The origin of the bicycle can be dated back to early 1800s, when Charles, Baron von Drais from Sauerburn created a front wheel with a capability to be steered (Herlihy, 2004). In addition, he provided it with a paddle saddle as well as an arm rest located in front of his body offering him the assistance to exert force against the ground. In 1818, he was granted a patent and moved his Draisienne to the city of Paris, France (Herlihy, 2004). In Paris, the Draisienne was patented again and given another name, velocipede, a term that was used until lates1860s after which the word “bicycle” began to be used.The velocipede became popular in France, and it was migrated to England. Denis Johnson, a London coach maker became one of exponents of the velocipede. Soon, velocipede riders increased in London and even more riding academies were established. In America, W. K. Clarkson, Jr was given the patent for the velocipede on June 26, 1819. In 1868, the enthusiasm among the Americans for the velocipede became immense (Herlihy, 2004). In early 1869, some carriage builders were seen in the streets and several riding academies established in various eastern cities. In addition, the sporting of riding the velocipede became popular notably among Harvard and Yale Universities’ students.
However, the enthusiasm came to an end suddenly as the cycling sport began dying in 1869 (Herlihy, 2004). The decline of the popularity of bicycles is because they cumbersome and heavy. Riding a velocipede required much strength as well as coordination to steer and pedal the front wheel. But, after some modifications on the bicycle were added in England, the Americans’ interest in bicycles rose again. They started importing machines for manufacturing bicycles from England and in 1878, Albert A. Pope started a manufacturing industry for bicycles in Connecticut (Herlihy, 2004). The high-wheel or ordinary bicycle was light and moved fast. Several modifications on the center of gravity and improving the safety of the bicycle were added. Consequently, bicycles, with two small and equal size wheels with a chain driver as well as gears became popular again among the Americans until today.
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