Cycling

Cycling

Since the days of the wheeled hobbyhorse, bicycling has held the imagination of man. Despite warnings that this strange machine was an invention of the devil that would threaten man’s moral fiber, the bicycle survived to take its rightful place in the modern world. Today, the ten-speed racer streaks along the roadways with remarkable speed and grace. But it wasn’t always so. Take, for example, the Velocipede… the forerunner of the modern-day bicycle. In 1861, it was also known as “the boneshaker” because of its effect on the human form. Its wooden wheels rolled harshly across the rough cobblestone streets of the day. Cyclists soon found that loose stones and poorly filled holes were among their worst enemies. In fact, the advent of the bicycle was a new impetus for improved roads. But, better roads were not the only result of the bicycle era. Indeed, this new vehicle brought about revolutionary changes in society, such as unchaperoned courtship, new ladies’ fashions and more recreation and fun for everyone. Bicycles also carried laborers to work, postmen on their rounds, and policemen on their beats. Then, in 1896, the popular sport of cycling¬†gained an everlasting place in history when it became a regular event of the modern Olympic Games. To honor this fast-paced event, the U.S. Postal Service issued the stamp featured on this Cover.

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