Cycling: The Journey of a Healthy, Economical and Pleasant Transportation Vehicle

Buse Selin ESEN

Buse Selin ESEN

26 yaşında. Bilim Uzmanı. 2 kedi, 1 köpek annesi.

Cycling is part of most of us childhood memories. Some of us still use it as a means of transportation. With the development of technology, although the vehicles are also advancing, the bicycle never loses its popularity. Have you ever wondered about the history of this pleasant, environmentally friendly and healthy vehicle? Here is everything you wonder about the bike!

Who invented the bicycle and when?

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There is a difference of opinion in history about when the bicycle was invented. However, the earliest example of bicycle design today dates back to the 1790s. The French Comte de Sivrac designed a two-wheeled vehicle, which he called the ” celeripede “.

What did the first bike look like? How was it working?

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Bicycle designed by Comte de Sivrac

This vehicle had a solid wood frame and had no pedals. He could move by pushing his feet from the sides. Also, this design did not have handlebars or saddles. This vehicle could be steered by tilting the body to the right or left.

How did it come to its present form?

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In 1817, the German Baron Karl Von fitted the handlebars and saddle to Sivrac’s design. This bike design, which he called ” Draisinne “, weighed about 22 kilograms.

This design was also wooden framed and without pedals. Therefore, just like the previous design, using it was very tiring. In addition to the Celeripede, it had iron wheels, rims and a brake.

Later, in 1839, Scottish Kirkpatrick MacMillan added pedals accompanied by iron bars to the center of the bicycle in addition to these designs. It was not like the pedals we know, but it has a very reminiscent design. It was also possible to travel faster this way.

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Bicycle designed by Kirkpatrick MacMillan

Balance problems arose when the bike’s direct thrust was replaced by the pedals. They had spent a long time trying to solve this balance problem. But at that time, it could not become widespread due to many problems such as the friction problem of the wheels and the weight of the bicycle.

Developed by the French Pierre Michaux and his son, the “ velocipede ” designed the pedals fixed to the front wheel. In fact, this design was translated into Turkish as ” velespit “. However, this design still had problems such as weight, balance and handling.

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Pierre Michaux’s son Earnest Michaux “velocipede”

In 1868, another Frenchman, Traffault, covered the wheels with a rubber tire. Thus, the vibration caused by the potholes and bumps on the roads reduced the discomfort to the user.

In the 1870s, an Englishman named James Starley made another design with the thought that it would move faster. The front wheel of this bike was much larger than the rear. In this design, which he called ” penny farthing “, he mounted the pedals to the front wheel. However, as you can see in the image, it was quite difficult to get on and the risk of injury was incredibly high. For this and a few other reasons, this design did not receive much attention.

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Bicycle designed by James Starley

By the end of the 1880s, an English inventor named John Kempp Starley designed the bicycle used today. It put the final point in the design with its equally sized wheels, chain, seat and handlebars. In this way, the bike has become safer, faster and more maneuverable.

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The bicycle designed by John Kempp Starley and considered the forerunner of modern bicycles

What are bicycles used for today?

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The bicycle has become a very comfortable and healthy vehicle thanks to its evolution. It has become a favorite of many people, as it is easy to maintain, does not burn any fuel, and allows people to move. While some use it as a sporting tool, some use it as a means of transportation by integrating it into their own lives.

In fact, in the modernizing world, bicycles are recommended more than other fuel-using passenger vehicles. For this, municipalities include bicycle paths in their city planning.

When you use the bike by following the precautions and rules, you will feel more free and fit!

Let’s end this article with the words of Arthur Conan Doyle, a Scottish-born writer:

When the excitement fades, the day seems dark, the work becomes monotonous, and hope is desperate, get on your bike and hit the road. Don’t think about anything else!


BONUS: A video summarizing the history of the bike:

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