History of cycling

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Posted By: 

William Lozito

Category: 
Cycling News
  • History of cycling

Cycling started 1800 years ago, evolution of cycle is fascinating from social, economic and technological point of view. Karl Von D made the first cycle known as Hobby horse in 18th century. It was made up of wood, had handles, pedals, seat, gears but no chain. One was suppose to push it through feet, but it was much faster than walking and covering the large distances. Then the Scottish Kirkpatrick Macmillan, introduced the cycle with pedals in about 1840. Unfortunately in 1842, he was arrested for riding it on the pavement as it is still illegal. Then another famous man named Pierre Mickhaux in 1861 came up with the idea of inserting pedals on the front of the Hobby cycle previously invented. It was named Velocipede, i.e. very similar to the today’s tricycle for children.

Speed is the chief issue; hence, in search of a good speed another cycle was formulated with large tires known as Penny farthing. Larger the tires more distance can be covered in lesser time. Though, this type has been obsolete now. In 1885 John Kemp Starley came up with new development that mostly gained popularity with the name of Rover. It consisted of chain and proper gearing. New design of tires was introduced by John Boyd Dunlop in 1888; it was the improved version with better speed and enhanced comfort level. During 1890’s design and style almost remained the same no major improvement was further made during this time period. Another issue which diverted the minds of the individual was the issue raised on the clothing. Clothing that was required while riding women preferred long skirts and men usually go for shorts or trousers.

1930 was the era where cycling as a means of transportation gained immense importance. As this was the time of increasing prices, wages but fall in production. Many people converted on cycles for the means of transport of goods. During this period main business was of transport of goods from one place to another. Therefore this was the most convenient and the cheap way of transporting good.

20th century marks the big innovations in cycle; this century introduced running gear, quick-release wheels and cable operated brakes. To construct light weight cycle for the long journeys aluminum alloy was used in cycle rims, handles etc. After that new material was introduced for making light weight cycles such as titanium and carbon fiber. These are still in use now.

Mike Burrows designed carbon-fiber Lotus Bicycle, which resulted in Chris Boardman wining the gold medal for the 4,000 meters track quest at the Olympic Games in Barcelona. Many teams using the carbon fiber has resulted in a great win.

Mountain biking evolved from few cyclists belonging to Marin County, California, north of San Francisco in the early 1970's.First bike made was almost as simple as the children bikes present today. During other half of the century, downhill bike came into being but it was not able to move up the hill. It was named as Repack as the back pedal brakes would need to be repacked with grease after every run. Many of the early Repackers are still part of the international cycling industry, running some of the biggest brand names of bikes and parts available today. Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze and Tom Ritchey are still very active in the sport they helped to create.

The past 10 years has marked marvelous and tremendous diversification, with wide-ranging designs. Anyone can get the bicycle of his/her own needs and requirements.

 

 

Tagged in: distance, farthing, speed