The Bicycle is Born

220px-Drais

Like many of the world’s greatest inventions, the machine that gave rise to what we know as the bicycle was born of necessity. A string of poor harvests in Europe from 1812 led a German civil servant to develop a human-powered form of transportation to counter the reliance on horses, which were in short supply due to a scarcity of animal fee. Karl von Drais christened his 1817 invention the Laufmaschine (running machine), after the swift walking movement required of the rider in order to propel it forward.

Although his invention lacked pedals, Drais’ breakthrough was the realization that forward motion and balance could be maintained on just two wheels, an idea that he attributed to watching ice skaters. The Laufmaschine – also call the draisine, velocipede, or dandy horse –  quickly caught on, sparking a craze across Europe. By the 1820s, however, it had died out because of safety concerns.

The idea was revived in the 1860s, when pedal cranks were added to the front wheel of a velocipede in Paris. The inventor of this revolutionary improvement is not known – several claims were made in subsequent decades, none were proven beyond a doubt – but the first manufacturer to produce such machines on a organized scale was  Pierre Machaux, in 1867. Like Drais’ Laufmaschine before it, the pedal velocipede – soon named the “boneshaker” after its jarring ride – was instantly popular. For the first time, people could propel themselves while balancing on two wheels, with their feet off the ground. The bicycle was born!

-From Bicycle, The Definitive Visual History

Grab your Biking Friends and Form a Team for the Biketober Challenge

City of Decatur BIKETOBER final

Have you formed your team yet? The City of Decatur has a team of staff and friends, so why not form a team and see if you can win some prizes? All you have to do is ride for 10 or more minutes to log your ride. The more you ride, the more chances to win.

Your rides automatically sync if you use one of the cycling aps such as ride Report or Strava. Grab your friends and create your team here.

Biketober – Take the Challenge!

The City of Decatur is participating in the annual Atlanta Bike Challenge: Biketober

Bike Ride and Info October 6th
Join us on Friday, October 6th for a “warm-up” ride and a chance to register yourself and/or a team of up to 8 riders. Join Decatur Active Living, Bicycle South and GA Commute Options for information, a chance to register, and some free goodies. Then at 6:30 pm we will take a ride to get warmed-up! There will be an option of a 2 mile or an 8 mile ride, so everyone can participate.

Register!
The City of Decatur has formed a City Employee Team, so compete against us! Learn more and register today at http://www.atlbikechallenge.com. You may win a great prize!

For more information on bicycling in Decatur contact Cheryl.burnette@decaturga.com or visit http://www.decaturga.com/biking.

Want to learn more about bike safety? We have a Bicycling Smart Class on October 21 at 10 am with Nedra Deadwyler. The cost is only $10.

Biketober_ATL_Poster