Bermuda History: The Age of the Bicycle
by Horst Augustinovic
With its narrow roads, getting around was never easy. However, with the increasing number of visitors in the late 1800s, Bermuda had to offer sightseeing and ‘attractions’ not just in Hamilton, but across the island. Livery stables offered carriages for day trips to St. George’s and Somerset, and ferries and row boats were available to carry tourists across the harbor, some of whom then walked to the South Shore beaches.
In 1886 Marriott Morris, well-known photographer and relative of Bermuda’s Perot family, brought his bicycle to Bermuda and soon the livery stables offered bicycles for rent. Tourists quickly discovered their new mobility which was advertised as ‘Faster than a horse and cheaper to look after!’ Driving and Cycling Road Maps showing the hundred or so miles of roads were soon published and a number of guide books listing hotels, guest houses, livery stables and Bermuda itineraries were being printed.
Having banned all automobiles in 1908, Bermuda remained a horse-drawn society with bicycles the favourite mode of transportation of both Bermudians and visitors. With a population about 25,000 in the 1930s, there were around 16,000 bicycles and 550 horse drawn carriages licensed in Bermuda.
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