Driving it

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Bicyclists Fight for Better Roads . . .
and the Federal Government Gets Involved


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Published by the League of American Wheelmen, this handbook includes maps that show bike-friendly roads and delineate which are dirt and which are paved (useful information for anyone in search of a smooth ride). Founded in 1880, the group—largely funded by bicycle maker Albert Pope, in a ploy similarly pursued later by automobile manufacturers—lobbied extensively for better roads. Out of their efforts grew the Good Roads Association. In a break with the past, it recommended that the states—not local towns—create systems of roads. Before long, the federal government also became increasingly involved in making and maintaining roads.

Pamphlet, 50 Miles Around New York: A Handbook of Cycling Roads and Routes with Maps and Illustrations, 1896
Collections of The New Jersey Historical Society
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