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League of Victorian Wheelmen

 In 1885 the Victorian Cyclists Union (VCU) was active, according to the contemporary journal Australian Cycling News. The VCU held championships and had Touring Consuls in major towns to assist cycling tourists with accommodation and other comforts to assist their tours.

The Australian Cyclist Journal was first published on 7 September 1893. It claimed to be the official journal of the League of Victorian Wheelmen (LVW) with the mission 'to advance racing and touring and the trade of cycling in all the lands under the Southern Cross'. 'We firmly believe that cycling has a great future (with the) beautiful models of perfection as (we seen in) the bicycle of the present day world. (We) anticipate the pleasures extending (and) advocate sweeping away the terms amateur and professional' (Australian Cyclist Journal, 7 September 1893).

The League is described as a 'sound governing body' in a discussion of the issue of reducing duty on bicycles in vol.1, no.3, September 21 1893, Australian Cyclist Journal.

In vol.1, no.8, November 2 1893 R.W. Best, MLA, is named as President, and Professor Kernot of the University of Melbourne as Vice President.

In vol.3, no.23, February 1896 the LVW held a cycling meeting at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the first major event the LVW sponsored. In the historical introduction to this news they note:

'for some years prior to cash prizes, cycling in Victoria was governed by the Victorian Cyclists' Union (VCU). The amateur definition was very rigid, framed from that then in vogue in England and enforced by the National Cyclist Federation in 1890 the Melbourne Bicycle Club (MBC) seceded and offered money prizes this caused action in the VCU circles and they have decided to run a monster carnival at the Exhibition in opposition to the MBC. But the MBC had a form entry list with Tom Busst who had been disqualified by the VCU. Tom Busst was then at his best and was a popular idol. (This) led to the MBC success, the VCU carnival only partially so from then on rider after rider seceded from the VCU and it soon became defunct. The MBC formed a racing code of rules the Racing Men's Association was formed in reaction to this code by it went into debt the LVW then set up (to promote racing in conjunction with its other formed roles) and held its first meeting last week (in the last week of January 1896) annual championships will follow each year it is hoped'.

The Constitution of the League is published in the Australian Cycling Annual, vol. 1, no. 1, 1897, pp. 306-60. See also extracts from the Australian Cyclist in sup file NU 34520.

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