10/6/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University Professor of History Dr. Duncan Jamieson had his book, “The Self-Propelled Voyager: How the Cycle Revolutionized Travel,” published last month by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
“Before the last quarter of the 19th century, people who wanted to travel independently either walked or rode horses. Then a new invention changed the nature of personal transportation forever,” said Jamieson, who is a cycle aficionado. “The cycle — self-propelled bicycles, tricycles and tandems — allowed almost anyone to travel around town, around the region and around the world.”
Jamieson said that while dramatic developments in equipment, clothing, road surfaces and amenities make the physicality of cycling much different today than in the 19th century, the experience of cycling has seen little change.
“During the first few decades those who rode had few if any viable alternatives to the bicycle, or wheel as it was often called,” he said. “With the rise of the automobile in the 20th century, cyclists now rode out of choice rather than necessity.”
Following a brief history of the development of the cycle, the book describes the exploits of long-distance riders, chronically their journeys, their personal stories and the times in which they lived. “Despite the continuing rise and fall of cycling interest, people continue to enjoy traveling in the slow lane,” he said.
“The book, ‘The Self-Propelled Voyager: How the Cycle Revolutionized Travel’ looks at how a transportation innovation opened the world not only for those who made the journey, but also for armchair travelers who read with interest the cyclists’ accounts of faraway places,” Jamieson added.
The book, which is available online, also features photographs from the 1880s up to the modern day, illustrating the development of the cycle through history. Duncan said the book will interest not only the cycling enthusiast but historians focusing on sport and sport tourism as well.
Jamieson, who came to Ashland University in 1978, received his B.A. from The Defiance College, M.A. from The University of Toledo and Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###