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Photos: This is what it looked like to bike around Vancouver 120 years ago

Cycling has been a part of life in Vancouver since the late 19th century

Almost since its incorporation in 1886, cycling has been a part of life in Vancouver.

While high-wheel bikes and penny-farthings were raced here until the early 20th century, archival photos show most people rode bikes that were very similar to the ones we see today, with two wheels of essentially the same size, chains, and tires.

Stanley Park, which was founded in 1888, was immediately a destination for cyclists, once paths were cleared for riding. Prospect Point was a destination for some out for a fun ride, while bicycle races were held at Brockton Point.

Bicycles weren't just for recreation, either. In the early days of Vancouver, before cars were common, horses needed care and the transit system was limited, so bikes offered a reliable and useful form of transportation.

Some things we may think of as more modern existed in Vancouver over 100 years ago, as well, like police officers on bikes and stationary bikes (though they weren't quite as technologically advanced as a Peloton).

Interested in finding more archival photographs of Vancouver? Search the City of Vancouver Archives’ online database. For more information about the Archives, its holdings, and how to research, visit the Archives’ website.