The Geeky-but-Cool History of the Bike

Posted on Nov 19 2014 - 10:30am by Johnny B

OK, so I’m venturing a little outside my typical niche with this article, but that’s only because it involves my third passion (after my kids and cooking): cycling. I’ve loved cycling since I was a kid, be it road cycling or mountain biking, and I find it’s one of my kids’ favourite family activities – and a great way to keep us all fit!

Before motorbikes and electric bikes, penny farthings, and mountain bikes, there was the Draisine. This was way back in 1817. If the history of bicycles is something that interests you then don’t forget to check out the infographic at the end of this article as it takes you a full ‘cycle’ through the history of one of man’s greatest inventions.

But I will also talk about it in little detail here. To say, the bicycle has been in use for transportation and recreation for over 200 years. Its origins can be traced back to the early 19th century when German inventor Karl von Drais invented the walking machine, also known as the “running machine”.

This was later improved upon in the 1860s with the addition of pedals and a chain, leading to the creation of the first true bicycle. Over the years, bicycles have undergone many advancements and innovations, from the introduction of the safety bicycle in the 1880s to the development of modern high-tech e-bikes (like these electric bikes san francisco made, for instance).

Today, bicycles remain a popular form of transportation and recreation, and their use has been encouraged as a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to cars. Needless to say, bicycles and e-bikes are an affordable and efficient forms of transport that can help reduce emissions and traffic congestion. They also provide health benefits, such as improved fitness and cardiovascular health, and can serve as a form of relaxation and recreation.


A Gumtree graphic - The history of the bike

The History of the Bike is a graphic produced by