Edward Hines asks you to join the League

LAW-bulletin-good-roadsHere’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.

  1. Drafted introduced and passed the Anderson Bicycle Baggage Bill compelling the railroads of Michigan to carry bicycles as personal baggage free of charge (1897)
  2. Defeated the passage of a special tax of $1 a year on wheelmen in 1897
  3. Issued a road book in 1897 and 1898
  4. Secured a Supreme Court decision against the toll-road corporations, prohibiting them from charging wheelmen toll
  5. Put an active and wide awake wheelman on the Park Board in Detroit
  6. Secured the passage of an anti glass and tack law in Detroit
  7. 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
  8. Prosecuted 23 “road hogs” in 1898 winning every case
  9. Secured a more severe punishment for bicycle thieves
  10. Secured an appropriation of $10,000 from the city of Detroit to build a bicycle pavilion for wheelmen on Belle Isle in 1898
  11. Secured an additional appropriation of $2,500 to furnish up bicycle pavilion with pump repair outfit racks and other conveniences for wheelmen in 1899
  12. Drafted and secured the passage through the state legislature in 1899, a bill to protect cycle paths and to provide for punishment of violations
  13. Encompassed the defeat of a bill before the present legislature to prohibit wheelmen using sidewalks under all circumstances in all parts of the state
  14. Secured a dry strip of five feet in width on all the principal sprinkled streets in Detroit
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. Have kept up a constant agitation for good roads is gradually bearing fruit
  18. Have secured the repeal of a dozen local ordinances in various parts of the state which worked a hardship upon wheelmen
  19. Has made cycle path building possible in Michigan
  20. 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.

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3 Responses to “Edward Hines asks you to join the League”

  1. Mike Moehl Says:

    Todd, thanks for being our “active and wide awake wheelman,” your work is much appreciated.

  2. Todd Scott Says:

    Thanks, Mike. I really enjoy the old timey sayings in these 1890s articles and that was surely one that caught my attention.

  3. Who killed the League of American Wheelmen? | m-bike.org Says:

    […] was led by Edward Hines during most of the 1890s. They were highly successful as Hines noted in his membership drive from 1899. They fought for equal access to Detroit roads and against ordinances requiring lights, bells, and […]

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