"Cycling (communicated by Mr. E. R. Shipton). Cycling prospers to an amazing degree in Britain, where it is estimated that there are about 500,000 cyclists, men and women, while about 50,000 hands derive employment, directly or indirectly, from the manufacture and sale of bicycles and tricycles. The English roads, though inferior to some of the 'chaussées' of the Continent, are upon the whole above the average; and the American cyclist will probably find them far better adapted to his requirements than the ordinary highways of the United States. Speaking roughly, cycling in Britain is circumscribed only by the area of the island; but as a general rule the gradients of the roads inland will be found less severe than those along the coast, while their surfaces are also generally better. The roads of England and Scotland are usually preferable to those of Wales and Ireland. The tourist, however, should not plan his route without regard to the configuration of the country, a knowledge of which is best attained by consulting a good map. [Black's map on the scale of 4 miles to an inch, mounted on linen , is portable and well adapted to the cyclist's use; it may be obtained in sections (at 2s. 6d. per sheet) from Mssrs. Collins, New Bridge St. Blackfriars, London, S.E. or from any bookseller.]
The American traveller who lands at Liverpool and either brought his machine with him or has arranged to have one sent to meet him may profitably begin riding at once. If he turn to the S., he may proceed viâ Chester, Stafford, and Birmingham, to Coventry, whence he may diverge to take in Stratford-on-Avon, Kenilworth, and Leamington, continuing the journey to London either direct or viâ Oxford. Should time admit, the run may be continued to Reading, Bristol, and through Mid-Devon to the Land's End; or in shorter stages, as befits the roads, along the beautiful coast of North Devon. From Cornwall he may return to London viâ Plymouth and Exeter; or he may skirt the S. coast to Southampton, Brighton, and Ramsgate, running thence to London through Canterbury and Maidstone. Should the traveller elect to go northward from Liverpool, he may visit the English Lakes, Carlisle, the Land of Burns, the Scottish Lakes, the Highlands, and so to John o' Groat's House; returning by Aberdeen, Perth, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Cambridge, etc. The Continental cyclist, landing at Dover, Harwich, or any of the other usual steamboat harbours, may also begin his riding at once.
The cyclist who contemplates even the shortest tour in Great Britain will find it decidedly advantageous to become a member of the Cyclists' Touring Club, which now possesses nearly 25,000 members. It has a resident Chief Consul in the United States (Mr. F. W. Weston, Savin Hill, Boston) and also a Chief Consul for Continental Europe (Mr. S. A. Stead, 30 St. George's Avenue, Tufnell Park, London, N.). The entrance fee of this club is 1s., and the annual subscription is 2s. 6d. American cyclists who wish to become members may apply to Mr. Weston. Should they arrive in England without having been enrolled, they should communicate with the secretary (Mr. E. R. Shipton, 139 Fleet St., London, E.C.), who, should their credentials be satisfactory, will send them a provisional certificate of membership on payment of an additional fee of 2s. 6d. The new member should then at once buy the Handbook of the C. T. C. (1s.; sold to members only). This contains a list of 2000 hotels throughout the country, which charge members of the Club a reduced tariff; the addresses of nearly 1000 consuls (i.e. local resident wheelmen, who are pledged to help their fellow-members by information and advice); the names of over 2000 cycle repairers; and much other useful information. The Club has published a Road Book of the Continent, and is preparing one of Great Britain."- Baedeker's Great Britain 1890