· Bicycle “democratised” UK mobility: 19th Century – the bicycle took the place of the stagecoach as the most successful vehicle, costing £20 compared to £1,900 for a horse. Therefore mobility became available to the broad mass of citizens
· The Penny Farthing: 1830 – 1881 – James Starley, the father of the British cycling industry and the first bicycle manufacturer in the UK, invents the Penny Farthing (or high wheeler) – a bizarre shape that somebody suggested looked like a penny followed by a farthing
· First folding bicycle: 1878 – Englishman William Henry James Grout (1839–1915) patented the world’s first “portable penny-farthing”. His bike can be looked at as a sort of ancestor of the modern folding bikes
· First chain-driven bicycle: 1879 – Henry Lawson (1852–1925) patented in the UK
· Safety bike is born: 1885 – John Kemp Starley (1855-1901) modelled the first “safety bike” with a diamond frame (the same shape that is still used nowadays)
· First eBikes being developed: 1895 – several inventors applied for patents for the first bicycles with electric motors. However, they did not get off the ground due to the substantial weight of the electrically driven bikes and the lack of battery range
· Bosch make dynamo bike light: 1923 – consisting of a dynamo and a headlamp; more than 20 million of these were manufactured between then and the 1960s
· Bosch first eBike: 2009 – by 2012 Bosch eBike Systems startup had established itself as the European market leader in the premium segment
Despite seeing pedal bikes get lighter, stiffer and more expensive over the years, they’ve remained similar to the first of its kind. The future is certainly electric for the bicycle as were seeing more and more e-bikes hitting our streets and our trails.
So what better way to celebrate this monumental day than to ride your bicycle and remember the journey, heritage and pride it marries together.