bicycle poster

By Cornelius Robb
Invention of the Bicycle and Cycling

Bicycles nowadays are taken for granted, but they have not always been around. Here we take a look at the development of the bicycle and the popularity of cycling.

In almost every home in the world there is a bicycle. I am sure we can all remember our very first bicycle, and how we learned to cycle.
My own first bicycle was green, and I still remember the day my father took me to the park to hold on to the back of my bicycle so that I could cycle along the footpath. Suddenly I realised that Dad was not running along beside me! I was cycling alone. Oh the joy, I had finally managed to ride my lovely green bicycle. I was SO happy, I fell off! But as they say once you know how to ride a bicycle, this skill never leaves you, so back I got on my bicycle, to ride home to tell my mother what I had achieved. It was a wonderful day.

Most children own a bicycle, it gives them a taste of independence. As they get older they can cycle to visit their friends and to school, thus relieving their parents of the job of taxi driver.

In fact bicycles only appeared about 170 years ago. The very first bicycle was, invented less than a mile from the park in S W Scotland, where I learned to cycle. It was a cumbersome thing weighing around 57 pounds, made of wood with iron wheel rims.

What do hobby horses and bicycles have in common?

In the 19th century hobby horses were very popular toys. A Blacksmith, Kirkpatrick Macmillan, observed a child playing on a hobby horse, and resolved to make one for himself. He considered the effort involved in making this move along, and came up with the idea of adding pedals to move the back wheel. This evolved into the prototype of the first bicycle.

He became a familiar sight riding his bicycle along the rutted country roads of S W Scotland. Gaining in confidence he went on a journey of over 60 miles to Glasgow which took him 2 days. Upon arrival there, he ran over a child and became the first person to be fined (five shillings) for speeding. It is believed that

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