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Bicycling Through Time: The Farren Collection Hardcover – 6 Sep 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
The photograhs ( by Peter Horsley ) are wonderful in detail and presentation and combined with the prose make a brilliant and magnificent addition to any and especially my bicycle book library.
Several quotes by various people and organisations in the book praise the 'Bicycle' for its contribution to our present day BUT the words that came home to me were those of Paul's who states :- " I think that antique bicycles deserve more respect than they often get " . . this book goes a long way to explain why, and what a wonderful invention the simple bicycle was for mankind.
This is a lot more than a slick coffee table book ...but it is just that as well. Absolute A star !!!!!!!!!
Not got it ?? Go BUY IT !!!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The presentation starts with "Mobility for the Nobility"; though this is only one page to locate the origination of the bicycle with the German aristocrat Baron Karl von Drais in 1917. Von Drais invented the "first commercially successful two-wheeled, steerable, human-propelled machine." This didn't have gears though, and was known as a "hobby horse," a still-familiar child's toy. The contraption many regard as the first bicycle appeared probably in Britain in 1863. Known as the "velocipede," it had pedals at the front tire to rotate it for movement and a brake for the smaller rear tire. Gears did not start appearing on bicycles until the 1880s, and it wasn't long before bicycles resembling those of today with pedals and the main gear rotating a chain attached to other gears at the rear wheel quickly gained popularity over the earlier types with their big front wheels that were relatively strenuous to propel, difficult to maneuver, and uncomfortable for the rider.
The last bicycle shown is a British Army folding bicycle of the Second World War, also known as a "parachute bicycle". Its pedals were designed for use with thick Army boots with large heels while at the same time for folding into the collapsible frame. The authors' text is filled with such knowledgeable historical and technical points through chapters focusing on developments for speed, safety, comfort, and commercial and military uses including innovations which in later years were seen as "ludicrous" yet which had a part in the development of bicycles.
Instead of words to support the pictures the authors have added vintage photographs of people riding the bicycles in their collection and beautiful advertisements chosen by the largest collector of bicycle images in the World, Lorne Shields. Instead of a string of words the book uses pictures to explain pictures.
This is a big, heavy book that is a great value to anyone interested in the history of technology or cyclist or anyone who wants to collect bicycles but does not have a warehouse to keep them in.
Interesting notes on provenance.
Ready to do business with Amazon again.