History of Cycling


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The earliest form of a bicycle is called the velocped. It was just a wooden frame with two wheels and was powered by a person pushing off the ground. This was entirley made of Wood. Next came the invention of peddals, which took away from pushing on the ground were as you powered the wheels directly. The pedals however where locted on the front wheel. In 1870 came the invention of the High Wheel Bicycle, known for its large front wheel. This time the bike was made of metal with spoked wheels and rubber tires. Again the pedals were attached to the front wheel. Many will ask why the wheel was so large? The makers realized that the large the wheel, the furthur you go, so they made the front wheel larger. However it did have its downfalls, quite literally.

"Because the rider sat so high above the center of gravity, if the front wheel was stopped by a stone or rut in the road, or the sudden emergence of a dog, the entire apparatus rotated forward on its front axle, and the rider, with his legs trapped under the handlebars, was dropped unceremoniously on his head. Thus the term "taking a header" came into being. "

Over the next 30 years many improvement wer made to the High Wheel, which ridded it of the tipping problem. But around the late 1890's the next model of Bicycle cam out. It was called the Hard Tired Safety. It was given a chain and gear system, allowing for same sized tires, and a gear shift to create the same speed as and distance as a High Wheel. Although it had many good inovations, it did not offer the spoked wheel, and made for a competition between High Wheel and Hard Tired Safety. Until the next innovation came along.
With the invention of the Pnuematic-Tire in 1898, and the addition of spokes to the wheels, there was no competition.
Just after World War I came the invention of the Classic Bike. Designed to look like Automobles and Motorcycles, to appeal to Kids. These are the closests thing to Modern Bicycles today.