Gymnacyclidium

That’s quite a velocipede indeed!

Gymnacyclidium

Gymnacyclidium – This sounds like something for which you could be administered a shot to clear it up.  I thought these monstrosities worth looking at for the danger factor if nothing else.  Let’s hope the young lady is wearing adequate undergarments as it seems certain she will be taking a spill or two in the very near future.  I do like the curly cue fender thingy on the front though.

A bit of history about the bicycle: Invented more-or-less as we know it around 1817 with various propulsion systems added from about 1839 through the 1860s when bikes became more like what we know today.  A major step forward occurred in 1888 when Dunlop developed the pneumatic tire, making cycling more comfortable and practical.

The Rover Safety Bicycle 1886.

Another Early Bicycle

“Any Boy can learn himself to ride in a few hours…”

I am a fan of cycling and have a special place in my heart for the old contraptions from the early days.  Based on the enormous price, the one pictured below must have been a rich kid’s toy.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics $25 in 1869 is the equivalent of $432 today.

However, this model was a truly cutting-edge machine as it has pedals.  Pedals were added to the coasting “balance bicycle” in the 1860s taking this otherwise limited toy into the realm of a true form of transportation.  It’s good to note that the early “bone-shakers” were generally made of wood and were only made from metals sometime after 1870 as the technology became available.

From the March 1869 issue of Harper’s New Monthly magazine, found HERE.

Presented here are a few more gentlemen on velocipedes from an 1868 Harper’s Magazine for your viewing pleasure.

Finally, by the 1890s, bicycle sales were catering to women as well as men (and other children) and like the ad says, “Perfection Attained” in the Crescent Bicycle.

From the April 1895 issue of The Delineator.

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Have a Look at the Racy “Waverley Belle” Velocipede

Are you aware, gentle reader, that the bicycle is closely associated with women’s liberation, the suffragettes, and other forms of late 19th century promiscuity and other offensive behaviors among the fair sex?  Or that a truly rideable modern velocipede machine post-dates practical flying machines?  Warning – a little tasteful nudity ahead.

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Oh! Those suffragettes.  They appear to be incorrigible once they have unbridled transport.

Bicycling was the final straw, so to speak, giving women the excuse to wear (godforbid) trousers, freedom to travel, shop, and generally sever the ties that kept them at home in a modern world.  I am digressing and that will require and entirely separate post, but to the wonderful Waverley Belle…

The following immensely popular sales announcement (to judge by the frequency with which it is displayed) is from a different era of madmen advertisers.  I suspect this titillating placard was intended for a gentleman’s magazine; to be perused at the club or in the office, out of sight from young, impressionable eyes.  I mean, who wants their kid lusting after a seductive beauty at this price?  This ad is clearly appealing to those who are looking get a well-built machine under them with the intent to while away a glorious afternoon.

Go away kids, get your own toys.waverlyBelle She is certainly a superbly constructed beauty comprised of artistic lines and I suspect, is a wonderful ride indeed.  The Victorians clearly appreciated a larger, sturdy frame.  Of course, this one is mostly obscured by the lovely lady acting as a prop (these high-wheelers often had no kickstand you see).

waverleyWaverly (of the Indiana Bicycle Company) seems to have been a high-end and innovative company venturing into automobiles in the heady days of innovation before the Great War in Europe.

Waverley1895-8-9MMThese Indiana boys were not just catering to the men.  In fact, it seems they seem to be early schemers in the arena of target marketing; catering to the tastes of ladies and gentlemen alike from Indianapolis, Indiana to Medford, Oregon and beyond (e.g., France).  These high-end beauties are a bit on the light-heavyweight side compared to our current tastes but are remarkably robust machines offering sturdiness and a joyful ride for a new and modern age.

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Innovation was the by-word in Industrialized America and Waverley was in the game.  Here’s a couple other, family oriented offerings they produced; not bicycles though.

Anyway, I needed to get some of this curated artwork out into the world and my love of cycling has grown inversely to the amount that my current living situation allows it to actually happen without misery, pain, or more likely death.

Below are some gratuitous images of the state of the world once women gain their mobility, trousers, and the right to vote.  Bicycles have been associate with modern thinking, fun, liberation, and even sexual freedom for a long time now.  Enjoy these immodest pictures.

And finally, while doing a bit of late-night image research to establish a firm date for the ad above, I came across the original image used for the Waverley Poster:

waverlyBelle2It doesn’t appear to be a particularly practical outfit for cycling.  Must be French.  I hope to get a load of other images from the era posted in the near future.

Interesting submissions are always welcome

I am pining for the day soon ahead when the freedom of cycling will be back in my life.

The Bicycle Machines of Guatamala

I wrote a little something about this a while back; see the post about the BicimáquinasMatt, from Makeshift sent me this link and asked me to share it.  Have a look.  It is pretty inspiring to see Makers of this caliber.

From their YouTube page:

“Power Hackers, a series made in collaboration with Autodesk, profiles unexpected makers and designers who are developing creative climate solutions.

This video profiles the inspiring work of Maya Pedal, a Guatemalan organization that produces “bicimaquinas,” or bicycle-powered machines. The income-generating devices range from blenders to milling machines. Along with clever engineering, director Mario Juarez has succeeded in fostering pride in the community’s work.

Makeshift is a field guide to hidden creativity. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to follow original series like Power Hackers.”

While you’re at it, have a look at their quarterly magazine at http://mkshft.org.

Camper Bicycle

I would love a human-powered world with creatures like this filling our highways, quietly and without belching exhaust into the air.  Maybe we wouldn’t need to expend all our resources and youth expanding the empire to secure our ever-growing need for oil overseas.

bikecamperAs things stand today, there are few roads you could safely travel with this beast. But I’m just a dreamer.  Is that window a subtle Oregon “O”?

Found here: http://mooiefietsennicebikes.tumblr.com/post/87924151197/camperbike

The Micro Airstream Bike Camper

Paul Elkins seems to be quite an inventor and a talented Maker.  Here is an ingenious and practical shelter he created that weighs only 45 pounds (20 kg).

profileTiny indeed but I love the low profile.  Wind resistance is everything with human power.

rearobliqueGreat combination of high and low visibility here.  Automobile drivers are the biggest concern for cyclists and it is good to be seen on the road.  When I was a full-time cyclist I was hit several times.

interiorExtremely simple furnishings; lightweight plastic bins, some tiny cabinets, a small stove and speakers.

rearobliquescaleWith the builder modelling for scale, the pod seems rather small.  However, it provides a simple shelter from the weather and a place to keep some gear.  Have a look at the summary HERE and check out his older work on the BLOG.

Revisiting the Enchanted Bike Wagon

I have mentioned this unique little wagon before but it is worth revisiting as a near perfect mini traveller’s wagon.  Günther Lorenz, a maker from Bayern designed and built this bike-towed caravan without a plan or significant financial outlay.
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It makes me happy to know that this was built, fueled by beer and a dream, in three weeks worth of evenings.  It weighs in at 55 kilograms empty (120 pounds) so it isn’t exactly light-weight but provides the comforts of a dry bedroom while on the road.

0035The body is 2 meters long by 1.04 meters wide (79 by 41 inches).  The frame is constructed from 20 mm square steel tubing welded together and the 5 bows are made from 8 mm tubing covered with garden hose.  The whole thing runs on 28″ wheels.

0008If you’re looking to build something like this, head over to Günther’s web page for a more complete photo-set.  They’re thumbnailed on his page but can be downloaded and viewed at higher resolution.

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Click the image to view the rest of the images.  His website is in German but the photos speak for themselves.