Riding an Ordinary or High Wheel Bicycle is one of life's great pleasures ! The rider sits 5 feet above the road peddaling a giant wheel. Once you are up and rolling the sensation is like flying.
The Ordinary always prompts a familar respose.
"How do you get on that thing ?"
This is usually the first question folks ask when they encounter someone riding an Ordinary Bicycle. A small mounting step above the rear wheel enables the rider to step up and hop aboard. To dismount, you slow the front wheel with back pressure on the pedals, gently apply the brake, and reverse the process reaching back for the step with your left foot.
The Catford Challenge Shield 1887
From the beginning,1868/69, the velocipede, as a user of the King's Highways and byways, required a good lamp for use at night. This cycle lamp is a survivor from the earliest days circa 1878. It is most likely English and possibly made by Thomas Smith of Birmingham. The lamp has two spring loaded tubes that offer suspension to prevent the lamp going out if jarred while riding. Pictured below is a cyclist mounted upon an early Coventry Machinist Company "Spider". Note the lamp mounted just forward of the head, by the handlebar and above the front wheel. The photo is courtesy of Lorne Shields.
The Draisene, invented in 1819 by the Baron Karl von Drais, was the first successful two wheeled conveyance that resembles a modern bicycle. Lacking pedals and propelled by a striding motion with one's legs, the Draisene was the toy of the aristocracy. In England, during the Regency period (1790-1820) this vehicle was known the Hobby or Dandy Horse. It was all the rage in 1818-1820. Dandies, astride their Hobby Horses, were the first to face opposition to the use of the public roads. The public at large didn't like it.