During the nineteenth century, the bicycle evoked an exciting new world in which even a poor person could travel afar and at will. But was the *mechanical horse* truly destined to usher in a new era of road travel or would it remain merely a plaything for dandies and schoolboys* In Bicycle: The History (named by Outside magazine as the #1 book on bicycles), David Herlihy recounts the saga of this far-reaching invention and the passions it aroused. The pioneer racer James Moore insisted the bicycle would become *as common as umbrellas.* Mark Twain was more skeptical, enjoining his readers to *get a bicycle. You will not regret it*if you live.*
Because we live in an age of cross-country bicycle racing and high-tech mountain bikes, we may overlook the decades of development and ingenuity that transformed the basic concept of human-powered transportation into a marvel of engineering. This lively and engrossing history retraces the extraordinary story of the bicycle*a history of disputed patents, brilliant inventions, and missed opportunities. Herlihy shows us why the bicycle captured the public*s imagination and the myriad ways in which it reshaped our world.