Page:The Cycle Industry (1921).djvu/31

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CHAPTER II

THE TRICYCLE ERA

The tricycle was undoubtedly introduced to combat the danger of riding the high bicycle. Riders of the early models of these machines will, however, confirm my opinion that they were far from safe, and if one did get a spill from one it was almost certain to result in a mix up with the wheel spokes and other mechanism, because one was seldom thrown clear of the machine as in the case of a fall from a bicycle.

The tricycle did, however, provide a means of cycling for those who could not manage a high bicycle and, of course, ladies were enabled to indulge in the pastime for the first time since they had ridden pillion fashion behind their squires on the old hobby horses.

The type of tricycle that first made a name in the industry was the machine invented in 1877 by the late Mr. James Starley, uncle of the Mr. J. K. Starley who subsequently made the name of Rover a household word throughout the kingdom and far beyond.

This machine was named the Coventry Lever Tricycle, and was driven by pedals and levers. It had a single driven wheel and two steering wheels, the latter being moved to and fro by a side handle like that of a spade, rods and a rack and pinion. The latter form of mechanism consists of teeth on a small wheel engaging with similar teeth on a flat strip; the small wheel or pinion is attached to the actuating rod and by turning it the rack is moved to and fro. The same mechanism is used to-day for the steering of very low-priced small motor-cars, and the movement of the wheels is thereby

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