Archives for posts with tag: bicycle history

Famous People and Bicycles

Certainly on the short list of famous people who had ties to cycling and the cycling industry are the Wright brothers. They bought their first bicycles in 1892 and in 1893 they started a repair and rental business in Dayton, Ohio. Expansion was next for the brothers as they started manufacturing their own line of bicycles. It is here where they started creating and building their flying machines. Ultimately using this knowledge and experience in their design and construction of the airplane.

 

 

 

From the Air and Space Website:

“In designing their airplane, the Wrights drew upon a number of bicycle concepts:

The Wright Brothers Bicycle Store Dayton, Ohio

•             The central importance of balance and control.

•             The need for strong but lightweight structures.

•             The chain-and-sprocket transmission system for propulsion.

•             Concerns regarding wind resistance and aerodynamic shape of the operator.”

From: https://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/wright-brothers/online/who/1895/biketoflight.cfm

The Wright Brothers journey is truly fascinating and the bicycle played a major role in their lives. Obviously there is a ton of material about them so I won’t go on but I do highly recommend David McCullough book “The Wright Brothers” if you want to dig deeper into their story. Also the Air and Space Museum has some great information that can be found from the link above.

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The bike hasn’t changed much in its basic shape over the years. It certainly gotten better and a lot more choices in styles etc.

Bicycle History

A little history of the bicycle again from Wikipedia:

The first verifiable claim for a practically used bicycle belongs to German Baron Karl von Drais, a civil servant to the Grand Duke of Baden in Germany. Drais invented his Laufmaschine (German for “running machine”) of 1817 that was called Draisine (English) or draisienne (French) by the press. Karl von Drais patented this design in 1818, which was the first commercially successful two-wheeled, steerable, human-propelled machine, commonly called a velocipede, and nicknamed hobby-horse or dandy horse.[8] It was initially manufactured in Germany and France. Hans-Erhard Lessing (Drais’ biographer) found from circumstantial evidence that Drais’ interest in finding an alternative to the horse was the starvation and death of horses caused by crop failure in 1816, the Year Without a Summer following the volcanic eruption of Tambora in 1815).[9] On his first reported ride from Mannheim on June 12, 1817, he covered 13 km (eight miles) in less than an hour.[10] Constructed almost entirely of wood, the draisine weighed 22 kg (48 pounds), had brass bushings within the wheel bearings, iron shod wheels, a rear-wheel brake and 152 mm (6 inches) of trail of the front-wheel for a self-centering caster effect. This design was welcomed by mechanically minded men daring to balance, and several thousand copies were built and used, primarily in Western Europe and in North America. Its popularity rapidly faded when, partly due to increasing numbers of accidents, some city authorities began to prohibit its use.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_bicycle

Image Information: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4406665

So now that we have a little of the background stuff out of the way we’ll be sharing quotes and talking about some famous people who ride bicycles.