A little remembered epic of human endurance ended on Jan. 7 in 1887 as Thomas Stevens arrived in San Francisco, ending an around-the-world trek - on a bicycle. He left the city by the bay in the spring of 1884, riding a Columbia Standard bicycle - one of those with a huge front wheel and a tiny back wheel and with no brakes. Stevens pedaled 13,500 miles as he crossed the world's mountains, deserts and jungles. He wrote a classic book about his adventure, Around the World On a Bicycle, recently republished, and an incentive for today's bicyclists. Each year, more than 43 million Americans enjoy riding their bicycles. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Famous First Facts, 7201, p. 544
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2008, t. 1222
Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look under the Newsroom button).
U.S. Census Bureau
And this from the Bicycle Retailer trade publication:
Mountain Bike Art Museum Opens
STATESVILLE, NC (BRAIN)—The sport of mountain biking is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2009, and leading the celebration is The Museum of Mountain Bike Art & Technology, a recently opened museum that preserves and chronicles the evolution of the sport, and its personalities and products.
In the mid 1970s, the mountain bike sprang to life as a grassroots effort by a small group of riders in Marin County, California, who converted balloon-tired cruisers into trail bikes by removing superfluous equipment and installing knobby tires. The first purpose-built off road bikes were made in the late 1970s when the term "Mountain Bike" was first used to describe them, and the sport grew rapidly worldwide in the following years.
The original mass produced mountain bike, the Specialized Stumpjumper, arrived in stores in 1981. An example of this model now resides in the Smithsonian Institution, and a similar model is displayed at the Museum of Mountain Bike Art & Technology (MOMBAT).