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Yes, there were bicycles in the 1800s. Well, I mean . . . I didn’t have a bike (a horse is so much more fun), but the city folks had them. I rode a bike one time, and that was plenty for me. If you want to read about my experience riding a bicycle in San Francisco, go here. A Bicycle for Andi >> Bicycles are not very practical on a ranch in the hills because you need a smooth, straight pavement of some kind to ride on.
The front wheel of these bikes was enormous, and the back wheel was small. They were called “penny-farthings.” That would be like us in America calling these kinds of bikes “dollar-penny” bikes because of the huge difference in wheel sizes. With a big front wheel, the bicycle could go a lot faster than a bike with two wheels the same size.
Later on (late 1880s), they invented the “safety” bicycle (which makes me think those first bikes were not entirely safe). These bicycles looked like the kind we have today. And it looks like these young women had the “dress” thing figured out just fine. I think that’s why they made the bike bar slanted–to allow for the girls’ skirts.