German City Celebrates 200th Anniversary Of The Bicycle - Sundiata Tech


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Saturday, June 10, 2017

German City Celebrates 200th Anniversary Of The Bicycle

Mannheim (Germany) -   The bicycle – arguably one of the lowest-tech items around, yet ingenious in its simplicity,  is marking its 200th anniversary on Saturday.

A bicycle, also called a cycle or bike, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other.

The first means of transport and thus the archetype of the bicycle, was the German draisine, dating back to 1817, in spite of the fact that the term bicycle was coined in France in the 1860s.

Historians pretty much agreed to a German, Baron Karl von Drais, who, on June 12, 1817, climbed aboard his two-wheeled “running machine” for a test scoot in his home town of Mannheim, in South-Western Germany.

With a wooden frame, two cast-iron wheels and no pedals, the “Draisine,” as the Germans called it, was patented by the baron in 1818.

The nobleman’s hobby horse was not a commercial success, but, in a manner of speaking, the bicycle was off and running.

Meanwhile, dozens of events have started in Mannheim, including a stunt show put on by cyclists from Belgium.

However, the highlight is a folding bike race around the city’s water tower in which some 200 people are set to take part.

Thomas Kosche of the city’s Technoseum technical museum, told newsmen that today’s Fixie, a single-speed, fixed-gear bike, is astonishingly similar to a bicycle that came onto the market around 1890.

Kosche said it could be debated whether Baron von Drais’s running machine, weighing some 25 kilogrammes, with a frame made chiefly of ashwood, really provided the engineering foundation for the later development of the bicycle.

However, he said that Baron’s basic idea of a steering fork and two aligned wheels to give gyroscopic stability, is unchanged to this day.

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