Sculpture Old bicycle in Vladimir
History of Sculpture Old bicycle
In 2015 in the city of Vladimir on the street. Bolshaya Moskovskaya, a sculpture of an old bicycle was installed. This sculpture has been recreated on a 1: 1 scale to the original. These bicycles were very popular as a means of transportation in the late 70s. XIX century. The bicycle got its interesting name “Penny-farthing” after it was considered obsolete. Bicycles of this design began to be produced in 1870 by James Starley. Pedals were attached to the large front wheel, which could be more than 1.5 meters in diameter, and the rear wheel was much smaller. Thanks to this, the speed of the vehicle increased and could reach 30 km h. At the same time, such a bike was unsafe and traumatic, especially on uneven roads.
In 1878, Albert Pope began producing such bicycles in Boston, and they became popular in the United States for 20 years.
On a Penny-Farthing bicycle in 1884-1886 Thomas Stephens made the first trip around the world (San Francisco-Yokohama). Despite their short life, these bicycles became a symbol of the late Victorian era. Its popularity coincided with the birth of cycling (racing began).
In old Vladimir, this bike has also become popular. The governor of the city in 1896 issued a “mandatory decree on the order of movement in the city of Vladimir on bicycles”, each owner of a two-wheeled vehicle had to equip a bicycle with brakes, a bell and a flashlight. Fast driving around the city, on sidewalks, footpaths and squares was prohibited. But until 9 o’clock in the morning it was allowed to ride along Bolshaya Moskovskaya Street, along Pushkin Boulevard, in the area of the Golden Gate to the Vladimir Chapel and in the area of Torgovaya and Horse Squares.
Getting a city driving license was not easy.
It was necessary to pass an exam in the presence of the best cyclists and the chief of police, and every year to confirm this license. After that, a license plate was issued, which was attached to the back of the saddle. The Penny-farthing bike was also called the “Spider” in Russia. It was possible to learn how to sit on it through long training sessions. This was due to the fact that on the frame above the rear wheel the footpegs (most often 2) were unraveled and the cyclist, running up and holding the steering wheel with one foot, jumped onto the footboard, then balancing, getting to the other, and then jumping up to the saddle.
The cost of such a bicycle at that time was equal to the 6-month salary of a worker. Before the 1917 revolution, a Cycling Society was even created in the city of Vladimir under the auspices of the imperial house. It was created by the merchant Tarasov. In 1892, a member of the society was ordered to sit in the saddle in a special uniform a double-breasted jacket, pants with golfs and barrets.
The sculpture of a bicycle “Penny-Farthing” is a decoration of the street and organically fits into the space of the city. The townspeople and guests of the city like to be photographed around the bike.