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The Last Lap - 176

Cycling 1: Development of the Bicycle
The history of cycling, a.k.a. bicycle racing, naturally begins with the history of the bicycle. The development of the modern bike, which seems to us like a fairly simple mechanism, took much longer from conception to full realization than the development of the automobile.

It began in 1690, when the Comte de Sivrac of France came up with a two-wheeled vehicle propelled by the rider, pushing it along with one foot while the other foot rested securely on the backbone connecting the two wheels. He called it a celerifere, or “fast-goer.” We would probably call it a scooter.

Several types of scooters were developed during the 18th century, including one called the velocipede, which was shaped like a small wooden horse. But the first real advance in design wasn't made until 1816, when Baron Karl Drais von Sauerbronn of Mannheim added a padded seat and a steerable front wheel.


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