As this year is celebrated as the 200th anniversary the invention of the bicycle it is worth reflecting on how bright ideas for new transport have come about.
If you pardon the pun but thinking outside the box is important if you want to cover new ground.
Part of the legend of the bicycle is that Karl von Drais, the person attributed with inventing the first self-powered wheeled device, saw an ice skater and reflected on how fluently she moved across the ice. He thought that by adding wheels under himself, he could move more effectively across the ground.
Henry Ford is attributed with the saying that “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Actually, there is no evidence to suggest he said this but it is still an interesting thought.
AITPM member and WA branch president Jacob Martin goes further back in history. He has noted that in Norse mythology Odin’s special horse “the best among horses” has eight legs. The premise is that if four legs are good then eight legs must be better. Drawings of what such an animal would look like do not give any confidence in terms of efficiency.
Next week we will talk about the thoughts and opinions that were raised to oppose cycling especially for certain groups of people.
They have nothing to do with how cycling is now being used and some opinions we have now may not be representative as to how this mode of transport might be used in the future.
Sydney for example is to finally getting a bike sharing scheme but it will not be one with specific bike docking locations.