In 1891 the first run of the Paris - Brest - Paris , a 1200 kilometer race, took place on September 6. The race was organized by "The Petit Journal",a cycling periodical, to demonstrate the practicality of the bicycle. Riders were required to use the same bicycle throughout the race. 206 cyclists started including both amateurs and professionals. The race was won by professional Charles Terront on a new Humber safety bicycle equipped with pneumatic tires. PBP is still run today although not as a race but as an endurance event.
The Cambridge University Bicycle Club held their annual race on November 23rd 1884. It was won by George Gatehouse riding from scratch on an Ordinary bicycle. Below is an account of that race and an image of the loving cup trophy won by Gatehouse for that race.
Gatehouse switched to racing tricycles in 1885. He was the amateur tricycle champion for the UK in 1885.
Cycling Clubs of the late 1870's and into the1880's were established on a somewhat militaristic fashion employing the moving formation of mounted horse calvary. There was a Captain, Lieutenant, and usually a Bugler. Each club had it's own uniform and colors. This formality lent a degree of legitimacy to the appearance of cycling clubs appearing on the roads in the early 1880's Often cyclists were met with hostility from pedestrians and teamsters who felt they didn't belong on public roads.