The Mechanical Horse | WYPR

The Mechanical Horse

May 13, 2016

The dandy charger, the velocipede, the draisine -- all names for the first versions of the bicycle, which sprung to life in the early 19th century. Bicycles played a role in shaping attitudes about fashion, exercise, and child-rearing. Faced with cobblestones and potholes, early adopters in America petitioned the government to improve road conditions. Before setting their sights on flight, the Wright brothers repaired and manufactured bicycles. They even used bikes to test out early propeller designs. Riding a bike is not just a childhood milestone, it’s a hobby, a sport, and way to circumvent congested commutes. We speak to Margaret Guroff, author of “The Mechanical Horse: How the Bicycle Reshaped American Life."