During the late 1800s, bicycles were all the rage. That changed seemingly overnight with the advent of the gasoline-powered motor.
Over 100 Pasadena residents rode their bicycles down Colorado Street to demonstrate for more cycle-friendly streets and paths. In 1900, Phase I of the elevated wooden California Cycleway was completed between the Castle Green Hotel in Pasadena to South Pasadena’s Raymond Hotel.
Then came the gasoline engine, and soon after that, Southern California was awash in oil fields and refineries – necessary for producing low-cost fuel for combustion engines.
Gasoline engines were attached to bicycles. The motorized bicycles, not surprisingly, were known as motorcycles.
On April 28, 1911, the Pasadena Motorcycle Club gathered on Colorado Street to ride through small towns, rolling hills, and orange groves to Ventura and back. The distance traveled was 163 miles and took 8 hours and 5 minutes to accomplish.
Note: The builders of the California Cycleway scrapped their plans to extend the bicycle route from Raymond Hill in South Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles. The same route became the Arroyo Seco Parkway thirty years later.
Throwback Thursday is written and produced by Rick Thomas