The History of the Bicycle
1839 Kirkpatrick MacMilan of Scotland adds cranks and treadmills to the rear axle of a two-wheeled vehicle, but gains only local notoriety.
1858 Pedals are added to the front wheel of a two-wheeled machine, creating a bone-jarring machine challed the velocipede or "boneshaker."
1869 Solid rubber tires replace iron velocipede tires and the term "bicycle" is first used.
1872 The Ariel, the first high-wheel Ordinary, is manufactured in Britian.
1877 First U.S.-made Ordinary manufactured.
1880 League of American Wheelmen is founded and begins lobbying for better roads.
1884 Thomas Stevens pedals across the United States --from Oakland, California, to Boston Massachusetts. J. K. Starley invents the "safety bicycle."
1889 Pneumatic rubber tires invented.
1894 Fashion designers re-introduce the bloomer costume, freeing women from the restrictive corsets and dress of the time.
1895 Chicago puts its mailmen on bicycles; the price of a good-quality horse reaches a new low; four schoolmarms stir up controversy by wearing bloomers to work.
1896 Margaret Valentine Le Long rides from Chicago to San Francisco; coaster brakes are invented; Henry Ford builds his first succesful automobile.
1898 Bicyles' popularity in the United States declines.
1899 "Mile-a-Minute" Murphy sets a bicycle speed record -- one mile in 57.75 seconds.
1903 Bicycle mechanics Wilbur and Orville Wright fly 120 feet in the first succesful airplane.
1962 New bicycle boom begins.
1972 Bicycles outsell cars in the United States --13 million to 11 million; bicycle thefts account for 17% of all larcenies in the U.S.
1973 Dr. Allan Abbott sets a bicycle speed record, reaching 138.674 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
1975 First Internation Human Powered Speed Championships held.
1976 2,000 cyclists celebrate the Bicentennial by riding across America.
1984 The road race becomes the first women's cycling event at the Olympics.
1985 John Howard of the US sets a new bicycle speed record of 152.284 mph. The first person to go over 150 miles an hour on a bicycle.
1995 Fred Rompelberg of the Netherlands sets a new bicycle speed record of 166.9 mph. At the time, he was 50 years old, and the world's oldest professional cyclist.
1996 Mountain biking introduced as an Olympic sport