In 1897 a wealthy American businessman named Horace Dobbins began construction on an elevated bicycle toll-road planned to stretch from Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles, servicing the 30,000 cyclists in the Los Angeles region. Only 1.25 miles of it was built. Similar modern schemes include the 2004 Velo-city by Toronto architect Chris Hardwicke, Copenhagen’s 2012 […]
The first electric bikes were patented in the 1890s. One 1897 model housed a double electric motor in the crankshaft resembling today’s crank-drive power systems. In 1898 there was an electric bike with a belt-drive to the rear wheel, and in 1899 there was a rear roller-drive.
The health benefits of cycling are remarkable: each hour cycling adds an hour to the average life expectancy, according to David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk. “It’s almost as if time stands still while you’re cycling: you’re not getting any older.”
A non-steerable two-wheeled velocipede appears on the pages of Leonardo da Vinci’s 1492 Codex Atlanticus. Some attributed it to his pupil, Gian Giacomo Caprotti, but scholarly opinion now regards it as a recent forgery perpetrated during the manuscript’s restoration. De Sivrac’s 1791 nonsteerable two-wheeler is likewise considered a fraud. The first bicycle was actually the […]