Pedal Power Was All He Needed

Arlie D. Robinson tried driving a car once -- during the Depression. After six months, he gave it up saying, "... a car's dead weight if it doesn't pay for itself. It's as costly as a family." Arlie's sole mode of transportation was a bicycle. By the time he was featured in a March 24, 1957, article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Arlie had been riding a bicycle for 48 years. A familiar figure around Fort Worth, he was regularly seen pedaling around town dressed in a gray hat, Army overcoat, 15 sharpened pencils in his shirt pocket, pipe in his mouth, steel rimmed glasses adhesive-taped together. Always prepared, he strapped a rain slicker, tool kit and lunch box on the rear fender. In addition to puffing 16 miles a day from his home at 926 Lomo to the Fair Warehouse on Vickery Street, Arlie used his bicycle for shopping, visiting and hauling. "I buy 'em heavy... I haul feed to my cow, and sometimes I have a load of 350 pounds on the bike. I buy the best bike I can because it pays in the long run. The one I have now cost $65. I keep 'em three years, sell 'em, and buy a new one." Arlie could not calculate the number of miles that he had pedaled over the years. "Ridin' a bike has kept me physically fit," he said. "I work hard at my job stacking things all day, and I need to be in good health. Everyone should ride a bike."

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Photograph Collection, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington