Celebrate The Bicycle

by Andy Amick on July 4, 2012

in Cycling, Personal

The first patented bicycle.

Last week was the anniversary of the bike being patented way back in 1819.  In less than 100 years, things sure have come a long way from those early bikes that didn’t even have pedals.  Today, we have downhill bikes which feature 9″ or more of travel.


Coventry Rotary of 1886

Have a look at the History Of The Bicycle on Wikipedia and see some of the other early bikes and when they were designed.  The 4 wheeled Coventry Rotary looks like an interesting ride, but I’m not sure sure about the steering being smooth.


The bike has seen a lot of design improvements, but one thing remains – the freedom it gives us to explore, navigate, and see the world at a slower, more comfortable pace.


My own bicycle history

The bike sure has been good to me.  At various times, it has been my therapy, my church, my anger management, and my way of solving programming issues at work.  On many occasions, it has served as more than one of these on a single ride.


Cycling is the one thing that fuels my fire yet calms me at the same time.  If a few days go by without some sort of bike related activity, you can definitely sense a change in my attitude.

The bike has taken me to some great places by myself and with my kids

A few of my recent adventures by bike

Here are just a few of the highlights from my cycling history:

  • Riding after work 3 days a week in Harbison State Forest with my friend Stan and the two of us racing back to the office for bragging rights.
  • Camping with friends and mountain bike racing in the NC mountains at Tsali and Nanthahala.
  • Moving to Colorado and riding all of the Front Range with my roommate and others from the shop.
  • Riding Haleakela in Maui with a former racing pro and getting to chat with him while we cranked our way to the top.  On the way down, I got the single best descending tip I ever learned.
  • Being so excited about my son’s 1st birthday because I could give him a  helmet and a Burley trailer so we could “ride” together.
  • The birth of the “Amick Triple” with my bike, a tag-a-long, and a trailer to take both of my boys around the ‘hood.
  • Taking my kids bikepacking at Chatfield Reservoir south of Denver
  • Taking part in the Nebraska United Methodist Bike Ride for Hunger (NUMB) and using riding as an excuse to consume more coffee, ice cream, and beef jerky.
  • My oldest son riding his first cycling event, the 2011 Wacky W.
  • This year, riding to school with both of my kids.



The Common Theme

Look carefully, there is one common theme to the timeline.  Do you see it?


All of these events involve awesome people that have impacted my riding and, more importantly, my life over the years.  The location or type of riding doesn’t matter.  The key is spending time with great people and taking part in my favorite activity.


The best part of waking up is not Folger’s in your cup.  It’s knowing that the day is another great one for a bike ride.  Rain, snow, sunshine, wind, or cold can still make for an excellent ride.  The conditions may not be perfect, but any day of riding should be considered a great day, especially when you get to share it with other cyclists.


Get out there and ride!

About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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