by Kathryn Burling

It's year 2017, and that means on this day 200! years ago the bicycle, originally known as the "Laufsmaschine" was ridden by Baron Karl von Drais for the first time! So grab a beer and go hit the trails. After all, it is your bikes birthday. And that's a reason to celebrate if you ask me. But first! Get a quick history lesson.

It was June 12th 1917 when Draisine headed out for a 5 mile journey, taking him just under an hour, documenting this as his first ride on his new two-wheeled invention. Being made of wood and lacking pedals, gears, and a whole lot of other common day parts this was a bicycle that one pushed along the ground at the time. At first glance, the original bike remind me of the common day Strider. In case you're curious as to where the name came from, Laufmaschine translates to running machine in German. And for all you weight-weenies, this sucker weighed in at 66 pounds.

More interesting than Draisine's full name (Karl Friedrich Christian Ludwig, Freiherr) is the reasoning as to why Draisine invented the bike in the first place; it was as a response to an environmental crisis. Due to Mount Tambora exploding a couple of years prior, there was so much ash and sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere that 1816 was declared as the year without summer. This caused some issues. Sorry PETA, but due to a lack of food, most of the horses were slaughtered became dinner for their owners. And due to the uhm...impetuous...lack of horses and one mans brilliant idea to put one wheel behind another during a crisis... we have the bicycle! To say the least, the bicycle has come a far way since Draisine's days. 

Got a minute (and 7 seconds)? Check out this video on the full Evolution of the Bicycle. 


Still feeling studious? Learn more on the History of the Bicycle here

Enough history for me for the day. Happy Birthday to our beloved friend, the bicycle. 


Kathryn Burling
Kathryn Burling


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