A tour of the history of bicycles

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A tour of the history of bicycles

Bicycling has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the early 19th century. From the wooden bicycles of the early 19th century, to the sleek and aerodynamic racing machines of today. In this article we will look at the fascinating history of cycling.

A brief history of bicycles

The invention of bicycles dates back to the late eighteenth century AD, when the first bicycle was called the "little horse", which consisted of two wheels of wood connected to an iron piece to stabilize them.

It was said that the late Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, owner of the famous Mona Lisa painting, was the one who envisioned the shape of a bicycle in the fifteenth century, but the idea did not receive any attention. In 1791, the Count de Severac came and invented the first bicycle without a steering wheel or brakes, as it was just two wheels connected to a wooden base and was moving by pushing and running.

Thanks to some inventors, such as the German Drees von Summer Brown, who added the steering wheel to the bicycle in 1817, and the inventor Mac Millan, who invented the movement system consisting of pedals and the transmission group in 1839, then in the year 1861, Frenchman Ernest Michaud introduced developments to the design of the bicycle, the most important of which was the invention of the brake .

In 1885 the Englishman John Kemp Starley invented a bicycle made of strong steel and had two wheels of the same size and shape similar to the current bicycle, so the Irishman John Boyd Dunlop came and added pneumatic tires in 1888.

So Pierre Michaux came and installed pedals in the front wheel for sudden stops, and changed the shape of bicycles by making the front wheel larger than the rear wheel.

History of bicycle racing

The first documented bicycle race was a 1200-meter race on May 31, 1868 in Paris, won by James Moore. He also won the first race covering a distance between two cities, Paris and Rouen, as he covered a distance of 123 kilometers dividing the two cities in 10 hours and 40 minutes.

The oldest cycling club in the United States is the St. Louis Cycling Club from 1887.

Recreational bicycle

Shortly after the official races, cycling races were organized for entertainment. After the 1880s, when cycling became easier, cries of alarm rose at the potential for moral chaos from this and the development of women's cycling apparel.

On the 4th of March 1915 the Association for the Building of Cycle Paths was founded in the Netherlands to build a separate cycling infrastructure.

Today, we are witnessing the return of recreational bicycles to Aja through several companies that meet the demand for this trend and specialize in old-fashioned bicycles that originated in the Netherlands.

Bicycle to go to work

Since the 1890s, bicycles have been used for commuting to work. According to the website Bike to Work, cycling continued to be used to commute in the United States until the 1920s.

Today, many people use bicycles to go to work, to improve physical fitness, to preserve the environment, and to go for a walk. According to the US Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey (ACS) published on September 22, 2009, 0.55% of Americans cycle to work, which is an increase of 14% since 2007.

Bicycle to travel around the world

Many cyclists wanted to use the bike to travel around the world. Annie Londonderry was the first to do so in the 1880s, and the journey took 15 months. Six Indian men cycled 71,000 km around the world in the 1920s.

Women's bicycles

The impact of the bicycle on female liberation should not be underestimated, as the bicycle gave women unprecedented mobility which contributed to their participation in the lives of Western countries.

As bicycles became safer and cheaper, more women could ride them, and thus the bicycle became a symbol of the new era of women in the late nineteenth century, especially in Britain and the United States of America.

In 1895 Frances Willard wrote a book called How I Learned to Ride a Bicycle, praising the bicycle she learned to ride late in life as having a "delightful effect" on her health and optimism.

Elizabeth Robbins Pennell began cycling in the 1870s in Philadelphia, and from the 1880s onwards cycled around Europe, beginning with a Canterbury trip over the Alps on a bicycle. In 1895, Annie Londonderry became the first woman to cycle around the world.

The bicycle has evolved and passed through different stages, technology, and successive achievements until it reached this form, and the sport of bicycles has become very popular in Europe, the United States of America and Asia, where races are organized on a global level and under the auspices of the World Bicycle Federation. The history of cycling is wonderful and reflects the development of trends. social, cultural and technological for every era.

Bicycling has come a long way from its early days as a means of transportation, to its present status as a major sport and popular form of recreation. Today, with millions of people participating in the sport of cycling and with continued technological innovations, the future of cycling looks bright.

Ultimately, whether you're a cyclist or just an amateur cyclist, the next time you set out on your bike, it's worth reflecting on the amazing journey that got you here and appreciating the amazing technological and social advances that you've made.


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