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What is a Scorcher?

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From the Blog “From Wheels to Bikes”:

The question came up on another blog as to “what is a scorcher?” in reference to an 1896 pledge by a cyclist not to be one. A cyclist who was a scorcher was commonly understood to ride aggressively at high speeds outside of controlled races risking crashes with other riders, pedestrians, and others. The scorcher was also commonly criticized for his (or her) less than upright seat on the bicycle. (This posture, however, was perfectly OK during a race . . . ) Since the bicycles of the day either had no brakes at all or generally poor ones compared to what we are used to today, the potential for mayhem was that much greater.

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<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/8745588″>Bicycle Scorchers</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/kellett”>Jim Kellett</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

I am the scorcher!
Please observe
The curve
That appertains unto my spine!
With head ducked low
I go
O’er man and beast, and woe
Unto the thing
That fails to scamper when I ting-a-ling!
Let people jaw
And go to law
To try to check my gate.
If that’s their game!
I hate
To kill folks, but I’ll do it just the same,
I guess,
Unless
They clear the track for me;
Because, you see,
I am the scorcher, full of zeal,
And just the thing I look like on the wheel!

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