. . . cycling through Jamaica's history
riding a 'boneshaker' or velocipede
By great good fortune there is an account, written two decades later, of a ride from Kingston to Spanish Town, on a 'bone-shaker' or velocipede, which took place in 1872.
Daily Gleaner, October 16, 1896 

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The Editor of the Gleaner,
Sir, -- Your description [in editorial October 9] of the consternation among the Spanish Town children at the presence of a bicycle even so late as 1892 - recalled to my mind, that the juveniles of that town, twenty years previous, were not such strangers to the wheel. At that early date, I was amongst the few, the very few, in Jamaica who rode a bicycle, and for two years my crazy machine was well known in the streets and vicinity of old St Jago.

In 1872 I rode from Kingston to Spanish Town on what is called a 'Boneshaker' and if such a machine were to be seen in the streets of Kingston now, it would, I fancy, cause as much wonderment as did the more modern type of bicycle a few years ago in Spanish Town. The wheels were of wood with iron tires like very light buggy wheels. The front, which was directly driven by the feet without gearing, was 3 feet in diameter and the back wheel 2 feet six inches, and the saddle a hard stuffed one without springs.

Present day wheelmen would hardly believe that I really enjoyed riding this antiquated vehicle and loved it very dearly - but it must not be understood that the ride to Spanish Town was an enjoyable one. That was in the early hours of the morning; there were long stretches of new metal [i.e. crushed stones] - long lines of carts whose drivers would not give me room. Besides a light rain had fallen during the night previous, and the soft sticky mud clogged the brake, and added tenfold to the labors of the journey, which occupied two hours and a half. On arriving at the Kingston bridge, I forced the machine up the rather steep gradient, and dismounted for a brief ten minutes in order to catch breath, and pluck up courage for the triumphal charge into the ancient capital through the square, up King Street. I did it - but it was in pain and anguish of soul and body, and dismounting from that charge a sadder and wiser man, I wished that I had ridden straight on and never left my seat at the bridge.

The GLEANER of the day in noticing this ride said I went for an 'important dispatch' for the department in whose service I then was - but this was not so. The GLEANER was misinformed - I went for a pair of old shoes which had been left in Spanish Town: and, for the glory of the thing. The bicycle and I traveled home by train, and I was at my office by 10 o'clock (in those glorious old days we worked, or rather, I should say, our office hours were from 10 till 4.)

Modern cyclists, seated on their luxurious pneumatics might feel interested in this little reminiscence of,

P.S. - No fears of punctured tires increased [?] my mind.