So, I’m predictable. If there’s an article whose thesis can roughly be boiled down to “hey, things actually weren’t as different in the Victorian era as we thought,” you can bet your bacon I’m into it. But this article is also hilarious and well-researched–it turns out people have always been jerks to cyclists, even before motorized cars were commonplace. You should really read the whole (short) thing, but my personal high point, taken from Punch’sproposed rules for cyclists:
When a cyclist on any road sees, or has reason to believe that he might see if he chose to look, any horse, cart, carriage, gig or other vehicle, or any pedestrian approaching, he (or she) to instantly dismount, run the machine into the nearest ditch, and kneel in a humble and supplicating attitude till said horse, cart &c., has got at least a mile away.