On one of the Free Thursday Museum days, I visited the Houston Bicycle Museum.
Every kid remembers their first bikes. It was your first sense of freedom.
You could ride around your neighborhood, visit your friends, go to the store for comic books and cokes or ride to the community pool during the summer.
I loved bikes as a kid and have owned a bike most of my life.
The Bike Museum had lots of bikes on display and they brought back lots of memories for me.
I think everyone knows what an old bike like this first one looks like. I still find it hard to believe that anyone actually rode something like this.
I bet a lot of people busted their asses while trying to ride this thing.
Bicycles are human powered vehicles, typically featuring pedals, a seat, two wheels and a frame.
There are over one billion bicycles found throughout the world.
The cool kids rode something like this one with the extra large handle bars.
Bicycles are used for transport, recreation, competitive racing, courier delivery and a range of other tasks.
Competitive cycling includes track cycling inside velodromes, time trials, mountain biking, BMX and longer events such as the Tour de France.
The Tour de France was first held in 1903 and his since become the most famous cycling race in the world. Held over three weeks, the annually changing route goes through the Pyrenees and Alps before finishing in Paris.
I would never attempt to ride a bike like this one with the pedals out in the front.
The energy required to cycle at low to medium speeds is roughly the same as the energy required to walk.
To get efficient use of their pedaling, cyclists use a high gear when going downhill, a medium gear on flat surfaces and a low gear when going uphill.
Here’s another of those bikes with the pedals out in the front. What a strange sight this is.
Here are some tandem bikes on display.
The longest “tandem” bike was over 20 meters long and it seated 35 people. It was recorded in the history of dumb ideas as a prime example.
Some bicycles feature suspension. This is especially common in mountain bikes where they are used to help deal with the vibration caused by uneven surfaces.
The Bike Museum still had a photo of Lance Armstrong on their walls. What a disgrace to cycling and America he was and is.
They also had a jersey framed with autographs on it.
They also had Eddy Merckx bike on display.
He was one of the greatest cyclist ever.
Road bikes typically have thinner tires inflated to higher pressures than those found on mountain bikes, taking advantage of the smoother surfaces that roads generally provide.
Before the word ‘bicycle’ become popular (coming from the French word ‘bicyclette’), bikes were typically called ‘velocipedes’.
Two wheeled transportation developed in the 1800s, from pushed powered bikes through to mechanical crank drives with pedals.
Cycling became increasing popular in the early stages of the 20th century as cycling clubs and races caught on.
Orville and Wilbur Wright, the brothers who built the first flying airplane, operated a small bike repair shop in Dayton, Ohio. They used their workshop to build the 1903 Wright Flyer.
Fred A. Birchmore, 25, circled the globe by bicycle in 1935. The entire trip, through Europe, Asia, and the United States, covered forty thousand miles. He pedaled about 25,000 miles. The rest was traveled by boat. He wore out seven sets of tires.
There are over a half billion bicycles in China. Bikes were first brought to China in the late 1800s.
About 100 million bicycles are manufactured worldwide each year.
Over the past 30 years, bicycle delivery services have developed into an important industry, especially in cities, where the couriers have earned a reputation for their high speed and traffic-weaving skills.
This is a bike made out of wood. Pretty unique.
Americans use their bicycles for less than one percent of all urban trips. Europeans bike in cities a lot more often—in Italy 5 percent of all trips are on bicycle, 30 percent in the Netherlands, and seven out of eight Dutch people over age 15 have a bike.
The Tour de France is one of the most famous bicycle races in the world. Established in 1903, it is considered to be the biggest test of endurance out of all sports.
Bicycle Moto Cross (BMX), an extreme style of bicycle track racing, became a sport in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Maris Strombergs, of Latvia, received the gold medal for Men’s BMX, and Anne-Caroline Chausson, from France, took home the gold in the first Women’s BMX Olympic event.
The fastest man on a bicycle is surprisingly an American, John Howard, who was foolish enough to ride his bicycle 155 miles per hour in the slipstream of a specially designed car. He survived to tell the tale.
This is a display of the evolution of biking helmets.
I was excited to see a picture of my girl, Marilyn Monroe.
These next two photos are of some studs from back in the day.
Check out how short this guys legs were. How did he ever ride this bike?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the Houston Bicycle Museum.