Throwback Thursday | Bicycle Crazy Pasadena 120 Years Ago

PHOTO: PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | | Bicycle parade on Colorado Blvd., Pasadena (1898)

In 1898, hundreds of bicycles paraded down Colorado Boulevard in a show of force to impress city officials and planners that road improvements and more places to ride were urgently needed.

PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History |

Bicycle enthusiasts would often take the San Gabriel Valley bound electric cars from downtown Los Angeles, eventually crossing the Arroyo Seco at South Pasadena.

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Horace M. Dobbins was listening to the crazed bicycle public. In 1899, he began construction of an elevated cycleway from the Green Hotel running parallel to Fair Oaks Avenue heading toward Raymond Hill in South Pasadena.

Note: When Dobbins started the California Cycleway Company in 1897, his goal was to build the region’s first road from Pasadena to Los Angeles using the Arroyo Seco as the primary route.

Stay tuned for more on Pasadena’s bicycle past


Throwback Thursday is written and produced by Rick Thomas

Author Rick Thomas is the former museum curator and vice-chair of education for the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. He served on the South Pasadena Natural Resources Commission, helping to maintain a strict policy protecting the city’s great old-growth trees. Using touchstone photographs from his own collection—one of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest accumulations of historical images and artifacts—as well as national, state, and local historical archives, Thomas provides a window to his city’s past and an understanding of why its preservation is so important.