How did cycling become popular

Revision as of 12:07, 13 April 2018 by Maltaweel (talk | contribs) (Early Development)

In the 1800s, early forms of bicycles existed. Although the invention of the bicycle, to this day, is not entirely clear, cycling, as a sport and hobby, soon did become of great interest to the public. Shortly after the bicycle was invented, cycle races began to spread in many areas.

Early Development

Bicycles, of some types, appears as early as Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches from 1493. 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, which was a two-wheeled vehicle invented by Karl Drais. This bicycle consisted of front steering and was pushed along by a person's feet. The frame of the bicycle is familiar to us, which is what made it different from earlier forms. After this development, the next big innovation was the use of pedal. This is not clear when this happened but it could have been invented by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, 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.

With that innovation, cycling soon began to develop as a recreational activity and sport. In particular, cycle races began to develop by the 1860s. Bicycles 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. Riding schools and competitions began to develop by 1869, although in the United States already by then the sport of cycling began to decline due to the fact that early bicycles were often uncomfortable, particularly the seats.

Modern Cycling

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