The First Brighton Ladies Cycling Club

It has been well documented in various blogs and books that Brighton 16 year old, Tessie Reynolds, made a record breaking cycle ride of 8 hours and 30 minutes from Brighton to London and back again in 1893. It caused a media sensation as she wore bloomers and rode a drop handlebar bicycle with a cross bar, paving the way for wider societal change. A new discovery in local newspapers by Sussex Blazing Saddles volunteer Irena, reveals more about the young Tessie’s organizational skills.

In May 1894 Tessie created Brighton’s first Ladies’ Cycling Club with 20 other women as reported in the Brighton Gazette newspaper. The following month The Worthing Gazette observed that this new club, with its proper title of Brighton and District Ladies’ Cycling Club, was growing ambitious: “Recently they had a ride to Worthing, and found the journey far too short!” Worthing Gazette 27 June 1894