The Ultimate Cycle Chic
Wheel, kindly light, along life's cycle path, Wheel Thou on me! The road is rough, I have discerned Thy Wrath, But wheel me on! - Christian Hymn
The Wheelmen embrace a broad range of bicycle-related activities, centered on the historical aspects of cycling.
Regular activities of the Wheelmen include riding in parades, tours and demonstrations, holding rides, participating in events to promote modern cycling, displaying bikes and memorabilia, research, writing and publishing cycle history, collecting bicycle literature and memorabilia, restoring cycles, restoring and recreating uniforms and costumes, recreating grand dance balls, picnics, developing buglers, show and tell meets, swap meets, auctions, slide shows, visiting historic sites and museums, and learning trick riding.
The Kentucky Wheelmen is a State Division of The Wheelmen, a national non-profit organization dedicated to keeping alive the heritage of American cycling, and promoting the restoration and riding of bicycles prior to1918. The Wheelmen relearn lost skills and tell old forgotten stories about the golden era of cycling.
Collectors and restorers have salvaged thousands of antique bicycles, and preserved large quantities of bicycle memorabilia, literature and other valuable materials of the early days of cycling. Many Wheelmen have built outstanding collections of cycles that rival the best of museums.
The club was founded in 1967 at Hoopes Reservoir, Wilmington, DE, at its first Official High Wheel Tour by 12 men mainly from the Philadelphia area.
Today the club has over one thousand members across the U.S., Canada and overseas.
Since our inception the club has participated in major events such as the 1976 Bicentennial in Philadelphia, the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, TN, and grand parades in New York, Detroit, Washington, Milwaukee and Indianapolis.
Kentucky has a rich history in the early days of cycling that has been lost or obscured through the years.
The Kentucky Wheelmen is a state division of The Wheelmen for members living in Kentucky. It is the goal of the Kentucky Wheelmen to bring back the glory days of early Kentucky cycling through the use of historic writings and research, recreations of the early cycle “runs”, commemorations of long gone bicycle race tracks, celebrations of talented Kentucky cyclists who became national and international cycling stars, and emphasizing the importance of Kentucky’s past as a National leader in cycling.
Wheelmen in Kentucky also participate in parades, demonstrate riding to the public, collect cycling memorabilia, and ride their machines.
More About Us
March 6-8 North American Handmade Bicycle Show
March 14 Tweed and Tartan Ride Louisville
May 13 Reservoir Gate House Restoration Celebration
May 23 Exuberant, Elegant and Alive Homes Tour, Old Louisville
May 30 Owensboro Bicentennial
June 30 - July 3 Wheelmen National Meet, Chestertown, MD
June 5-7 Great American Brass Band Festival, Danville, KY
August 16 Evansville Transportation Day, Evansville, IN
September 12-13 My Old Kentucky Home Bicycle Tour, Bardstown, KY
Each year the Wheelmen club has an Annual Meet. It is when many Wheelmen worldwide come together, in one location, for a four-day celebration of antique cycling.
The 2015 Meet will take place in June at Chestertown, Maryland.
The 2013 meet was held in Louisville, KY; other Annual Meets have been held in such historic places as Findlay, Ohio; Mystic Seaport, CT; Newport, RI; Auburn, IN; Niagara Falls, NY; Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI; White River Junction, VT; and Williamsburg, VA, with hundreds of members in attendance at each meet.
Kentucky Wheelmen celebrated The Belle’s Big 100th Birthday Bash during the Centenial Festival of Riverboats, in October 2014, as nine riverboats gathered in Louisville.
The Belle of Louisville is one of our city’s and our country’s greatest historical assets.
The celebration on the banks of the Ohio also included The Spirit of Jefferson (Louisville, KY), The Belle of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH), The Spirit of Peoria (Peoria, IL), The River Queen (Newport, KY), The General Jackson (Nashville, TN), The Anson Northrup (St. Paul, MN), The Colonel (Galveston, TX), and The American Queen (Memphis, TN).
A special commemorative pin was given to each cyclist that participated on Saturday.More Event Info
The Wheelmen caters to all aspects of cycling history, collectors, non-riders, riders of high wheels, tricycles, tandems and safety bicycles.
Membership is open to everyone whether you own an antique bicycle or just enjoy the early days when cycling was being born. Cycling history is an important part of our American heritage, so join us in reviving and reliving the memories of the 1880’s and 1890’s – the great cycling era in America. Become a member by downloading the PDF application form, and mailing it in.