no edit summary
Bicycles, of some types, appear as early as Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches from 1493. It is not clear if this device was actualized but indicate concepts that became used later on. By the early 1800s, several types of bicycles were made. Initially, different forms existed. However, among the earliest forms of what would become the forerunner to the modern bicycle was the Draisine (Figure 1), a two-wheeled vehicle invented by Karl Drais. This bicycle consisted of front steering and was pushed along by a person's feet, as pedals had not been introduced. The bicycle frame is familiar to us, which made it different from earlier forms and gave it an appearance we would recognize.
After this development, the next big innovation was the use of pedals. This is not clear when this happened, but Kirkpatrick Macmillan could have invented a Scottish blacksmith. The key design modification
though was when Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallemen put the pedals at the front wheel and put a seat on the support beam in 1863. This now made the bicycle much easier to control and power, enabling the rider to stay stationary while directing the bike.<ref>For more on the early 1800s bicycles and how they developed, see: Herlihy, D. V. (2006).<i> Bicycle: the history</i>. New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press. </ref>
With that innovation, cycling soon began to develop as a recreational activity and sport. In particular, cycle races began to develop by the 1860s. The first documented cycle race of a measured distance was in Paris, a 1200 meter event held in Saint-Cloud Park. Bicycles, some similar to our own forms, now began to appear throughout Europe and North America. In the United States, early bicycle manufacturers were also carriage manufacturers.
[[File:Kangaroo Bicycle Rev.jpg|thumbnail|Figure 2. The high wheel bike became popular in the 1870s among cyclists.]]In the 1870s, cycling was focused on delivering faster speeds and was mostly a young man's sport, as it was often seen as dangerous and not suitable for the elderly or women. The so-called high-wheel bikes became popular (Figure 2), which often had a huge front wheel and small back wheel. Such bikes made it possible to attain very high speeds, but they were notoriously unsafe with many fatal and major accidents. The main problem was these bicycles placed the driver high up, which meant that any bump or uneven surface made the cyclists lose control.
In the 1880s, the so-called safety bicycle was developed,
which emphasized greater steering control and more even wheel sizes, giving the rider greater control and greater comfort by now giving back wheel chain control. By improving safety and comfort for cycling, these new so-called safety bikes also became the first bikes to be popular among both sexes and for different age groups. At this point, cycling begins to be pervasive among the wider population and at different age groups, including the elderly.
In the late 1880s, improvements with rubber wheels made bicycles also more able to travel rougher surfaces. The oldest cycling club in the US was soon established, in 1887, in St. Louis, called the St. Louis Cycling Club. In the 1890s, the roadster bike became among the most popular designs, which saw now bicycles developed for men and women, where women's bikes accommodated the fact they wore skirts and dresses which could get caught on the back wheels. Thus a design to prevent this was developed.<ref>For more on how the modern style road bikes developed after introducing the high wheel bikes, see: Clayton, Nick. (, 2016). <i>The Birth of the Bicycle</i>. Amberley Publishing. Gloucester. </ref>
== What is the History of the Bicycle Lock? ==
Not surprisingly, as soon as bicycles became more popular, people began stealing them. In parallel with the development of bikes, people began to develop bike locks to protect their investment. Starting in the early 20th century, companies began creating bicycle locks. The earliest bike locks were either larger steel locks
that designed to fit between the spokes or bicycle locks attached to chains that were connected the wheels to the frame.
In the 1930s, Optimus, a German company, began manufacturing several different sized steel locks that could be used on a large range of bicycles. Companies in the United States were also manufacturing bike locks and selling them worldwide. Eventually, Optimus switched to pressed steel to create stronger, more secure locks. Even during World War II, companies continued to sell bike locks to militaries fighting during the war. Today, bicycle locks are made by hundreds of companies across the world to protect bikes. [https://thebestbikelock.com/| Bicycle safety is still important, and you can check out some of the best modern bicycle locks made today in this article.] Fortunately, modern locks do a better job
at securing bikes than the ones made back in the 1920s.
==Why did bicycling become less popular in Europe after World War II? ==
Additionally, bicycling played an integral role in the extraordinarily popular movie E.T. directed by Steven Spielberg. After the movie played in theaters, supercharged bike sales for kids and pre-teens. Classic kid bikes were replaced by bicycles that mimicked the Kuwahara Model 3003 ridden by Elliot in the movie.
During the first decade of the 2000s, high oil prices also increased urban cycling popularity in the United States. Dedicated bicycle lanes began to reappear as pressure groups formed in American cities. The rise of oil prices, high traffic, and increased interests in health, with obesity becoming a major problem, has
now led to cycling being of high interest in many countries in Europe, the United States, and East Asia. Almost every major city now has a master plan for integrating cycling with urban transport. The biggest recent trends have been urban communities introducing docking stations and dock-less bicycles as part of their urban transport plans.<ref>For more on the history of cycling in the United States, see: Reid, C. (2017).<i> Bike boom: the unexpected resurgence of cycling</i>. Washington, DC: Island Press. </ref>
Cycling developed as a sport and leisure activity in the early 1800s. Early bicycles were uncomfortable and often dangerous,
which made them less amenable to the wider public until the 1870s , when bicycles began to be developed having safety as a major priority. This led to the increase of cycling among the general population. That changed in the 1900s, as the automobile led to the decline of cycling. More recently, however, cycling has had a new lease, as it is now seen as part of larger urban transport plans as well as part of recreation and sport.