Bicycle: The History

This is a fascinating historical tale of the two-wheeler. From the strange prehistory of the bicycle (the first contraptions didn’t even have pedals) through modern technological advances (clipless pedals), we are taken on a ride of global historical context and adventure. The rise and fall of bicycle popularity around the world is neatly mapped. Fads such as—gasp!—women riding bicycles, long-distance touring, pleasure riding and racing are woven around patent disputes, manufacturing failures and public-relations disasters. Herlihy paints the reactions of the press through collected snippets from newspapers and journals that either praise or dismiss the various inventions introduced to the public. Of the high-mount cycles—those contraptions with the giant front wheel—one journal stated they were for “amusement and nothing more.” Visually stimulating, the book is thick with historical advertisements, cartoons, photographs and artwork. Great for the bicycle aficionado or anyone who loves a highly detailed read.