Trick Riders

‘The history of the modern circus is deeply rooted in horsemanship. The first modern circuses, which took place during the 18th century, were primarily demonstrations of tricks performed on a horse, first by former soldiers who learned such skills during military training, and later by talented men and women trained from a young age to accomplish acrobatics and other feats atop a horse.’ […/horses-and…]

After the bicycle started competing with the horse as a means of personal transportation, it also became popular as a foil for acrobats and other performers. Riding an ordinary (penny farthing) was an athletic feat much admired by the public, and tricks performed on such machines are very impressive. Circus troupes, theatrical and fairground performers and other entertainers soon started experimenting, both with ordinaries and safety bicycles. Many were discreetly modified to allow quick release of the handlebar, front end, etc, and gearing adapted on safeties for slower pedalling.

As velocipedes and ordinaries (penny farthings) required athletic abilities just to ride them, many riders experimented with tricks and stunts to impress their fellows. So, as well as professionals using bicycles in their performances, all over the world the bicycle became a popular medium for the everyday rider to display tricks and stunts on their machines. This is as true today as it was in the early days.

This Facebook group celebrates all those with the talent to entertain us while riding their bicycles, to access it click on this link