AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractThe bicycle is the most numerous vehicle on the planet, but it is not, and has not always been used as practical transport. Indeed, in its early years, it was almost exclusively a sporting and leisure item for the bourgeoisie. Historical studies have hitherto tended to concentrate on particular uses or national contexts and chronicled, rather than analyzed, transitions from one pattern of use to another. Taking a comparative approach, this chapter addresses the change of bicycle use from elite plaything to mass transport in the first half of the twentieth century, by. It takes a number of different national narratives and, by exploring the mechanisms of social, economic and political forces affecting cycle use, questions assumptions that the changing historical fortunes of the bicycle are technologically determined or in any way inevitable. The use of the bicycle as mass transport (or not) is demonstrated as contingent upon a broad range of other factors, including the presence of other transport modes, road use, social class relations, and political will. In light of current bicycle promotion policies, such factors may be once again prove to be important.
CitationIn M. Moraglio, & C. Kopper (Eds.), The organization of transport: A history of users, industry, and public policy (pp. 49-67). London: Routledge, 2015.
DescriptionThis book chapter is not available through ChesterRep.
Series/Report no.Routledge international studies in business history
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