“1891: In the first long cycle race, the 600km Bordeaux-Paris, the British unexpectedly took the first three places by riding without rest, G P Mills being the winner in under 27 hours. The event made a great impression on the French public.
Later that year, Pierre Giffard promoted the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris to demonstrate the practicality of the bicycle. Cycles were sealed at the start to ensure riders used the same machine throughout and entries from foreign riders and women were refused. 207 cyclists started on September 6th, including 10 tricycles, 2 tandems and an ordinary – believed to be the only one to complete the PBP so far, ridden by M. Duval. Both amateurs and professionals took part, the pros employing crews to carry their gear and 10 pacers each. Charles Terront won, riding without sleep for 71h 22m, and 99 riders finished, some taking several days having stopped at inns overnight.”
1892 Humber No 14 Roadster Safety
30″ front wheel
28″ rear wheel
with solid tyres
Frame no 21446
In two road races – the 600km Bordeaux-Paris and 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris – Humber achieved major successes in 1891 using their new design of safety bicycle with upward-sloping top tube. Humber didn’t patent the frame design so it was copied by hundreds of cycle makers and the upward-sloping top tube style dominated for the next four years.
The Model 14 featured here is similar to the Humbers ridden by the French racers of the time, but is the roadster version, with mudguards and solid tyres. Pneumatic tyres were an expensive option in 1892. Consider the economics: the price of this Humber with solid tyres was £17 10/- but the additional cost of pneumatic tyres was between £3 10/- and £5 more (depending on the type) …that’s around 25%.
Humber no 21446 is in wonderful preserved condition. I replaced the grips but everything else is original and it’s lovely to ride. It has earned the nickname ‘The Number Humber’ because 21446 is stamped in at least eight locations around the bike; each time I ride it, I expect to find another one…
1892 HUMBER CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
ADVERTISED IN AMERICA
‘THE NUMBER HUMBER’
1893 SLADE CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
(HUMBER’S AGENT IN LIVERPOOL)