Riding Through History

As social animals, man has always been prone to live in company, with certain people under certain circumstances. The need to live in a Community or rather Society came as one of the first step towards civilization. With growing population many lands were scaled by mankind, in search of a better place to start a neighborhood, society, then states, nations and continents. As the primitive world started to evolve into a modern and developed world, travelling was an important aspect of it, as different types of vehicles were introduced to ease ones journey. Ships, cars and planes were running on the surface of land, water and even in the air. With the advancement of technology automobiles were being upgraded into smooth gadgets but designs like a bicycle remains evergreen with its user friendly and easy techniques for travelling to local destinations.

The early use of bicycles dates back to almost 200 years, but the design is often said to be found as early as in the 15th century from the unverified sketch of Gian Giacomo Caprotti, a pupil to Leonardo da Vinci. The first verified use of bicycle was found in Germany in the year 1817, Baron Karl von Drais, a civil servant to the Grand Duke of Baden in Germany. Several designs with a combination of bigger wheel in front and smaller at back to enhance the speed were invented in the coming 50-60 years. The ‘Rover’ in 1885 was the first successful ‘safety bicycle’, which proposed the perception of bicycle, from being a toy or used for sporting purposes, it became a vehicle for the everyday life. The ‘Rover’ was designed by John Kemp Starley, a bicycle with similar sized wheels and chain drive to the rear wheel. Bicycles continued to evolve to suit the varied needs of riders. From 20th century to now, Roadster, Flying Pigeon of China, Cruiser and Racer, BMX, mountain bikes scraped the surface of the planet for a whole century.

Last year, United Nations General Assembly declared June 3rd as the World Bicycle Day recognizing "the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation". The first initiative was taken by Professor Leszek Sibilski from the United States along with his Sociology class students, starting a grounded campaign to urge and promote a UN Resolution for World Bicycle Day, which eventually garnered the encouragement and support of 56 countries. World Bicycle Day is celebrated by all, regardless of caste, creed, sex, race etc, and also aware and promotes a healthy lifestyle for those with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The bicycle is a symbol of human progress and advancement has been globally appreciated and supports tolerance, mutual understanding, social inclusion and culture of peace. Bicycles remains an integral part of human’s daily lives even with the advancement in automobiles around us and will steadily lead us to a future of upgrade with the history, riding on its back.

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