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Uncle Benjen


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The History of the Bicycle (Fun)
Posted 3 years ago by
Uncle Benjen    
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This is Part 1 of a series of pointless, fully plagiarized articles that took zero effort on my part to complete.
Please, enjoy.

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Some of you may be wondering, what is a bicycle??

Well, prepare to be enlightened.

Bicycles, commonly known to normal people as Bikes, are vehicles for human transport that have two wheels and require balancing by the rider. They date back to the early 19th century. The first means of transport making use of two wheels arranged consecutively, and thus the archetype of the bicycle, was the German draisine dating back to 1817. The term bicycle was coined in France in the 1860s.


Earliest unverified history


There are several early but unverified claims for the invention of bicycle-like machines.
The earliest comes from a sketch said to be from 1534 and attributed to Gian Giacomo Caprotti, a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci. In 1998 Hans-Erhard Lessing described this as a purposeful fraud. However, the authenticity of the bicycle sketch is still vigorously maintained by followers of Prof. Augusto Marinoni, a lexicographer and philologist, who was entrusted by the Commissione Vinciana of Rome with the transcription of da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus.
Later, and equally unverified, is the contention that Comte the Sivrac developed a célérifère in 1792, demonstrating it at the Palais-Royal in France. The célérifère supposedly had two wheels set on a rigid wooden frame and no steering, directional control being limited to that attainable by leaning. A rider was said to have sat astride the machine and pushed it along using alternate feet. It is now thought that the two-wheeled célérifère never existed (though there were four-wheelers) and it was instead a misinterpretation by the well-known French journalist Louis Baudry de Saunier in 1891.

China and the Flying Pigeon


My personal favourite bicycle is the Flying Pigeon.

The Flying Pigeon was at the forefront of the bicycle phenomenon in the People’s Republic of China. The vehicle was the government approved form of transport, and the nation became known as zixingche wang guo (自行车王国) — the 'Kingdom of Bicycles'. A bicycle was regarded as one of the three "must-haves" of every citizen, alongside a sewing machine and watch - essential items in life that also offered a hint of wealth. The Flying Pigeon bicycle became a symbol of an egalitarian social system that promised little comfort but a reliable ride through life.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the logo became synonymous with almost all bicycles in the country. The Flying Pigeon became the single most popular mechanized vehicle on the planet, becoming so ubiquitous that Deng Xiaoping — the post-Mao leader who launched China's economic reforms in the 1970s — defined prosperity as "a Flying Pigeon in every household".
In the early 1980s, Flying Pigeon was the country's biggest bike manufacturer, selling 3 million cycles in 1986. Its 20-kilo black single-speed models were popular with workers, and there was a waiting list of several years to get one, and even then buyers needed good guanxi (connections) in addition to the purchase cost, which was about four months' wages for most workers.

The end.

I stole 98% of this from Wikipedia.


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