For an invention that has only been around for 200 years, the simple bicycle has changed the world in many ways. It democratised travel for the first time, allowing ordinary people to travel at reasonable speed without need of a horse, to commute further afield to work and to enjoy the benefits of the countryside. It has challenged social conventions, granting women a new-found freedom, and it has played an important role in wartime, whether used by British paratroopers or in Vietnamese supply lines. Today, despite the prevalence of the car, the bicycle is as important as ever, with more cycles appear on city streets each year.
Bikes come in all shapes and sizes and the history of cycling is on of innovation in design: from Macmillan's first pedal-driven cycle to the eccentric Dursley Pedersen, and from the 1960s iconic Moulton to the free-styling BMX, the humble cycle continues to surprise and delight in equal measure. Illustrated in full colour with a wide range of photographs, The History of Cycling in Fifty bikes tells the story of the bicycle through 50 iconic machines, starting with the first primitive wooden two-wheelers through to carbon-fibre super bikes and the designs of the future, celebrating sporting achievements, technological advances and world records along with way.