Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Weird Bike Wednesday - Coventry Rotary Tricycle

An 1879 Coventry Rotary Tricycle (photo courtesy of New Atlas)
Here's an unusual tricycle from the 19th century. Built in Coventry, England it had two small wheels on one side and a large wheel on the other side. The saddle is in the middle, and pedaling provided power to the large wheel. There are two levers, one which applies brake to the large wheel, and one which turns the small wheels to provide steering. In 2016, one of these was expected to fetch eight to ten thousand dollars at auction.

Prior to the modern "safety" bicycle, tricycles were popular with those who weren't comfortable with the highwheelers. Most ladies of the time wore long dresses, so tricycles appealed to them. The roads of the era were made of dirt and had ruts left by wagons. The wheels on this trike would all fit into the wheel tracks left by other vehicles, since there was no middle wheel. This made the ride somewhat more comfortable than other trikes.

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