The velocipede, bone shaker, high wheeler, safety bike - all names for what children and adults alike now refer to simply as ‘my bike’. As Mary Bellis of ThoughtCo. explains so succinctly, “A modern bicycle by definition is a rider-powered vehicle with two wheels in tandem, powered by the rider turning pedals connected to the rear wheel by a chain, and having handlebars for steering and a saddle-like seat for the rider.” Many have claimed to have gifted mankind with the first bicycle design, as far back as 7th century AD. Early claims are typically unverified or have been proven to be false. The authenticity of an early sketch (1500 AD) of the ‘first’ bicycle, attributed to a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, is still highly contested. The 1817 draisine, designed by German inventor Karl von Drais in 1817, is generally recognized as the prototype of the modern-day bicycle (even though it was constructed mainly of wood and had no pedals). Regardless of their origin, bicycles are here to stay, I believe I can confidently say, forever! They are also highly collectible. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most expensive bicycle sold in auction at Southeby’s, New York for a cool $500,000. The one of a kind ‘Butterfly Bike’ created by British artist Damien Hirst, was wielded by Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France 2009. FYI: The artist used genuine butterfly wings which he lacquered onto the frame of a Trek Madone!
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