I had the priveledge of visiting the Czech National Technical Museum this past summer in Prague. I was captivated by both the wonderful automobile collection they have on display, and particularly by the bicycle collection they have curated. Tremendous.
I will share some pictures here...
It was 200 years ago, this year, that the first Draisene (aka Velopeds) were introduced. The Czech Museum has this interesting sample
If we were to divide the history of the bike into "fractions", quarters or dimes for instance, it would be very interesting to understand the pace of development but also the methods of adoption. I won't, perhaps, do that now, but it struck me that my cycling "experience" covers the whole last quarter of thos 200 years. My brother and I got a Hercules bike to share in, I am quite sure, 1967. It was followed by Libertas 5 Speeds, Schwinn Sting Rays, one forgotten branded bike that will come to me I am sure. I had a lovely Motobecane for 6 months or so before it was stolen. Somehow I managed much of the rest of my college years without a bike, but took up again with a early Miyata Mountain Bike, then a Specialized Expedition Touring bike, Muddy Fox Mtn Bike, Schwinn (in the Boulder years) Moab Mtn bike and then in the last 5 years a whole garden full of bikes that are a mix of electric, folding, road and project bikes. Dahon, Volagi, Elom, E-Prodigy, Surly are some of the brands.
But back to Prague and bikes. Their development in Czechoslovakia was quite significant. There were also examples of several Favorit bikes, which was a strong Czech brand going back to the 30's, and which continued through the 90's to a high level.
I was quite happy to see new Favorit bikes are being built again now, and very fine vehicles they appear to be.