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International Cycling History Conference
Offering historians a forum to exchange their findings and ideas                ©2014- 2024 ICHC

The future from the past

Every year a group of independent cycle and history enthusiasts come from all over the world to form the International Cycle History Conference (ICHC). Those who choose to participate, do so under the auspices of no formal organization. They are bound only by the common will to share and be informed by the research, knowledge and ideas of the wider community, from whom and by which they are enriched, empowered and inspired.

The first ICHC was held in Glasgow in 1989, and has been hosted in a different venue every year, Paris, Boston, Stellenbosch, Canberra, Toronto and Tokyo, among others. The City of London is proud to host the 29th conference on 13-15 June this year.

This conference coincides with the 200th anniversary of the award of the English patent on the first commercially successful two-wheeled, pedal-less machine, commonly called a Draisine (invented in Germany in 1817), then the velocipede, and nicknamed the Hobby Horse: In Covent Garden, London, Denis Johnson was making these machines in his Long Acre shop, the current address of the Brompton Cycle Shop. In 1818 he patented improvements on the Draisine, rendering him the veritable father of UK cycling.

The City of London has not only been the home of many important British cycle manufacturers and vendors since the early 1800’s, but is also a major centre for cycling apparel, hosts the world famous Nocturne bike race, and is a forerunner in the promotion of cycling for the health and welfare of the environment and of the people who live and work there. Bold policies to reduce traffic congestion, pollution, and noise have opened cycle ways and closed the major “Bank Junction” to all traffic aside from cycles, buses and emergency vehicles.

To celebrate the City’s leading role in promoting cycling, the theme for this year’s International Cycle History Conference is “The Future from the Past.” The Hobby Horse provides the perfect symbol of how the past comes full circle. Consider the popularity of the “balance bike” today; with no crank or pedals, it is considered to be the best training bike for youngsters. It is in essence a modern Hobby Horse that took 200 years to perfect!

Anyone who wishes to participate is welcome to submit a paper for presentation at the Conference. Proceedings will be published and archived at the British Library, the Library of Congress in the United States, as well as other prestigious Libraries around the world.

For questions or further information please contact:
Phi Saunders, Chairman: [email protected]
Jennifer Bakshi, Organizing Committee: [email protected].

Above Art: by Carlton Reid