Photographer's Note

Spotted on a street in Vathi, it really works as a bicycle should but oooooh no springs-a real bone shaker.

The term "velocipede" was coined in 1818 by Nicéphore Niépce to describe his own "improved" version of the Drais Laufmaschine, that included an adjustable saddle. It was, however, almost 40 years until "velocipede" came into common usage as a generic term, with the launch of the first pedal-equipped bicycle, developed by Pierre Michaux, Pierre Lallement and the Olivier brothers in the 1860s. The Michaux company was the first to mass-produce the velocipede, from 1867 to 1870. That French design was sometimes called the boneshaker, since it was also made entirely of wood, then later with metal tires. That in combination with the cobblestone roads of the day made for an extremely uncomfortable ride. These velocipedes also became a fad, and indoor riding academies, similar to roller rinks, could be found in large cities.

During the 1870s advances in metallurgy led to the development of the first all-metal velocipedes. The pedals were still attached directly to the front wheel, which became larger and larger as makers realised that the larger the wheel, the farther you could travel with one rotation of the pedals. Solid rubber tires and the long spokes of the large front wheel provided a much smoother ride than its predecessor. This type of velocipede was the first one to be called a bicycle ("two wheel"), and its shape led to the nickname penny-farthing in the United Kingdom. They enjoyed a great popularity among young men in the 1880s who could afford them.
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Additional Photos by marion morgan (jester5) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 66 N: 610] (2024)
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