1800s Bicycles

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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.

It looks like some young women rode “tri-cycles” (3 wheelers) back then. What a contraption that is!
Some bicyclists raced. Notice how they each have someone holding up the bicycles until it’s time to go.

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.

Published by Andi Carter

I'm the main character in the Circle C Adventures series. I live on a huge cattle ranch in 1880s California. These are my adventures.

4 thoughts on “1800s Bicycles

  1. p.s. The story “A Bicycle for Andi” left me laughing–but glad she and Jenny weren’t seriously hurt. Loved it. Good to hear more about Jenny. I liked her a lot from the time she first appeared in San Francisco Smugglers.

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  2. That looks so so so hard. To ride that bike! I love to ride my bike with my mom.🚵🚲🚵

    On Tue, Sep 7, 2021 at 10:04 AM Andi Carter’s Blog wrote:

    > Andi Carter posted: ” 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” >

    Like

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