AS far back as the 1890s, The Bolton Evening News warned readers of a new threat to the country’s road users – cyclists known as ‘scorchers’, who rode at dangerously high speeds.

This period saw the introduction of chain driven bicycles. These new bicycles were similar to the ones we have today, with two equal sized wheels with rubber tyres, and pedals driving the back wheel via cranks and a chain.

They were safer, faster and more comfortable then earlier designs like the Penny Farthing. They were also mass produced and low in cost, making then available to all but the very poor. For the first time in history nearly all the population could afford a mode of personal transport, and Britain went barmy for bicycles

Cycling clubs sprang up all over the country, including Bolton. The Clarion Club was formed in 1894. It was different to other clubs in that it aimed to combine the pleasures of cycling with the promotion of socialism. The club was named after the socialist Clarion newspaper, and members would often hand out the paper on their weekend rides.. The Bolton Clarion Club was formed in 1896 and a number of photographs of the club down the years are included here.

In July 1991, we were there to capture members of the Bolton Cycling Club setting off from Moses Gate, Farnworth, at the start of their two week cycling holiday. The party were heading for Mont St. Michel, Brittany, France.

November, 1990, saw us reporting on 14-year-old Mark Haynes who had become one of Bolton Clarion Cycling Club’s youngest ever hill vlimb champions when he stormed to victory up one of Yorkshire’s toughest gradients. Deane School pupil Mark, of Langside Drive, Ladybridge, set off at a storming pace to complete the climb in 3 mins 34 secs - shattering the record set by Chris Hoyle the previous year.

In August 1987, two Bolton venture scouts were following in the trail set by the great military leader Hannibal. George Irwen, 19, of Chorley New Road, Horwich, and Julian Goudge, 16, of Thornton Avenue, Heaton, were planning to cycle across the Alps using the route along which Hannibal led 40,000 troops and a herd of elephants.

The pair were hoping to raise over £400 for Multiple Sclerosis Research and Bolton Newstalk - the talking newspaper for the blind. George, a student at Bolton Metropolitan Colledge, said: “We decided we wanted to go abroad this summer - I have read the journalist Bernard Levin’s book when he walked along the same route and this inspired us.”

A similarly inspiring story came in April 1993 when we reported on former Lance Corporal Lawrence Kendall, who fought in the first Gulf War, and his plan to cycle 900 miles to help save the lives of heart patients.

Lawrence, of Little Lever, was teaming up with Nigel Green, to travel from Land’s End to John O’Groats, to raise more than £1,000 for Wythenshawe Hospital’s New Heart-New Start appeal. Lawrence, 25, was also planning to marry his fiancee Gwynneth Wilson on his return.

Also planning an adventure were Boltonions Jonathan Keenan and Stuart Smith who back in August 1987 were planning to spend three weeks riding 500 miles across the spectacular landscapes of Iceland.

Back in 1979, we were telling the story of former Bolton School pupil Stephen Hall who was sharing a cash prize of £400 after designing “the bicycle of tomorrow”. Stephen, 31, helped invent the space-age bike which was built with a stream-lined moulded plastic box frame, with a power point for recharging its batteries. A built in cable lock was included and the saddle height could be adjusted compressed gas mechanism.

Judges for the British Cycling Bureau’s national design competition put the entry second out of more than 400 entries from all over Britain and Stephen was handed his cheque by the Duke of Gloucester, chairman of the panel judges. I wonder how Bolton’s Olympic hero Jason Kenny would have fared on it?

If there’s one set of people a newspaper to survive it’s the faithful newsboys and newsgirls who deliver it and in March 1990 there was good news for 15 of them in Bolton after they won a raffle organised by the Bolton branch of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents. The fantastic prize was a set of “gleaming new mountain bikes”.

December 1975, saw us reporting on members of Radcliffe Round Table taking part in a 24 hour sponsored tandem pedalling marathon outside the Asda store in Radcliffe.

Our final picture shows Gary Tonge, 13, of Kearsley, throwing a few tricks on his BMX on a course at a fun day held at the Kearsley Mount Community Centre in July 1984.