Bikes on showcase at the Dufferin Historical Museum

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Bicycles have come along way to become the lightweight rides we know them as now.

There were several models of simpler versions of what we now know as bicycles. In the early nineteenth century, the pre-modern bicycle was created by Baron Karl. The Laufmaschine as it was called had two wheels that were held together by a central bar. The rider had to walk or run to gain speed and then lift their legs and cruise till the momentum faded and they had to run again. This design was used for nearly 40 years until Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallemen had an idea that would revolutionize the bicycle industry.

Michaux and Lallemen devised the plan to attach pedals to the front wheel and put the seat for the driver on the support beam. In 1864 their first model was made and proved to be very efficient and easy to make. The design was improved and turned into what is now known as the Boneshaker, the frame was made from iron and started including ball bearings and rubber tires. During the same time period, one of the most popular designs of a bicycle was a model with a larger front wheel. This design was created by Eugene Meyer and mass-produced by James Starley and referred to as the high-wheel bicycle. The high-wheel bicycle had several improved from the boneshaker, including it being more comfortable, having higher speeds and a lighter frame, however, it was difficult to ride up and downhills.

The following bicycle invention which is now known as one of the most important moments in bicycle history is the safety bicycle. This design had a chain that connected the pedals to both the rear wheel and the steerable front wheel. This started the era known as the Golden Age of Bicycles. Since this era the design of bicycles all four basic aspects, safety, speed, comfort, and steering. This era ended in the 1950s during this time however manufacturing costs decreased significantly which increased their use across the world.

The modern age of bicycles started in the 1960s to 70s, just after the golden age of bicycles ended. The new standard types of bicycles include racing bikes, mountain bikes, and BMX and typically have frames made from aluminum and carbon fiber.

The Dufferin Historical Museum has a wide variety of athletic gear which includes a bike with wooden wheels. The Museum is located at 20 Kelly Hand Drive in Carman and has artifacts to pique any interest.

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