Monday, March 16, 2015

Tandem Penny Farthing - 1892

Illustration from an 1892 book on cycling

The 1892 book Wheels and wheeling; an indispensable handbook for cyclists, with over two hundred illustrations is from a time when the "Ordinary" (or Penny Farthing, a bicycle with a large front wheel and a very small rear wheel that was driven directly by pedals attached to the front wheel) was still somewhat in competition with the "Safety" - a safety bicycle being much more like the bicycle we know today.

The page with the description includes the following:
Muller Tandem Bicycle. The tandem roadster of the Muller pattern has been given a thorough trial by many different riders in and about New York, and in spite of its 64-inch gear with only 51-inch cranks, it climbed in good time all the hills ridden by the ordinaries and safeties, and went ahead of every-thing encountered on the road. The frame (on which Mr. Muller holds his patent) can be applied to any size wheel, and made its appearance about three seasons ago, when, fitted with two 56 Expert wheels, Mr. V. H. Muller and his brother rode it, defeating all tandem teams of prominence. Last spring they gave the frame a thorough trial on a pair of 50-inch Springfield Roadster driving wheels,and on it made a tour of Europe, where its novel lines attracted much attention among the cycle manufacturers.
Be that as it may, one doesn't see any of these around now. Apparently this is one of those ideas that just didn't catch on. One can imagine it had something to do with these being a paired fixed gear arrangement - no coasting. On the upside, it does appear that the rider in the rear has a brake. This would result in an unusual partnership, with the front rider responsible for steering and the rear rider for braking.

Joys of Commuting - Sunrise in DC

Stopped to take this with my camera phone

Not as good in the photograph as the impression made in person (so to speak) but you get the idea - sunrise, and so on. Nice after all the nasty weather.

The Capitol dome looks a little odd because it is covered in scaffolding.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Carefree Riding Days are Coming Soon - Again

1927 - riding in DC

From the collections of the Library of Congress
Bicycle rider;Washington Monument in background, Washington, D.C.
Creator(s): Harris & Ewing, photographer
Date Created/Published: [1927]
Medium: 1 negative : glass ; 4 x 5 in. or smaller
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-hec-34542 (digital file from original negative)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LC-H2- B-2126 [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
-Title devised by Library staff.
-Date based on date of negatives in same range.
-Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955.
-General information about the Harris & Ewing Collection is available at
The trees with their leaves suggest this is probably fall and not early spring, but for some reason this photo reminds me that this winter is coming to an end and more carefree riding is ahead. No ice!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Stop and Smell the Cherry Blossoms ! No Wait ......

Stopped on commute home at tidal basis edge, under cherry trees, to take this

The motorists were beeping at one another trying to escape the city before the next snow storm, but I was able to stop and take this of the fog over the tidal basis, which is unusual.

What looks to be something on my lens is a jet flying over the Memorial, having left National Airport.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sad Bicycle on Capitol Hill

This lonely and completely ice-covered bike near Capitol South metro stop

Now of course the conditions are fine but this morning everything was covered in ice except for the asphalt used by cars, so I came in on Metro.

This old Specialized, perhaps not abandoned by seemingly not much loved, made me sad. Is one to feel sympathy for inanimate objects?