The bicycle was one of the earliest forms of recreation and entertainment to become accessible to the masses. A series of inventions during the 1800s introduced the concept of a rider-powered vehicle to the general public, but it was not until the introduction of the safety bicycle (so called because it was built to be safer than its predecessors) in 1876 that the bicycle came to be seen as a viable form of transportation. The industry proliferated in the late 1800s, and by 1900 more than 10 million people in the United States owned bicycles. In the years preceding the U.S. manufacture of automobiles (which began around 1900), the bicycle became an important means of conveyance and recreation, and it remains a popular, economical mode of transportation and a vibrant industry in the twenty-first century. By offering riders an unprecedented sense of personal freedom and self-reliance, the bicycle has had a profound impact on Americans’ relationship to the environment and to one another.
The bicycle’s popularity began to rise in 1876 with the advent of the safety bike, and the bicycle became a major form of transportation. Here a woman commutes by bicycle in Portland, Oregon. JORDAN SIEMENS/ICONICA/GETTY IMAGES
The modern bicycle is a result of the work of several innovators. In 1817 the German inventor Baron Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun (1785–1851) developed a two-wheeled device that resembled a scooter, the drasienne. The device was later improved by the Scotsman Kirkpatrick Macmillan (1813–78), who in 1839 added pedals to the vehicle, creating the world’s first real bicycle. In 1870 the English inventor James Starley (1830–81) designed a bicycle with a large front wheel and a small rear wheel. He named it the Ariel. The invention was also called the “penny-farthing” (after two differently sized British coins), the “high-wheeler,” and the “ordinary.” Although this bicycle was easier to pedal and faster (one revolution of the pedals turned the front wheel once) as a result of the elevation of the seat, its high center of gravity made it unstable and even dangerous. The addition of a third wheel in the rear for stability, creating a tricycle (also called a velocipede), improved the design of the Ariel.
Was The Bicycle Invented For The Reasons It Is Being Used Presently?
When bicycles were introduced in the 19th century, the inventors could perhaps never have imagined how they would be used in the days to follow. Their intention was to provide people with a mode of transportation that could be useful for people. It is quite possible for them to have imagined they could also be used for some recreational purpose. However, it is unlikely that they would have taken into account the kind of changes that are presently being seen or how the usage of the bicycle has changed over the years.
Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
The reasons for the invention were mainly to provide people with a mode of transportation because automobiles were not extremely popular during those days and perhaps a method, which could only be adopted by the rich. Initially, they were merely used by men, and it was only later that women also began using bicycles.
From the time bicycles were invented until this moment, they are being used for a number of purposes. Commuting to places and transportation is still one of the primary uses of the bike. However, a number of changes have been seen in the type of usage, which is it being adopted for? Recreation has become an important reason for people who are looking forward to purchasing a bicycle. Presently, it is good to see many bicycles manufactured just for recreational purposes, though they can also be used for commuting and transportation.
Initially, the police, the postal services and the military were perhaps the main users of bicycles, and it was only after an increase in the popularity of bicycles along with the understanding that here was an inexpensive method of transportation that people from all classes began to adopt the bicycle for the kind of usage presently being seen. [Read More…]
Is the Bicycle The Poor Man’s Mode Of Transportation?
The bicycle has for long been used by people, mostly from the economically backward classes as a mode of transportation and has perhaps lived up to its reputation of being a good method of commuting for a number of people. This could possibly give an impression that people from the higher classes do not use the bicycle except to show off. However, this cannot be said to be true because there is a long list of celebrities who have used bicycles for reasons of their own. Some of these people could easily have afforded automobiles of their choice but still did not leave aside the bicycle and continued to use them, even after they gained recognition.
If the present generation thinks that the bicycle should only be used to get some exercise or to go on a casual ride they will not be giving the bicycle the respect it deserves. They would maybe begin thinking differently if they got to know that even people like Albert Einstein and Leo Tolstoy used bicycles and could perhaps even get the feeling, they are emulating such famous characters. This is not to impress upon people that they should use bicycles just because celebrities had used them. It is just to give them information that this mode of transportation has been used by and is still being used by people who became famous and continued using their bicycles whenever required.
Source: image taken from theargonauts.com
Will the use of bicycles make people famous in any way? It would be difficult to give a positive answer to the question because the celebrities we speak about had a talent of their own, which may or may not be present in every individual. The celebrities used the bicycles before they became famous and even after and therefore, it cannot be confirmed that it was the bicycle which gave them their status. However, there is no reason for the ordinary layperson to believe he or she will be left behind just because they decided to grow up by using a bicycle. The bicycle could very well bring out a hidden talent within them making it possible for the individual to think about doing things that had never done before. [Read More…]
Over the last few years, a number of changes have been seen around the world of bicycles. The humble road bike has now been overtaken by the hybrid bike, which is gaining in popularity quite fast. Ever since it was introduced the hybrid bike has become extremely popular with people who mostly prefer this model to road bikes. Some people are even investing large amounts of money when purchasing the bicycle without giving proper thought to the matter off how long the bicycle will last them considering the kind of usage they expect to have with bicycles of these types. Let us take a closer look at how people can make hybrid bikes last with them for a long time.
Source: image taken from dicasdehomem.com/
Firstly, there is no reason for people to have any doubts in their minds about whether hybrid bikes are of a similar quality to the earlier counterparts. They are in no way inferior in quality but only have a design, which has been customized for the requirements of the current generation. People no longer use a bicycle just to go from one place to another. People have discovered different methods of enjoyment along with hybrid bicycles after they were given information about how these models could even be used in conditions that were unsuitable. People can use hybrid bicycles in mountainous areas, on surfaces without proper roads and even in conditions that may not be suitable for bicycles. Under the circumstances, it was natural for people to wonder whether such bicycles would last them for a long time. [Read More…]
Looking To Purchase A Bicycle — What Type Of Bicycle Are You Looking for?
If you are looking forward to purchasing a bicycle, it is certain you will have several reasons in your mind about why you need to use a bicycle. You could be looking forward to cutting down on the prices of gas or just to get some exercise for yourselves. Regardless of the reason, you would want to make an investment that would stand out and provide you the kind of facilities you want. Depending on the kind of usage you could have you may have chosen either to purchase a road bike or even look for some of the best hybrid bikes for men. However, before you decide on a model, you will be required to consider several factors some of which will be crucial for you.
Source: image taken from cyclingweekly.co.uk
When you consider purchasing a bicycle, you must also take into account the kind of usage you are likely to have apart from trying to understand whether the chosen bicycle will suit your requirements adequately. You just cannot conclude on a model simply because someone close to you as made a suggestion. The advice provided to you would be from an individual who may have his own requirements, which may not be suitable for you. Therefore, while you can consider the suggestion, you are advised also to understand whether the requirements you have to can be fully satisfied by the information provided to you. [Read More…]
Considering Buying a Bicycle – How Much Are You Willing To Invest?
When you consider buying a bicycle or any other item, for that matter, one of the first things that come to your mind is the investment you will have to make in the product of your choice. You can be certain you will not have any difficulties in finding a number of choices in the market and in the outlets of different online retailers. The problem you would face is one, of making a choice of the product you need. The world of bicycles is no different in this regard because there are many manufacturers from throughout the world who are looking forward to selling their products at competitive prices. Therefore, you will be required to conduct proper research to understand how much money you would like to spend on the choice you make.
Firstly, you need to decide the kind of bicycle you need after considering factors like the usage, the conditions in which you would be using the bicycle and even matters like the time you have to maintain the bicycle in appropriate order. After concluding on these factors you must decide whether you want to make a purchase from the local stores or place an order with an online retailer. Regardless of the choice you make, you can rest assured you will not have any difficulties in getting the bicycle of your choice. [Read More…]