The South London Diaries

The South London Diaries section focusses on the diary entries of (most likely) Frederick Brown. In 1884 and 1885 our 19th century South London cyclist was setting a 21st century Strava challenge. He didn’t know it at the time, but when our Victorian trailblazer was writing about rides and times in his diaries, he was chronicling some of the earliest ‘personal bests’ in London on record.

In the diary pages of two Cyclist and Wheel World Annuals is an extraordinary account of over 3,000 miles spent on a bike. Among some of the entries are the route, mileage and date. 130 years on that means times to beat!

The stamp on the contents page of the 1884 annual suggests our diarist is Frederick D Brown but we have no conclusive proof

The diaries were found by this blogger in reverse order and are published in the following order: 1885 part 1, 1885 part 2, 1884 Part 1

1884 Part 1 Jan-April

1884 Part 2 May-July

1884 Part 3

1884 Part 4

1885 Part 1 January-April

1885 Part 2 May-August

1885 Part 3 September-December

Miles per day diary entry
Pre-Strava cycling times