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>why cycle at all?

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Why cycle at all? - a question you've maybe asked yourself from time to time?

The following snippet is taken from a booklet published in 1906 by "Barrett's Ironmongery Stores - Cycle department" of Duke Street, Barrow-in-Furness.  I've assumed 1906 was the date of publication, as it contains the dates of 'Full Moons' for that year in its pages.

I'd like to thank Colin Barr (who likes all things old - you should see his car!) for rescuing it from a car boot sale.

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'The man, woman or child who has yet to taste the joys of a spin on a cycle suited to their individual needs has something to look forward to.  The cycle is, today, a universal vehicle, transporting its votaries from point to point swiftly, surely and inexpensively, whilst there is in addition that to be gained which other methods of transportation, save walking, do not afford, viz., a health ensuring, invigorating exercise.


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The workman, by calling the cycle to his aid, can establish his wife and family in a better home at a lower rent away from the town; the business man can make double the calls in half the time, thereby considerably adding to his business; the doctor finds it an ever-ready mount for emergency calls; the busy housewife hitherto chained to the home finds in the cycle an incentive to get out and away from the domestic chores for a while;  excursions, long or short, become the rule rather than the exception, without the tedium of timetables, stuffy carriages and stiff fares.


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Socially, too the cycle is without an equal; young men and women are no longer compelled to spend their leisure hours in the towns and cities;  the cycle has contributed more than its share to the falling drink bill by placing in the hands of thousands of young men an acceptable means of getting away from the temptations which dog the footsteps of the young man compelled  to pass his leisure hours in an atmosphere of depressing sameness.

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A knowledge and love of one's own country follows the use of the cycle, more real information being obtainable in a few season's consistent riding than in many a years cramming of geographical lore at school or college.

And over and above all this, what a means to health is the cycle - fresh air, beautiful scenery, interesting historical spots, all are possible to its possessor - and all may possess; and provided good honest cycles such as those described in this catalogue are purchased, neither initial cost, nor upkeep, or repair bills will ever be such as to cause a moment's anxiety.'