Dr. Parry E. Doolittle
Sobriquet used by Bruce McRae
Today known as the "Father of the Trans Canada Highway". Dr Doolittle first built a bicycle made of wood in 1878, he next made an iron bicycle using the barrel of an old gun as the backbone. He won his first bicycle race in 1881, and by 1883 had ridden 10,000 miles on a bicycle.
(The Canadian Wheelman October 1883)
In those early years the Canadian Wheelman has multiple reports of his races and fancy riding competitions and by 1887 he had amassed a large collection of medals which was unfortunately lost. (The Canadian Wheelman April 1887 page 65)
In 1894 Dr Doolittle lost a closely fought battle to be president of the CWA to A.T. Lane 764 votes to 753. (The Wheel and Cycling Trade Review March 30 1894) . He would have won this election except for the fact that 50 proxy votes were in the pockets of two representatives who were absent for the room at the time of the election. Dr. Doolittle became President of the CWA the following year and was the editor of "Wheel Outings in Canada and C.W.A. Hotel Guide".
His biography can be found on various websites some of which are listed below.
Toronto, the capital of the Province, seemed to me more wide-awake and American-like than any other Canadian city ; and from the fine outlook which I had of it on the tower of the Metropolitan Methodist Church, it seemed to offer shelter to much more than its actual population of 90,000. The massive and substantial architecture of its University also impressed me more pleasantly than any similar structure in the United States has ever done, though I have, within the last dozen years, looked upon all of our chief collegiate buildings. Several of the local riders accompanied me about the city, and that one of them who escorted me out of it, late in the afternoon, was the same who had served as pilot for the Chicago tourists, three months before. His recommended route for Guelph (" C W. A. Guide," p. 53) is 4 m. shorter than mine, the differences being shown by the following summary : "At Cooksville, 16 m. w. of T. , turn n. for Brampton, 9 m. of clay (good in dry weaker; unrideable after a rain); then 6 m. w. to Norval, stiff clay ; 4 m. w. to Georgetown, clay, good only in dry weather; 17 m. to Bristol Arms, good gravel ; 8 m. s. w. to Guelph, fine gravel, and fine coasting, on long, easy grades." His portrait appeared in the Canadian Wheelman, a few days after I met him, and the appended editorial said : " Without ever having seen a real bicycle, but only engravings thereof, he designed a wooden machine, and on one occasion rode it from Aylmer to Strathroy, 50 m., in a day. Afterwards, he covered the same 50 m. in 6 h., on an iron bicycle of his own making, in which the bent barrel of an old gun served for a backbone." As a reward of two years' persistent coaxing, he has at last prepared for me the following biography : " Perry E. Doolittle (b. March 22, 1861), M. D., surgeon of Toronto B. C, residence : 237 Front st. £. I now ride a 54 inch Invincible, but began on a home-made 48 in., May 20, 1878. My mileage to date (Oct. 6, '85) is 11,750, divided by years as follows : '78, 1,300: '79, 2,250: '80, 2,000; '81, 1,650; '82, 1,500; '83, 1,100; '84, 1,200; '85, 750. I made one run of 25 m. without dismount (Aug. 10, '79; Strathroy to London), in 3 h. 5 min., and another (July 28, '83 ; Kingston to Napanee), in 2 h. 40 min. My first race was at St. Thomas, May 24, '81 ; and before I retired from the path, in the autumn of '84, 1 took part in 53 contests, and won 38 first, 9 second and 3 third prizes. I held the Canadian 5 m. championship in '81-'82 and the Toronto B. C. championship in '83-'84. All my riding has been done in the Province of Ontario."
From "Ten Thousand Miles on a Bicycle" pg 331 by Karl Kron 1887