30pm, 3 November, 2011, at the Havelock North Community Centre. Tickets from Poppies Bookstore Havelock North.