Friends of the Dickens Forum,

    Robert Tracy <[log in to unmask]> has looked into the Pickwick Bicycling Club
for us:                                                                                                    (pjm)

[log in to unmask]" type="cite">

Dear Friends: 
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">
See Wikipedia for the Pickwick Bicycling Club, founded in
Hackney on 22 June 1870, 13 days after Dickens's death. It is indeed the
oldest cycling club in the world, and also the oldest organization to be
named after Dickens.There is a photo of the six founders with their
"Penny-farthings." Like the Pickwickians, members had and still have a club
uniform which has changed over the years: currently they wear straw
boaters, black and yellow striped blazers, and a black and yellow striped
tie. Each member chooses a name from among the characters in PP, and the
president is alway called Samuel Pickwick. The badge shows a large P, with
a smaller B and C on either side.
Robert Tracy

Friends of the Dickens Forum,

    The book Michael Allen refers to was first published in 1891 and is
described as "Personal Reminisces of
the'Inimitable Boz' with More than a Hundred Illustrations by F.G. Kitton
and Other Artists."  It is one of those books
we came across early in our lives, glanced at, and dismissed as trivia.
Leave it to Michael Allen to look at it carefully
and find an interesting and fresh detail:
<[log in to unmask]> <[log in to unmask]>

Dear Patrick,

I was recently looking through a rather obscure item, a newspaper report
from the Birmingham Daily Mail in 1887, reporting on the collection of the
Dickens enthusiast William R. Hughes, who wrote the book "A week's tramp in
Dickens-land".  Hughes collected all manner of material but the following
reference particularly caught my eye:

"Does a new work on cycling appear, it passes at once into Mr Hughes'
possession, because of a two line reference to the person who taught Dickens
to use a bicycle, and a mention of the fact that the first bicycling
organisation formed was called the Pickwick Club".

I can't recollect seeing any other reference to Dickens riding a bicycle.
Indeed, I find it difficult to envisage Dickens on a bike.  Can the vast
experience of Dickens-Listers add anything more to this brief encounter?

Best wishes, Michael Allen.