B. Ashok (PG2008-019)
Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies
P. O. Yantrapur, Harihar – 577602, India
The Bicycle has had a considerable effect on human society, in both the cultural and industrial realms. Bicycles were introduced in 19th century and now number about one billion worldwide. Around the turn of 20th century, bicycles helped reduce crowding in inner-city tenements by allowing workers to commute from more spacious dwelling in the suburbs. Bicycles allowed people to travel for leisure into the country, since bicycles were three times as energy efficient as walking, and three to four times as fast. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions. They also form a popular part form of recreation, and have been adapted for such uses as children’s toys, adult fitness, military and police applications and competitive sports.
Recently, several European cities have implemented successful schemes, known as Community bicycle programs or bike-sharing schemes. These initiatives are designed to complement a city's public transport system and offer an alternative to motorized traffic to help reduce congestion and pollution. Users can take a bicycle at a parking station, use it for a limited amount of time, and then return it to the same or a different, station. Bicycles also offer an important mode of transport in many developing countries. Until recently, bicycles have been a staple of everyday life throughout Asian countries. They are the most frequently used method of transport for commuting to work, school, shopping, and life in general. As a result bicycles there are almost always equipped with baskets and back seats.
2. History of Bicycle:
1. The Walking Machine
In 1817 Baron von Drais invented a walking machine that would help him get around the royal gardens faster: two same-size in-line wheels, the front one steerable, mounted in a frame which you straddled. The device was propelled by pushing your feet against the ground, thus rolling yourself and the device forward in a sort of gliding walk. It was made entirely of wood. This enjoyed a short lived popularity as a fad, not being practical for transportation in any other place than a well maintained pathway such as in a park or garden.
2. The Velocipede or Boneshaker
The next appearance of a two-wheeled riding machine was in 1865, when pedals were applied directly to the front wheel. This machine was known as the velocipede ("fast foot"), but was popularly known as the bone shaker, since it was also made entirely of wood, then later with metal tires, and the combination of these with the cobblestone roads of the day made for an extremely uncomfortable ride.
3. The High Wheel Bicycle
In 1870 the first all metal machine appeared. (Previous to this metallurgy was not advanced enough to provide metal which was strong enough to make small, light parts out of.) The pedals were still attached directly to the front wheel with no freewheeling mechanism. Solid rubber tires and the long spokes of the large front wheel provided a much smoother ride than its predecessor. The front wheels became larger and larger as makers realized that the larger the wheel, the farther you could travel with one rotation of the pedals. This machine was the first one to be called a bicycle ("two wheels"). Because the rider sat so high above the center of gravity, if there’s an obstruction, the entire apparatus rotated forward on its front axle, and the rider was dropped.
4. The High Wheel Tricycle
While the men were risking their necks on the high wheels, ladies, confined to their long skirts and corsets, could take a spin around the park on an adult tricycle. These machines also afforded more dignity to gentlemen such as doctors and clergymen. Many mechanical innovations now associated with the automobile were originally invented for tricycles....