Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Leonardo da Vinci sketched a facsimile of the modern bicycle in 1490 but never built it. Another precursor was the celerifere of 1790, which lacked steering. The first bicycle was Baron Karl Drais von Sauerbronn's wooden Draisienne , which debuted in Paris in 1818. Also called the hobbyhorse or running machine, the Draisienne was steerable and had two in-line wheels on a frame that the rider straddled as he walked. In 1839 Kirkpatrick Macmillan, a Scottish blacksmith, created a wooden self-propelled bike that weighed 56 pounds and used swinging cranks on the front wheel to power rods linked to levers on the rear wheel. Pierre and Ernest Michaux built the velocipede, or boneshaker, in 1865—a two-wheeled riding machine with pedals on the front wheel. Also made of wood, with wooden tires initially and metal tires later, the velocipede was a rough ride on the era's cobblestone streets. For some time, ...