Here’s a piece of Detroit cycling history: A membership plea from Edward Hines that was published May 11th 1899 in the League of American Wheelmen Bulletin.
Here are 20 arguments why you should belong to the Michigan Division LAW. If you are a member read them over carefully and then present them to your friends urging them to join our ranks. Also send in your renewal promptly. If you are not a member read them over and be convinced that you should be a member and then forward us your application.
- Drafted introduced and passed the Anderson Bicycle Baggage Bill compelling the railroads of Michigan to carry bicycles as personal baggage free of charge (1897)
- Defeated the passage of a special tax of $1 a year on wheelmen in 1897
- Issued a road book in 1897 and 1898
- Secured a Supreme Court decision against the toll-road corporations, prohibiting them from charging wheelmen toll
- Put an active and wide awake wheelman on the Park Board in Detroit
- Secured the passage of an anti glass and tack law in Detroit
- Secured the passage of a most liberal bicycle ordinance for Detroit – no lamps, no bells, 12 miles an hour speed limit, keep to the right for all vehicles, no riding hands off, no riding more than three abreast, and sidewalk riding permitted on unpaved streets
- Prosecuted 23 “road hogs” in 1898 winning every case
- Secured a more severe punishment for bicycle thieves
- Secured an appropriation of $10,000 from the city of Detroit to build a bicycle pavilion for wheelmen on Belle Isle in 1898
- Secured an additional appropriation of $2,500 to furnish up bicycle pavilion with pump repair outfit racks and other conveniences for wheelmen in 1899
- Drafted and secured the passage through the state legislature in 1899, a bill to protect cycle paths and to provide for punishment of violations
- Encompassed the defeat of a bill before the present legislature to prohibit wheelmen using sidewalks under all circumstances in all parts of the state
- Secured a dry strip of five feet in width on all the principal sprinkled streets in Detroit
- Arranged with the Board of Public Works in Detroit to remove glass or other hurtful substances, likely to damage bicycles or bicycle tires immediately upon notification
- Secured the passage of some good roads amendments before the present session of the state legislature – not all we hope to secure in the way of a good roads bill, but an entering wedge
- Have kept up a constant agitation for good roads is gradually bearing fruit
- Have secured the repeal of a dozen local ordinances in various parts of the state which worked a hardship upon wheelmen
- Has made cycle path building possible in Michigan
- Maintains a sharp lookout on all legislative matters the rights and privileges of wheelmen and creates and stimulates wheeling enthusiasm
Now when you have read the above through carefully yourself the question. Don’t I as a wheelman get $1 a benefit through the LAW whether if ride much or little. Are you not willing to lend a helping hand to help us carry our future plans. We want more cycle paths, we want roads, we want danger signs erected, we want guide erected, we want to be fully protected at all times with our bicycle, we want our rights and privileges maintained, and can get what we want by joining the LAW, sticking to LAW, and getting our friends in the LAW. We spent all of our money to secure benefits and privileges for wheelmen and to have our various wants taken care of we must have the financial and numerical support of the wheelmen of our state. It isn’t enough that you should merely belong you should do something occasionally for the wheelmen’s cause and the time to start is now. I again say read the above over carefully then hand this to a friend get his application and have him pass it along to a friend of his.
Edward N Hines, Chief Consul
League of American Wheelmen (L.A.W.) Michigan Division
There was a bicycle pavilion on Belle Isle? There still is. We’ll post more about that soon.
Also the LAW had folded by 1924. At some point thereafter, Detroit’s “most liberal” bicycle ordinances were changed to require bicycle bells, lights, and registrations.