Evelyn Hamilton

Evelyn Hamilton, Recumbent Racer?

An article by Warren Beauchamp

Francois Fauvre gets most of the historic press for racing the Velocar recumbent bike in the 1930's and punishing the upright racers until the UCI banned recumbent bikes altogether. Very little has been said of the historic female recumbent racers. Female cycling racers were downplayed in general in the early 1900s.

Evelyn Hamilton was a 1930s British cycle racing star, who was known for racing upright bikes.

This is a colorized photo of Evelyn Hamilton showing the 1930s British cycle racing star pedaling serenely through the French countryside on a Velocar.

Here's a video of Evelyn Hamilton riding a Velocar recumbent bike.

While I was not able to locate anything about Evelyn actually racing a recumbent bike, judging by the fact that she dedicated her life to cycling (see the articles below), I would like to believe that she actually raced a velocar recumbent bike.

What I did find was that she "disappeared" from her bike shop in England during WWII and it was thought that she went to France. Apparently this is either was where she was filmed on the Velocar, or she brought it back to England with her.

This picture shows her posing on a Velocar which looks a lot like the one in the colorized picture.

This picture shows her on a Velocar derived French recumbent bike called a "Velostable" that looks a lot like a Tour-Easy.

A note with this photo read "The latest in Bicycles, direct from Paris, as shown at the lightweight cycle show at the royal horticulture hall, London. What is proclaimed to be the "bicycle of the future: is an entirely new conception of the bicycle. On this machine the rider sits as in an armchair and presses forward to the pedals thus being able to employ the leverage of the powerful muscles of the back to assist the pedalling thrust. Great speeds are attainable on this machine and on one of the similar type but less advanced design, a continental rider has beaten records which the worlds best riders have attacked in vain on normal mounts." Dated 10/28/35


Here's a video of her on a Triumph Moller recumbent bicycle, which was introduced in 1936.


In fact, the Velocar is not the only recumbent that the intrepid Miss Hamilton rode! Here's a video of her riding a Ravat Cycloratio SWB recumbent. The Cycloratio was patented in 1936 in England by a Frenchman, manufactured in France and imported into England by the Cyclo Gear Co.

Here's a good article about Evelyn's fascinating life.

If you'd like to learn even more about Evelyn, here's a link to a Google search of Evelyn Hamilton Britain cyclist


Back to 'bent stuff