Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.
I got a book about bicycling in victorian Ireland for Christmas. I may be the fount of all knowledge on this photo in a week or two when I get time to read it.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] We'll await developments then! :D
Interesting gearing ratio on the Tridem (or whatever it's called). If the first two guys don't pedal the third guy's going to have a hard time of it.
Usually known nowadays as a triplet. They were often used for pacing riding on solos. Three can go faster than 1 (3 times the power, but much less than 3 times the wind resistance). The rider being paced would stay as close behind the triplet as possible to maximise the aerodynamic advantage. They disappeared when motorcycles appeared on the scene. Nowadays 75cc 'Dernys' are used, although I've seen big 750cc brutes used on outdoor tracks.
Triplet being used for pacing
I was given the chance to ride 1200 km on this triplet , but turned down the offer. The three of them made their own way to the start, and had never ridden the machine together before. It has a lot of extra ironmongery* to make the frame stiffer, but was still very 'bendy', according to Steve, who took 'my' place at the back.
*The one in the picture has a double top-tube (crossbar).
Tandems can have more than 2 riders — tandem refers to the arrangement of the riders one behind the other rather than the number of riders. Bicycles for three, four, or five riders are referred to as "triples" or "triplets", "quads" or "quadruplets", and "quints" or "quintuplets" respectively. One such familiar to UK TV viewers was the "trandem" ridden by The Goodies. Originally a 2-man tandem with an extra "dummy" seat attached, a full 3-man version was built for them by Raleigh.
The one in the picture is set up to be used for a countyside jaunt with clubmates (it has a front lamp), but the huge gear suggests it might also be used for racing. I wouldn't fancy trying to get uphill on it.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Had completely forgotten the Goodies' one! It's briefly in action here in their opening theme...
I bet we could find a few matches if there was a higher resolution of this photo available.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Very Good
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner] Love all the info, John! Who has the hardest job on a triplet? And given technology changes to frames and materials, would this late-19th century one have seemed at all 'bendy' as Steve found was the case with the one in your photo?
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] :( Sadly I don't have a higher res.
But maybe some connections with the chaps in the South Eastern Wheelers photos?
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] I think steering can be a bit tricky on fast twisty descents. A bit like steering a supertanker. I see that the lad behind the middle seat looks considerably larger than anyone else. Assuming that it's his place on the triplet, I wonder if there's a reason for that.
As I understand it, modern steel tubing can be made stiffer for the same weight, so for the same stiffness/bendiness, the one in the photo would be much heavier. The outside diameter of the tubes stays the same, but the walls are thinner now.
From what I heard, the hardest thing was coming up with a modus vivendi. In the end Drew (the one at the front who had masterminded the enterprise) decreed that natural breaks had to be rationed to one every 30 miles, because the time lost was mounting up.
Some of Steve's reminiscences. I'll see if he has any more. Apparently the day before they were still debating who should sit where. But the biggest one ended up in the middle.
And yes, we originally planned to swap places during PBP. But I had only had about 10 minutes practice on the front and wasn't great at it. I think Nigel had a bad back, so didn't want to go on the front. Nigel was too big for the back seat, so we were pretty well put in place by default. It turned out to be the ideal set up. Drew was great at showing off to the crowds. I think I'd have got cheesed off myself. The rear seat was the hardest to sit on because it moved around so much, so it was probably best that I took that seat, which left Nigel in the middle, riding his first ever PBP.
Everybody wears a cap/hat - even the younger ones!
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner] Ah, hadn't thought of practicalities like "natural breaks"... Although they could have added a tow bar for a chalet de nécessité!
So our 3 chaps standing at the bike may well be the ones who rode it, and not just club members who jockeyed (excuse mixed sporting metaphors) for a good position in the photo. Certainly the man leaning on the back saddle has a very propietorial air about the bike.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] It's not only the pedalling which has to be synchronised.
I think I see park benches. I wonder if they are in the People's Park in Waterford city: we know there was a cycle track there....
The photo which [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] links above is at the courthouse steps, just across the road from the People's Park...
This nli archive shot includes the triplet on the Court House steps.
What a great pic! bikes, moustaches and all! :O)
Boys with their toys 19th C style :)
Is the chap at bottom left holding a Uni-Cycle?
A lovely picture this. And the expressions are wonderful and quaint too.
Maybe the triplet was used for sprints!
The gentleman leaning on the rear saddle might be Cornelius Patrick "Banquo" Redmond, proprietor of the Waterford News, a friend of Sir William Davis Goff and a member of the cycling club. He appears in a photo from Waterford Boat Club on the Ask About ireland site. He is seated on the right.
Its a long shot I know but the bearded man to the right of him might be Sir William Davis Goff himself albeit a younger version than the one in the few photos that exist of him. Goff was also a member of the club by the way.
Edit; not him I think, too young, W.G.D. goff would have been 52 in 1890, 62 in 1900.
I wonder was this taken around the time of the opening of the Goff Cycle track in 1891?
The triplet could have been used to pace riders in what is now known as the keirin. 'though having said that it does not look as if the assembled crowd are preparing for a track meeting.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] More likely for pacing judging by the very large chainring.
The man standing center front looks very like Herbert Goff, son of W.G.D. Goff. This is a picture of him and his wife taken some years after the one above
I see that you can get a potted history of Dunlops with this picture. Dunlops was founded in 1901 by Harvey du Cross, of Dublin. Ended up with 60,000 acres of land in Malaya and Ceylon where the rubber trees were planted. Dunlop was a Belfast man. Both du Cros and his son later became Member of Parliament for Hastings. More information can be found through Wikipedia regarding the invention of the tyre by Dunlop.
For some reason the name Pierce Velocepede comes to mind
I also love the classic triangle shape of the subjects.
Everything about this photo is fantastic! I love the cow grazing in the background.
These days, they're called "triplets". Not sure if that's what they called them back then, though.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] and [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] show how it's done.
Bags be James Coburn!
That was probably called a 3 man tandem, maybe a triplet. It would have been a very expensive bicycle equivalent to a 2-3 months salary for the average working man, possible more.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/mahall] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Also known as a triplet back then in the 1890s. For example this from an account of a new Irish hour record of 25 miles 456yds set at Ballsbridge. It beat the previous record of 24 miles 25 yards set by J A Robertson at on the Waterford track in July 1894. Freeman's Journal, Friday, July 2, 1897:
He was paced through by a triplet and two tandems, the former manned by H E Wells, C A Peace, and J Keogh, and the latter by Messrs J Deacon and C P Fairweather, and R W Stephens and W Cunningham.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/arensee/] I think the "unicycle" might be something like this one. Some older bikes had pedals on the front wheel
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Thank you for that information . Front wheel drive cycles? One lives and learns!!
A little more about C.P. 'Banquo' Redmond from East, West, An Irish Doctors Memories by his nephew Charles Stewart Parnell Hamilton, published 1955.
" I cannot refrain here from mentioning my uncle, the late Cornelius Patrick Redmond-called 'Banquo' by his familiars after the character in Macbeth which he played on an occassion in the Waterford Amateur Dramatic Society. 'Banquo' was a very remarkable character, fair and fragile, clean-shaven with lovely blue eyes and a most happy smile. He was editor of the Waterford News in succession to his father, and though young when he died, a journalist who had already made a mark for himself. I believe he published one of the first coloured books on beauty spots of South-West Ireland, and was correspondent to several London newspapers--strange to say all very different in their political outlook to his own paper which was a very strong Nationalist paper.
'Banquo' was an athlete of no mean prowess, being the runner-up for the Irish amateur Billiard Championship; cox of the famous Waterford boat which won many honours in the early nineties; a champion cyclist and a first class game and clay pigeon shot. Due to his skill in this latter sport he used to visit Monaco during the big clay pigeon contests and won many prizes there. It was through his annual visits to Monaco that he was appointed Riviera Correspondent to a well-known London paper--I forget now whether the Morning Post or the Times. The fact of the Waterford News being an advanced Nationalist paper caused the editors considerable trouble, as they were always in conflict with the government of the time and both my grandfather and uncle spent various periods in jail owing to their refusal to furnish the authorities with names of the anonymous writers on various political subjects. On one occassion there was an amusing sequel to my uncle's imprisonment, as a cycle race from Waterford to Tramore was due to take place a day before my 'criminal' uncle's term of imprisonment expired. However, the governor of the jail, a great sportsman himself, allowed his prisoner out, I suppose on ticket of leave, a day earlier to enable 'Banquo' to take part in the race. A tremendous reception was accorded the political jailbird and it so happened that, due to this great and enthusiastic reception, I suppose, he felt in good form and actually won the race. The medal he won was left to me by my aunt and is one of my personal treasures."
What a super photograph. Thanks very much for adding it to the Cycling History group.