It all started with The Walking Machine

No Pedals

The first bike design we can find is The Walking/Running Machine.  Designed by Baron vo Drais, the 2 wheeled machine had no pedals and was designed by von Drais as a way to get around his royal properties.


After a volcanic erruption of Tambora, von Drais had a major crop failure due to the volcanic cloud and dust.  Needing a way to quickly check on his crops von Drais knew he needed something other than a horse, so he set to work designing a new way of travel. His first recorded ride on his new machine is listed as 1817.  That day he was able to travel 8 miles in less than an hour.

Constructed of wood, the machine had brass bushings in the iron wheels, a rear wheel brake and 6 inches of trail off the front for apparent centering and it weighed 48 pounds.

von Drais patented his machine in 1818.  Called the Draisine it was the first commercially successful 2 wheeled, human powered and steerable bike.

Several thousand of the machines were made for Western European and North American markets.

After an increasing amount of accidents, the machine was prohibited in many cities.

So, during National Bike Month, you can thank the volcano Tambora and good ole’ Baron von Drais.

We’ve come a long way!

Read more about the 1st bikes at the Wikipedia page “History of the Bicycle

This weekend is Tour de Bloom in Wenatchee



Have you started your WIBC Most Miles in May yet?  

Click >here to get the links you’ll need to start logging and tracking your National Bike Month rides.  

Getting the kids ready for Bike to School Day May 8th?  

Visit our Whidbey Safe School Routes >here


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