Modern road and air transport owes a great deal to the bicycle and to those who experimented on perfecting it.
Some thirty years before the first automobile was built, innovations appeared on bicycles, many of which are built into the design of powered transport today. A few of them are:
Cable control brakes and other units
Variable gears – the foundation of the transmission
Equally important contributions were improvements in the specifications of metals, in machine tools and engineering techniques, and in production methods.
Many of the people who designed and manufactured bicycles went on the design and build the first automobiles. American aviation pioneers Orville and Wilber Wright designed bicycles in their Dayton, Ohio factory that subsequently became a proving ground for airplane components.
Today, bicycle advocates have to lobby government to maintain the cyclist’s rights to be on the road. Many forget it was similar bicycle advocates who were instrumental in getting roads paved in the first place at the turn of the last century. Paved roads that were suitable for the introduction of the automobile.
For the bicycle to receive widespread acceptance it has to be recognized as a viable form of transport and not some recreational toy. It is a pity the people who don’t want bicycles on the roads can’t understand that more people on bicycles equals less cars and less congestion. This of course benefits everyone, especially the person who prefers to drive.
I realize an article like this posted here is preaching to the already converted, however if the bike blogging community do it often enough and well enough eventually the message will creep into the mainstream media.
That will be a good thing.