What Improvements Have Been Made to The Bicycle

Competitions on balance bike

It may be clear that such a flood the first British games not left long in coming. Had done so, without exception, the races track surfaces that preached here specifically for paper exam in a park or any other large, open spaces. The distances were short, around mile, and the games had an unofficial character.

In England would in addition, cycling still confined to long track races, including early versions of a six day. Interestingly, the British bike here actually still dominated by. along with the former colony of Autsralië it is one of the few countries where the job has run more of the body than the road race.So it goes back to an old tradition!

In France, another country where the bike was soon popular, but things could take a different turn. It was not even in the era of balance bike, which lasted in the 60s of the 19th century. Even in France for handcar little else than to play unofficial job competitions at the Park.

Improvements in Cycling


In 1861, it was the first successful stage cycle is constructed by wheel maker Ernest Michaux from Bar-le-Duc. This became known as velocipeden. Again, there were several attempts made by others, but these bikes was very difficult to get started.
Michaux came with massive trappers who were attached to the front wheel with cranks from e Bicycle Lights, a site offering bike spoke lights. The rear wheel was slightly smaller than the front wheel. The saddle was all leading to a long beam that was mounted on the front frame and supported on the rear wheel. The steering wheel has a handle and a brake mounted on the back, caught by a drawstring at the wheel, and could therefore be used. This cycle, initially mostly of wood, it weighed 40 kilos and was certainly not small in size.

boy Michaux Vélocipède in the years that followed brought many improvements. In 1866, the velocipeden was also a significant metamorphosis. He was completely out of iron, the wheel was still slightly smaller and sleeker design.

At the same time admire the bike already are becoming more common on the streets of Paris, and became the name “velociped” set up. Year 1867 showed Michaux three of his bicycle kick at the world exhibition in Paris. It floated in order.

Track races

Of course there are also referred to in this brand new type of bike to determine who is the fastest to arrive. Initially, the same as at balance bike, through amicable job races scattered around the country. But soon it became a serious issue.

On May 31, 1868, organized the first two official bike races in Paris. It was, like most initiatives in this area, a question about bicycle promotion. The prizes were handed out by the Compagnie Parisienne Olivier Frères, the company that all the cyclists in your family Michaux had taken over. Napoleon III, the new vehicle carried a warm heart, would present the medals.

The games were in the Saint-Cloud park near Paris, where normally the horse races were organized.Probably had the local bookmakers have also benefited. Therefore, perhaps there were two separate races instead of a long. The distance between the two games was 1200 metres.

Although this obscurity has become the first bike race was won by a Polocini. The second race was won by residents in France Briton James Moore. Apparently he, despite its origins more to the imagination of the audience, where he soon came into the books as the first winner of the first official cycle race, whereas this is not true. Maybe he owed the honour of his charisma.

This does not mean that the Parisian public about both events fell into Rapture. For many, it was a completely new spectacle and people were deeply impressed by the strength and skill of the participants.

The result was that the games generated a lot of publicity and went from a huge impact. Suddenly followed both in France and in other European countries the matches in quick succession.

The crowd flocked to this in such abundance that the better cyclist quickly from its price could live.In addition, the drivers were then also contributions from the manufacturers of their cycle, because they did so good advertising for the product. James Moore, who would be the greatest champion, was still pretty rich. The cyclist was so from the beginning a professional.


Despite all the successes of the velocipeden was also a suitable opponent. In a way, it was understandable; The bikes were often a danger on the road, because many people could not handle it and move some bikes had no brakes.
In addition, but we did also see ghosts. So some doctors noticed the bike as a serious threat to reproduction in both men and women. Others saw constant friction in the saddle like a zefbevredigende plot and therefore contrary to morality. There was also a group of people who are unhealthy excess weight required physical effort. The famous criminologist Lombroso also believed that such action would strengthen the criminal and aggressive tendencies.
No wonder that organize the supporters of the cycle itself decided in clubs. Some French clubs also belsoten to publish a magazine to promote velociped. Aanvnakleijk these leaves covered but too few readers.

That brought Parisian newspaper Le velocipeden Illustré “we think of a stunt far 1869. Something that was good for both bike and blade. So was born the idea of a bicycle race on public roads. And not one of a kilometre or whatever, but when a firm drive from Paris to Rouen approximately 123 kilometres.

It was a big jump in the deep end. The longest matches until then had been about 5 km, and therefore, they had no idea what would happen to the participants in such a long race.
To fully understand that we must also reflect on the exact circumstances. The bikes at the time was large, weighing about 30 kg and was difficult to control. The drove of naked rims, because the tire is still waiting for the invention. The phenomenon of “sports” might as well have never heard. They took part in a competition in their best clothes, because, after all, a lot of people watched. The roads were uneven and often of poor quality. Who had to eat or drink had to turn itself into a catering facility on the go. And who was wrong on the equipment, had to figure out myself.

However, all this would not prevent the company count with a lot of enthusiasm. Bicycle Constructors thronged to recruit champions for their products. The crowd rushed to the Le velocipeden Illustré “buy and lots of the attendees wanted to challenge.

Moore after Paris-Rouen Finally appeared in november a mixed group of 198 participants at the start of the Paris-Rouen. Among them were professional drivers also amateurs, two women, circus artists and aristocrats incognito.

The bikes were uneven. Not only because each manufacturer had their own ideas, but also because it except two-wheelers too many three-wheelers first appeared at the beginning, then also a common type of bicycle.

On the adventure that went through them on the way, one can imagine everything. Only the winner was not a surprise. James Moore had, including breaks, 10 hours and 40 minutes into the first, and by a wide margin to end. And so he was the first winner of the very first bike race on the road, and also the first really big star.
The last participant who reached the goal in Paris, Rouen, a week after Moore came in.
In principle, more games run on the road below, but none of these would quickly experience a second edition. This was due largely to the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in July 1870, making the Organization of vägraces is seriously hampered.
Aside from the track cycling but quickly gained popularity with the emergence of specific spårytor. In England despite velodromes constructed with ascending curves. The advantages were that we could achieve a much higher rate and that the public could follow the race really.

Road race, when the novelty had worn off, has been less of a spectacle. Finally, both spectators and racers then have not the slightest idea of tactics, and there was no way to track betting turnover battle. It was only afterwards read in a newspaper what had happened. The long distance race was at this time still only a war of attrition for individuals.


This does not mean that both types of racing competition now born after the war and road race would come back to the show to grow eventually permanently above the track started.
In the 80s of the 19th century gave the bike a new impetus with the arrival of “the bee, a bike where you can cycle along faster than the driven velocipede. Read more about this in the article: the ordinary, the first racing bike.