The Bicycle Moves On

Freiherr Karl von Drais (1785-1851). Photo: Wikipedia.

Two centuries have passed since the invention of the Draisine, the first bike, developed by Freiherr Karl von Drais (1785-1851). The first try-out was on 12 June 1817 in Mannheim (Germany). The aristocrat wanted to move without expensive horses and his design was the first milestone of bicycle development such as the historic velocipede, folding bikes, mountain bikes, racing cycles, E-bikes and the necessary components and accessories like lights, saddles and helmets. The exhibition in Dresden puts the bicycle into focus as a mirror to its age, when it investigates its significance for the workers’ and women’s movements, for hippies, who revolutionized the bicycle as a sport with their forerunners to the mountain bike, but also the use in the army. The Japanese and the German armies of the Second World War not only used horses and cars, but also bikes during their initial ‘Blitzkrieg’ in Europe and the Pacific. Mao’s China couldn’t have functioned without bikes.  The bicycle exists two centuries and the use, designs and target groups keep changing.