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Records of the Cambridge University Bicycle Club, 1874 - 1959

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/SOC.80

Scope and Contents

From the Management Group:

The category - Student administration and support records - comprises records relating to student admissions at all levels, graduate students, visiting senior scholars, student careers advice and welfare, together with the records of clubs and societies.


  • Creation: 1874 - 1959


Conditions Governing Access

From the Management Group:

The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (

Biographical / Historical

The club was founded in 1874 by a group of men, predominantly from Trinity College, to ''encourage proficiency in cycling''. Membership was limited to the university and many senior members were heavily involved in both the foundation of the club and its earliest committees. The club provided tuition to novices; information about the locality to facilitate excursions; a cycling path for use by novices and for times when the roads were impassable; and both storage and maintenance for members ''machines'' at an attended club house. Club activities centred on regular ''meets'' or excursions with rides setting off from both Cambridge and regional railway stations. The club also organised races, trials and matches against outside opponents, primarily Oxford and London Universities. The expenses of these activities were, in part, defrayed by the dividends of an investment in preference stocks. Additionally the club ran a subsidiary club known as the ''Long Vacation Bicycle Club'' which operated an excursion programme for the summer months. Members of note included the biologist Francis Maitland Balfour, zoologist Adam Sedgwick, physicist George Frederick Charles Searle, politician Gerald William Balfour and the motor car promoter and aviator Charles Stewart Rolls. The club was wound up in 1937 but an organisation begun 1951, the Cambridge University Cycle Racing Club, was considered by some to be a refounding. The website of the Cambridge University Cycling Club (active at 2008) is to be found at


1.5 linear metre(s) (1.5 metres) : paper

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records were transferred to the University Archives from the Manuscripts Department on 12 November 2007. They had been presented by Mrs J.C. Sampson to the Manuscripts Department in March 1963 and had been give the classmark Ms.Add.7628.

Related Materials

Further printed records are in the Rare Books Department, Cambridge University Library (classmark: Cambridge Papers J 2120).


The online catalogue entry was completed in January 2008.

Date information

DateText: predominantly mid 1870s-mid 1890s.


Cambridge University Bicycle Club

Finding aid date

2007-11-08 10:53:16+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom