The above photo was taken in 1896 in Superior, Wisconsin, at a studio on Conner’s Point then known as West Superior. Left is Christ “C.C.” Grimsrud b.1879, my grandfather. Next is Louis the (adopted stepson of Martin Grimsrud b.1862) and Hans Grimsrud b.1877 and the older brother of C.C. Grimsrud. Christ, Hans and Martin were all brothers born in Norway who immigrated to America before 1895.
The era was referred to as “the golden age of bicycles”. My grandfather Christ, on the left, had a Victor bicycle, the first with pneumatic tires that were glued onto lightweight wooden rims. Hundreds of firms were competing in this intense market of high demand where the typical bicycle was selling for $100.00.
The bicycle in the center is equipped with a carbide lamp, the same type used by miners.
20 inch tricycles make a scaled down shopping cart convenient for short trips. This is Yucatan, Mexico and the price tag is in pesos and equivalent of less than $200 US.
Eligio Chi Perez, pictured above, begins his day before sunup by riding his bicycle seven kilometers from his home in Colonia Bojorquez to the Diario de Yucatán office in downtown Mérida to pick up the newspapers to deliver.Each day his delivery of 175 newspapers takes him as far north as the Grand Plaza area, eight kilometers from downtown.
Still smiling seventy-one year old Eligio has faithfully made his rounds for the past fifty-two years.
Amazingly he has only worn out two bicycles in the process and not burned a single drop of gasoline.
A special congratulations to one of Yucatán’s most ecologically friendly citizens, Eligio Chi Perez.
©2011 John M. GrimsrudFor more on bicycling Yucatán, Mexico, and Europe check out our website at
To read more about the golden age of bicycles, I recommend The Lost Cyclist by David V. Herlihy.