The birth of the Bike

Have you ever wondered when did this two (or three) wheeled magic was invented? Do you remember that joy of the first time ever being able to ride and pass the wind! It was magical!!! Who could have thought of this?

And well, there isn’t one person to point at. Everyone in search of faster and cheap transportation are the inventors of what we use today for fun, for commute or for travelling!

First sketch of the bike in XVI century
First bike sketch

First bike sketch back in XVI century probably by L. da Vinci

I doubted it can be true but the only name of inventor I had in my mind was my favorite one Leonardo da Vinci. Such a versatile man we should be thankful for so many things we don’t even have an idea. Could it have been him sketching the bike? And I was sort of right or close to the truth!

It isn’t so clear who’s sketch was it, it is only known it was found after his death and it was found in the Codex Atlanticus of Leonardo da Vinci. It was already back then in XVI century people were dreaming about it!

Running bike

But it took a while to construct something similar to a bike… and Germans as often here could be called the first initiators with their Laufmaschine – two wheel peddles pusher like the one little toddlers in Germany are happy with. And why not to be: two joys at once – running and biking! When I first came to Germany and saw these little bikes-pushers I was so envy I hadn’t had one when I was growing.

The time that bike came into public was in 1818 in France according to Wikipedia and well the capture below shows exactly the same year depicting french enjoying a ride in Luxemburg Gardens in Paris. And I think it also shows that the danger bumping in the trees, there in the background..

Draisine, First Bike, Laufmaschine

First bikes so called ‘Dandy Horse’, ‘Draisine’ or ‘Laufmaschine’ in German.

The genesis of the bike

And since the first attempt loads of versions or prototypes appeared and models where fast changing. Let’s have a look and well, a laugh 🙂

However notice the last version showed, it will already look familiar. Indeed it is 1890’s when the bike got the form we use even nowadays. And that’s the time the ‘Bike Boom’ happened.


What do you think?