|The 1885 Rover Safety Bicycle|
Photo courtesy of Mud Sweat n Gears
The dandy horse was the forerunner of the bicycle. Then pedals were added to create the boneshaker. Since the pedals were attached directly to the front wheel and there was no gearing, it was quite slow. This problem was solved by making the front wheel larger, which led to the penny farthing. The penny farthing was a very practical device, and sparked a huge surge in the popularity of cycling. It did have a major drawback though - It was dangerous, for a couple of reasons:
- The rider sat up very high, so if anything went wrong, the rider had a long way to fall.
- If the rider hit a pothole or other obstacle, the bike could tilt forward and eject the rider - This was the dreaded "header."
With the introduction of the safety bicycle, there was a huge surge in the popularity of cycling. No longer did you have to be a daredevil to ride a bicycle.