These historic bicycle videos are hilarious.
I’ve been exploring old bicycle films through CriticalPast, a video archive service, and see that extreme jackass behavior isn’t a new thing. Some of these CriticalPast films are like FAIL Blog videos from nearly a century ago. In this video from 1921, a man attempts flight on a bicycle equipped with wings and a rocket motor. I love the matter of fact description from CriticalPast:
Two men push a third on a bicycle.
The rider is dressed as an aviator.
The bicycle has wings and empennage fastened to it.
Another man runs alongside, carrying a bucket of water.
As the bicycle speed increases, one of the men strikes a match and ignites a rocket in the tail of the bicycle.
The rocket boost causes the cyclist to lose control and he and the bicycle turn to the left and fall to the ground amidst smoke and fire.
The man with the bucket arrives and douses the rider with water.
This video of the same event includes some of the leadup to the aviator’s flight attempt.
This video from 1930 shows a German stuntman deliberately cycling into a brick wall at high speed.
I’ve mentioned some of Joe Steinlauf’s frankenbike creations before. You can see his family sewing bike and his tallbike in this video, but check out the funky wobble bike begining at about 0:25 in this video! I don’t believe I’ve seen that before. At 10 seconds in, you can also see a bicycle that seems to be propelled by bobbing up and down on an off-center axle.