No inventor or country can single-handedly claim to have invented the bicycle; it was invented and reinvented in many places over a period of many years. In 1817, Germany's Baron von Drais de Saverbrun invented the Draisienne, (also "draisine" or "hobby horse") a steerable bicycle. It was almost completely made of wood, and had no pedals. Riders propelled it by pushing their feet against the ground. In 1860, a model called the Michaux Velocipede became the world's first mass-produced riding machine. Designed by France's Pierre Michaux, he came up with his design when a customer brought a Draisienne in for repairs. After his son tried riding it and had difficulties with his feet on downhill roads, Michaux came up with the idea of connecting crank arms and pedals directly to the front wheel as a means of propelling the bike. In 1865 in Connecticut, Pierre Lallement rode a distance of several miles and performed the very first "header" (flipping over the handlebars) on his bicycle. He was granted the first bicycle-related U.S. patent in 1866.
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History, Technology And Civilization
The Franklin Institute