Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wot! No Helmet?

Found this charming monument in Bar-le-Duc.

From "the Grateful Cyclists of France" to Pierre & Ernest Michaux "Inventors of the Velocipede with Pedals".

Modern historians could probably find prior art somewhere, but the Michaux do seem to have been at least early users of the pedal & crank for propelling what then amounts to a bike in the 1860s.
One of their employees has a US patent for a pedal-powered boneshaker in 1866.

Presumably early cyclists, even in France, were better equipped than the chubby chappie on the monument.

In an unusual reversal of history, a modern bicycle maker has just removed the pedals from a beginner kid's bike to recreate the boneshaker, but with soft tyres & saddle.
The idea is that kids can learn steering & balance without all the hassle & injury potential of pedals.
Safer & more comfortable than a scooter.
Sounds plausible.
See Ridgeback Scoot.

Parting thot: "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." – Albert Einstein

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