Bicycle The History David V. Herlihy

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
30 Jun 2006
ISBN:
9780300120479
Dimensions:
480 pages: 254 x 177 x 23mm
Illustrations:
98 b/w and 115 colour illustrations

During the nineteenth century, the bicycle evoked an exciting new world in which even a poor person could travel afar and at will. But was the "mechanical horse" truly destined to usher in a new era of road travel or would it remain merely a plaything for dandies and schoolboys? In Bicycle: The History (named by Outside magazine as the #1 book on bicycles), David Herlihy recounts the saga of this far-reaching invention and the passions it aroused. The pioneer racer James Moore insisted the bicycle would become "as common as umbrellas." Mark Twain was more skeptical, enjoining his readers to "get a bicycle. You will not regret it-if you live." Because we live in an age of cross-country bicycle racing and high-tech mountain bikes, we may overlook the decades of development and ingenuity that transformed the basic concept of human-powered transportation into a marvel of engineering. This lively and engrossing history retraces the extraordinary story of the bicycle-a history of disputed patents, brilliant inventions, and missed opportunities. Herlihy shows us why the bicycle captured the public's imagination and the myriad ways in which it reshaped our world.

David V. Herlihy is a historian and freelance writer. He has been interested in bicycle technology since his days as a member of the Harvard Cycling Club, and for the past decade he has researched extensively the invention and early development of the bicycle. His work has been featured on National Public Radio and Voice of America and in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, and Historic Preservation. In 1999 Herlihy received the McNair History Award from the Wheelmen, the preeminent American association of antique bicycle collectors. He lives in Hull, Massachusetts.

'Herlihy has an imaginative line in social commentary - he credits bikes for a drop in insanity caused by rural inbreeding - but the real appeal of his book is the pictures, copious and colourful, many of them turn of the century ads featuring naked women whizzing along happily, handlebar in one hand, glass of wine in the other.'- Evening Standard, 16th October 2006