The History of Cycling in Fifty Bikes
The invention of the bicycle changed history by democratizing travel for the first time. The common man - and importantly the common woman - could now afford to travel at reasonable speed without need of a horse. Instead of walking just ten miles a day on foot, a healthy individual could now ride up to eighty miles on a cycle at a relatively modest cost. Today, despite the prevalence of the car, the bicycle is as important as ever. More cycles appear on city streets each year, offering healthy, pollution-free transport. Commuters cycle to work through congested traffic, urban hire-bike schemes are increasingly common, and the sports of road and track racing continue to gain in popularity.
Tom Ambrose is the author of Hitler's Loss: What Britain and America Gained from Europe's Cultural Exiles, The King and the Vice Queen: George IV's Last Scandalous Affair, The Nature of Despotism: From Caligula to Mugabe, the Making of Tyrants, and Heroes and Exiles: Gay Icons Through the Ages.