Basically somehow a portal is opened or discovered and they see humans which are dressed like the Gay Nineties in the USA or England (one character says, "It looks like Jolly Bicycle Tours...") but when a soldier from our side gets through, the creatures instantly attack and devour him, IIRC, shedding their clothing and revealing that they are somewhat differently built than humans.

The "father" creature seems to understand what has happened and fetches a book that might contain, say, a formula for traveling to our dimension and of course we are worried about this.

That's all I remember except the story is at least 40 years old but probably older.


Almost certainly Bob Leman's "Window," (1980) which was answered more fully here, but in particular relevance to this query, the phrase you remember, 'jolly bicycle tours' appears in a piece of text (although not quite in the exact context) where a character is musing about what sort of things are in the world behind the window:

There would be jolly bicycle tours over shade-dappled roads that twisted among the hills to arrive at cool glens where swift little streams ran;

  • Must be it. I will try to find the tv episode made from it. Thanks much.
    – releseabe
    Mar 10 '19 at 11:19
  • 1
    @releseabe It's on YouTube
    – Jenayah
    Mar 10 '19 at 12:52
  • 1
    Text is available at the Internet Archive, and here for the original's scan.
    – Jenayah
    Mar 10 '19 at 14:31
  • Thanks, saw the tv show and read the text -- it's funny how "jolly bicycle tours" remained with me all these years. Also weird that 1980 is indeed almost 40 years ago. Damn...
    – releseabe
    Mar 10 '19 at 22:52

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