by Robyn Yager | Originating in Germany in the 1800′s, the draisine, as invented by Baron Karl von Draise, was constructed without pedals and ridden by pushing the bike around with the feet. It is largely thought of as the archetype of what we consider the bicycle today. Later on, Pierre Michaux created another version of the vehicle with the addition of a crank (pedals). The bicycle craze of the 1890′s followed shortly thereafter. It was known as the Golden Age of Bicycles, where coasting was made possible by the invention of the rear freewheel making riding more leisurely and casual.
In terms of social impact, the bicycle was an efficient way to travel and carry cargo. Save for a little pedal power, the machines were fuel independent. It even considered a symbol of emancipation for the ladies, allowing the adoption of more casual clothing so that riding a bike was an easier and more comfortable activity. Thank you, bicycle!
Today, we can see bikes nearly everywhere: in the rain, snow, sleet, mountains, on the track and in the streets. Not only is it a fast and less expensive form of transportation, it’s also a means to project one’s personal style. With so many types to choose from and so many different variations, colours and add-ons, a bike can express individual tastes in ways that most other “accessories” can’t.
FOR BIKE STYLE INSPIRATION
SOME OUR FAVOURITE LOCAL BIKE SHOPS
Super Champions (245 Main Street)
Ride On Again Bikes (2255 West Broadway)
The Bike Gallery (4433 West 10th Avenue)
La Bicicletta (233 West Broadway)
Different Bikes (1421 West Broadway)
Dream Cycle (1010 Commercial Drive)
Bike Doctor (137 West Broadway)
Our Community Bikes (3283 Main Street)
Mac-Talla (2626 East Hastings)
by Claudia Chan | A $9 bicycle made out of recyclable cardboard sounds almost unfathomable, but not to Israeli designer Izhar Gafni, who spent three years developing the idea. Take a look at his creation, a bike called The Alfa. Weighing only 20lbs, it’s able to support riders up to 485lbs! It can also withstand water and humidity, and Gafni claims that it’s stronger than carbon fibre. Without a doubt, this is a positive revolution in bicycle culture and sustainable design. Hopefully it inspire similar innovations. A cardboard car, perhaps?