“The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine.” – John Howard

Bicycles are without a shadow of doubt a mechanical masterpiece.  This ingenious invention can support as much as 10 times its own weight.  The term bicycle appears to date back to 1860s in France.  However, finding out the history and who is behind this invention is not straightforward as many would assume.  The history of the bicycle is surrounded by much controversy and misinformation.  Among some early unverified claims we can identify a sketch from Gian Giacomo Caprotti, assumed to be from 1534.  Other speculations include claims that Giovanni de la Fontana, an Italian engineer, had already constructed a human-powered vehicle resembling a bicycle back in 1418.  But so far, the first verifiable claim is that Baron Von Drais invented a bicycle made of wood with a steerable front wheel without pedals back in 1817.

Following Von Drais invention, other bike variations started emerging.  For example, in 1839 a Scottish blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan is thought to have invented the first mechanical bicycle that worked by pressing treadles which moved up and down.  Subsequent developments included the invention of the first rear chain driven bicycle by Henry John Lawson in 1879, and the introduction of pneumatic tires in 1888 by John Dunlop.

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