Saturday 28 January 2012

BSA Racing Bicycle, 1908


On this bicycle in 1908, AE Wills, a famous racing bicyclist, broke the world distance record for one hour (there were lots of similar speed records for bicycles, motorycles and motor cars at the time - you would be awarded a prize for breaking a record, and it was always good for a manufacturer to advertise that their product broke, or helped to break, a world record), covering 61 miles and 972 yards - very impressive even today for a bicycle, and at the time this made him the first bicyclist to ride at a speed of over one mile per minute for an hour.

As you can see, the bicycle has a very light frame, with lightweight wooden wheels with a thin rubber covering, and a large gear chain wheel. This meant it was hard to pedal at lower speeds, but once AE Wills got enough momentum going, it was easy to pedal continuously at high speeds

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