25 Facts About The History Of Bicycles For Bike Enthusiasts

Posted by , Updated on July 19, 2015

Are you a bike rider? Do you ride your bike to work, school, or just use your bike for recreation? If so, then you are probably fairly familiar with the mechanics and the joy of bike riding. However, the invention of the bike has a very interesting history that you, as a bike rider, might find enlightening. With the Tour de France upon us, we’re going to take this opportunity to look at how bicycles not only gave us one of the greatest races ever, but how they changed history! Did you know that bikes were the reason for the pavement of roads? Read on to find out 25 facts about the history of bicycles!

25

First introduced in the 1800s in Europe, today over 1 million bikes have been produced

First introduced in the 1800s in Europe, today over 1 million bikes have been producedSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
24

That's twice as many as the number of cars that have ever been manufactured

That's twice as much as the number of cars that have ever been producedSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
23

In many parts of the world, bikes are the primary mode of transportation

In many parts of the world, bikes are the primary mode of transportationSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
22

The precursor to the bike was the dandy horse, a bike looking vehicle that required the rider to push with his or her feet

The precursor to the bike was the dandy horse, a bike looking vehicle that required the rider to push with his or her feetSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
21

It was introduced in Germany and France in 1817

It was introduced in Germany and France in 1817Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

20

Following this, Frenchmen Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallement decided to put a crank drive with pedals on the dandy horse

Following this, Frenchmen Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallement decided to put a crank drive with pedals on the dandy horseSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
19

This came to be known as the velocipede

This came to be known as the velocipedeSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
18

The first velocipedes were nicknamed boneshakers

The first velocipedes were nicknamed boneshakersSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
17

They got that name because the ride was so uncomfortable

They got that name because the ride was so uncomfortableSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
16

Imagine riding on a wrought iron frame with wooden wheels and tires made of iron.

Imagine ride on a wrought iron frame with wooden wheels and tires made of iron. You'd understand the pain.Source: wikipedia, Image: adamleadbetter via flickr
15

Around this time Kirkpatrick MacMillan, a Scottish blacksmith, received what has been labeled the earliest recorded cycling traffic offence for knocking over a little girl. He also claimed to have invented the first bicycle.

Around this time Kirkpatrick MacMillan, a Scottish blacksmith, received what has been labeled the earliest recorded cycling traffic offence for knocking over a little girl. He also claimed to have invented the first bicycle.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
14

He was fined 5 shillings

He was fined 5 shillingsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
13

The first machine to be called a bicycle, however, was the penny-farthing, which developed out of the French velocipede

The first machine to be called a bicycle was the penny-farthing, which developed out of the French velocipedeSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
12

They typically had larger front wheels

They typically had larger front wheelsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
11

Because the pedals were attached directly to the front wheel, bicycle makers realized that the larger they made that wheel, the farther you could go with each pedal

Because the pedals were attached directly to the front wheel, bicycle makers realized that the larger they made that wheel, the farther you could go with each pedalSource: wikipedia, Image: alpat via flickr
10

The introduction of the penny-farthing coincided with the birth of cycling as a sport

The introduction of the penny-farthing coincided with the birth of cycling as a sportSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
9

In the 1880s, the safety bicycle replaced the penny-farthing as the most popular bike

In the 1880s, the safety bicycle replace the penny-farthing as the most popular bikeSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
8

You can probably guess why the new bike was called a safety bike just by looking at it...the front wheel was no where near as dangerously huge

You can probably guess why the new bike was called a safety bike just by looking at it...the front wheel was no where near as dangerously hugeSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
7

The reason for this was the development of the chain drive. Now the back wheel could provide power and the front wheel could steer

The reason for this was the development of the chain drive. Now the back wheel could provide power and the front wheel could steerSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
6

Bikes have changed little over the course of the last century although bicycles are no longer called "safety-bicycles"

Bikes have changed little over the course of the last century although bicycles are no longer called "safety-bicycles"Source: wikipedia, Image: pexels.com
5

Today, some of the only bicycles that don't follow the diamond-frame, safety-bike model are recumbent bicycles that allow their riders to recline

Today, the only bicycles that don't follow the diamond-frame, safety-bike model are recumbent bicycles that allow their riders to reclineSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
4

Of course hand brakes, gears, and other little add-ons were eventually developed

Of course hand brakes, gears, and other little add-ons were eventually developedSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
3

All of these developments led to the biggest "bike boom" boom on record in the 1890s

All of these developments led to the biggest "bike boom" boom on record in the 1890sSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
2

You probably thought that roads weren't paved until cars came around? Nope! Roads began to be paved because everyone was riding safety bicycles!

You probably thought that roads weren't paved until cars came around? Nope! Roads began to be paved because everyone was riding safety bicycles!Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
1

First organized during this bike boom in 1903, the Tour de France has been held every year since then except for pauses during the World Wars

First organized during this bike boom in 1903, the Tour de France has been held every year since then except for pauses during the World WarsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
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