February 8 - 14, 2015: Issue 201

Pittwater’s New Cycle Track of 1901 – Manly to Pittwater

OPENING CEREMONY AT GREENDALE.— THE HON. MINISTER FOR WORKS DECLARING THE PATH OPEN - from The New Cycle Track—Manly to Pittwater. (1901, September 14). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 674. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165237862

  Pittwater’s Cycle Track of 1901 – Manly to Pittwater

Thinking of joining the Newport Surf Club’s Palm to Palms cycle event and need a little bit more inspiration? On the 26th of April, Newport Surf Club are holding the annual Palm 2 Palms Charity Ride. There will be two classes of event, the Main ride from North Palm Beach Surf Club all the way to Burning Palms Surf Club, passing every surf club in Sydney. That’s 132km’s, 36 surf clubs, 1 ferry ride and one spectacular day. 

For those not quite up to the 132km journey, they are also holding a shorter version to encourage more people onto the bike, from North Palm Beach down to Manly SLSC, at which point the main ride will continue on.

It is all in the name of charity with the funds to be split amongst Newport SLSC, Bear Cottage and the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation. The club are aiming to raise $100,000 and turn this into one of Sydney’s premier cycling charity events.

People who want to do the ride pay a $100.00 entrance fee and then must raise $900 through sponsorship that will be contributed to these three charities. If you’re a bike rider then this may be one to put on your ‘to do’ list for 2015. If you’re not a cyclist you can still donate or become a sponsor of this great event.

You can join in the fun at: www.palm2palmsride.com.au and follow the team and riders on Facebook and Twitter ‪#‎Palm2palmsride‬.

This week we share one that was opened in 1901 and finished at Newport Hotel – which was then the home of avid cyclists and proprietors, the Griegs, not the first cyclists to inhabit and run this Hotel, but that's whole other stories:

Visit picturesque Newport and dine at Greig's Hotel. The coach trip from Manly is one of the prettiest in N.S.W., and the hotel garden is an ideal place to lounge about in whilst your dinner is digesting and your cigar is helping or retarding the process. From Manly take the coach to Rock Lily, and thence for Greig's coach, which is free to passengers dining at Newport Hotel. If you are a cyclist, by all means' ride your bike— the run from Manly pier is about 12miles, and the cycling path makes the Journey easy, especially for ladies. HOLIDAY EXCURSIONS. (1901, November 10). Sunday Times(Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article125886153 

The new cycle track was officially opened on Saturday September 7th. The report reads:

The New Cycle Track— Manly to Pittwater. 

Pleasant conditions attended the official opening on Saturday afternoon by Mr. E. W. O'Sullivan, Minister for Works, and president of the New South Wales League of Wheelmen, of the cycle path from Manly to Pittwater, recently illustrated in ' The Mail.' The weather was beautifully fine, and the Path, as dry and resilient as a cinder path 0n a summer day.

It was arranged that a procession of motor-cars, cyclists , and drags containing non-riders, and headed by a motor-car carrying the Minister for Works, would leave the square opposite Manly pier at 3. 1'5 pm. But in  consequence of the 2.30 p.m. boat from Circular Quay, with a contingent of 300 cyclists, arriving a little late, the procession did not  not start until 3.30pm. Half an hour prior to that the Minster arrived in the steam launch Eva, With a party of visitors, who included Messrs. Price, Wilis, Levy,  T' Fitzpatrick, Donaldson, Byrne, and …

 The Minister was received by Mr. Quirk, M. L-A-, member for the district, a large number of leading residents of Manly, and the members of the Public Cycle Paths Committee -  Messrs J. R. Holdsworth (chairman)  A. Blackett Smith and  G. Corkhill of the New South Wales Touring Union,  Leslie Curnow (hon. Sec) C.A. Grocott and A. H. Short, of the New South Wales Cyclists Union, and Messrs. G. Fowle, H. Floyd, E. J. Branagan, of the New South Wales League of Wheelmen. Fully 300 residents and visitors were -assembled, and accorded Mr. O'Sullivan a hearty welcome. 

At least 500 cyclists were present, and as many of them carried flags, flowers, and streamers, a pretty effect was produced when the procession was under weigh. The procession, headed by four motor cars, moved off at a good pace, and about a mile out of Manly reached the commencement of the cycle path, the place being marked by archways erected over the paths on each side of the road, and bearing the sign' Pittwater Cycle Path, 1901 .'' A run of a mile brought the procession to Greendale, where the opening ceremony was to be performed. The hon. secretary of the Public Cycle Paths Committee, Mr. Leslie Curnow, who has been indefatigable in his efforts to have the path constructed, and to see that the opening ceremony was performed under the most favourable conditions, had the place decorated with flags and streamers, so that it presented a very pretty appearance. One could see by the rapid pace at which the cyclists bowled along the path that it Was in good order, and fast. When further consolidated by cycle traffic it will become still faster, and if arrangements are made to keep it in good order the cyclists of New South Wales will be under a debt of gratitude to the untiring labours of the path committee for providing a pleasant run through some of the most beautiful coast line scenery to be found in the State. 

The cyclists and visitors having gathered round a temporary platform provided for the occasion, Mr. Quirk, M.L.A., called upon the Minister for Works to declare the cycle path open. The Minister for Works, who was received with cheers, said that on behalf of the people of Manly, as well as the cyclists of New South Wales, he had great pleasure in declaring the Manly to Pittwater cycle path open for all time. (Applause.) It might not be known to all present that it was one of the longest cycle paths in the world. In America the paths ranged from 4 to 17 miles long, in Dunedin they were 7 miles, and in Victoria 15 miles long, but the Manly to Pittwater cycle path, counting 10 miles out from Manly on one side of the road, and 10 miles in on the other side, was 20 miles long.

CYCLISTS ON PATH.

GOING OFF TO GREENDALE.

The New Cycle Track—Manly to Pittwater. (1901, September 14). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 674. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165237862

THE OPENING CEREMONY. 

A cycle path, 20 miles in length, 10 miles either way, between Manly and Pittwater, was opened on September 7, when over 1,500 wheelmen from all parts of New South Wales attended. It was opened by the Minister of Works. Mr. E W O'Sullivan.

A NEW SYDNEY CYCLE PATH. 

THE PITTWATER CYCLE PATH. A NEW SYDNEY CYCLE PATH. (1901, September 14). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 29. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139746417 

The interest in cycling during this period cannot be underestimated - motor cars were being seen but most people could not afford such luxuries - bicycles were the way to get around. Having been touted as being used in the Boer War to great effect, and races and clubs springing up everywhere, it is no surprise the area of Pittwater was made accessible for those who wanted cycling-camping trips away within their budgets. 

The rise in popularity, and its being followed by local press, affords us, 114 years on, with some lovely early photographs of Pittwater:

Manly to Pittwater Cycle Path.

The views we publish afford an idea of the beautiful district which is opening up for cyclists by the construction of the Manly to Pittwater Cycle Path. The Public Cycle Paths Committee deserve the thanks of all cyclists, for by means of their efforts sufficient funds have been collated to pay half the Cost of the path. The work was generously carried out by the Government….. The Manly to Pittwater path is the second constructed under the auspices of the Public Cycle Paths Committee, and in the future the movement is expected to greatly extend. 

1 A glimpse of coast scenery from Newport-road. 2. Bay View from Newport Wharf. 3. Bush scene near Newport. 4. View near Terminus at Pittwater. 5. Broken Bay. VIEWS NEAR TERMINUS OF MANLY-PITTWATER CYCLE PATHS. Manly to Pittwater Cycle Path. (1901, August 24). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 478. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165234800 

 

THE MANLY-PITTWATER CYCLE PATHS. 

1. An ideal bicycle stretch near Pittwater. 2. The Lagoons, Narrabeen. 

3. Dee Why Hill. 

4. At Narrabeen. 

THE MANLY-PITTWATER CYCLE PATHS. (1901, August 24). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 479. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165234777

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Previously

Palm2Palms Charity Bike Ride 2015 - Newport SLSC Members have launched the Palm2Palms with two classes of event, the Main ride from North Palm Beach Surf Club all the way to Burning Palms Surf Club, passing every surf club in Sydney. That’s 132km’s, 36 surf clubs, 1 ferry ride and one spectacular day, OR a shorter version from North Palm Beach down to Manly SLSC 

A J Guesdon, 2015.