Summer seems to be the season for multi-day bicycle tours–each state seems to have its own unique ride–RAGBRAI in Iowa, Ride the Rockies in Colorado, the Tour de Wyoming, and of course, internationally speaking, there’s the mother of them all, the Tour de France. With so many bicycle events taking place this summer, we thought it would be fun to share some local bicycling history with you from the Elmer Lovejoy papers.
Elmer Floyd Lovejoy was a Laramie, Wyoming, businessman and inventor. He came to Laramie in 1883 for health reasons and soon developed an interest in mechanics. Lovejoy was active in the Laramie Bicycle Club and was an amateur photographer.
A little background on Lovejoy might be helpful here, too. He opened a general repair shop, Lovejoy Novelty Works, at 412 S. 2nd St. in 1893, and a few years later he built a steam-powered automobile incorporating design innovations of his own. In 1902, he built and drove Laramie’s first steam-driven automobile. In 1905, he invented an automobile steering gear, and in 1918 and 1921 he patented designs for automatic garage door openers. Lovejoy also operated a dealership for Franklin automobiles.
Hope you have enjoyed this brief dip into cycling history in the Laramie area. (Also, we are entirely confident that your bicycle seats are much more comfortable than the antiques in these photos!) We wish you happy riding this summer!