The Cambrian

My Turn: Fine time for bicycling

Bicycles have come a long way from the proto bicycle invented in 1817 (a circa 1820 model is shown) which had two wheels but no propulsion method other than a rider’s feet.
Bicycles have come a long way from the proto bicycle invented in 1817 (a circa 1820 model is shown) which had two wheels but no propulsion method other than a rider’s feet. WIKIPEDIA

This is the time of year when one is most likely to see countless bike riders passing through Cambria, heading north or south on Highway 1. Some of the riders are lightly clad in combinations of colorful tight-fitting shorts and tops. Other travelers have several luggage carriers strapped to their vehicles, obviously traveling much farther than simply touring along the Central Coast.

For instance, Matthew Blake from England circumnavigated the world on a trip of more than 45,000 miles. When he passed through Cambria in 2008, he stayed for a few days with George and Elizabeth Kendall on Santa Rosa Creek Road. The entire journey took three years.

But first, some history relating to their form of transportation: bicycles.

The “dandy horse,” also called Draisienne (after its inventor, German Baron Karl Christian Ludwig Drais von Sauerbronn) or

laufmaschine (running machine) was the first human

means of transportation to use only two wheels in tandem.

It is regarded as the forerunner of the modern bicycle and was introduced to the public in Mannheim, Germany, in the summer of 1817, and in Paris in 1818. Its rider sat astride a wooden frame supported by two in-line wheels which the rider pushed the vehicle along with his/her feet while steering with the front wheel.

Tom Parsons and his fellow riders from the Slabtown Rollers ride for far less distances than Blake, but have wonderful experiences in the process. The Rollers are but one of many local bike clubs. These seven clubs help raise money for various needs, such as the new bike rack in front of the Cambria Coffee Roasting Company in the West Village. The annual Gene Cerise Country Coast Classic raised $25,000 this year for the Youth Center.

For information concerning the Rollers and entering various bike rides during the year, call Tom Parsons at 927-5514. Email John Brannon at jrogb1433@yahoo.com.

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