Saturday, 12 January 2013

A short history of the bicycle

The word ‘bicycle’ comes from the Greek ‘bi’ (meaning two) and ‘cyclos’ (unicycles stuck together). The bicycle was originally intended as a weapon, but proved unpopular due to its inability to fire bullets, and being ‘a bit too heavy to throw’. It’s a lesser-known fact that covering a bike’s frame in leopard print velour makes it levitate, while covering a bike’s seat in superglue makes you a prick.

Today the bicycle makes up a key component of the western diet, with doctors recommending that we consume at least five portions a day (preferably of different colours).

Bicycles have long been a staple of the circus, with the art of bike-swallowing outlawed only in 1962. The first bike in space was a Raleigh. The early suffragette movement attempted to gain publicity through a cryptic protest, where they threw bicycles under horses. This later gave way to the throwing of feminists under horses, conceding that “not only did it make more sense, it was also more fun to watch.”

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