The first designs for people-propelled two-wheeled vehicles date from about 1790. German Karl von Drais made an improved model, the draisienne, in about 1817. It had a handlebar to steer the front wheel, but no pedals.
In the 1870s, new designs were made, including the penny-farthing. In 1872, Englishman J. Starley added a chain drive linking the front and rear wheels and in 1885 he produced the first commercial safety bicycle. The invention of pneumatic tyres in 1888 made the machines more comfortable. Modern cycles are made of light alloy and cycling is very popular for health and environmental reasons.
The Wheel has been Adapted
Over the years bicycles have been adapted in many ways. These wheelchairs are specially built for various sports, including track and field events.