Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein
You will not regret it, if you live.
In 1817 an oat crop failure in New England caused a mass die off of horses due to starvation. Because of the loss and impact on many people’s primary source of transportation, a man named Baron Von Draise set out to invent a device that could emulate a horse. It was a curious invention, where unlike the horse, the locomotion was purely human-powered.
By 1897, a short 80 years later this curious device had begun the emancipation of women and their path to the right to vote, opened the doors to the civil rights movement and formation of the NAACP, created the world’s first class African American sports champion, and led to an advocacy group which would fight to form the greatest interconnected road system the world has ever seen – the US highway system.
What was this curious device?
The intermittent 120 years since the the golden era of bikes in the late 1800s, has seen a rocky road towards this machine being embraced by the public. At one point the industry was thought to have almost gone extinct – due to the wild revolution of the next best and much faster machine: the automobile. It was not until Schwinn in the 1930s began marketing bikes to children did bikes revive as an industry. It would take 40 more years before adults would begin to embrace the bicycle again as a form of sport for racing and mountain biking.
However, it would still take another 40 years to today before bikes have now become front and center once again. People of all ages have become disenfranchised with the automobile. Millennials and Gen Xers have begun eschewing car ownership. According to a study from the University of Michigan only about 60% of today’s 18-year-olds have a driver’s license, compared with 80% in the 1980s. When you have so many alternative options – why be enslaved to a car payment, insurance, repairs, intense traffic, and nasty ozone pollution to name a few? But it’s not just any ordinary bicycle that is shaking things up – it’s ELECTRIC bicycles. Like electric cars, these bikes use cutting edge battery technology, and are the next big thing in electric vehicles (EVs). And they are giving the Tesla a run for its money.
Here at FattE-Bikes we aim to push that 2nd (electric) revolution front and center, and honor the history and pure ingenuity of the humble bicycle. That’s why every FattE-Bikes model is named after a influential person in bicycle history – truly astonishing, inspiring people who have the intrepid spirit that we here at FattE-Bikes believe in. Over the next few blogs we will highlight those people and their stories.
Mark Twain once said ‘Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live’. Bicycle design, technology, and thankfully safety has come along ways since those days. However, we agree with the no regrets bit. You buy a FattE-Bike, not only will it be the best fat tire e-bike you purchase, but you too become a part of the next bicycle revolution.
Happy 200th Anniversary to the bicycle! Ride your freedom further.