The History of the Bicycle


Pedal-powered bicycles have been around for centuries, with velocipedes being the first. They are low-slung, aerodynamic bicycles that increase speed and reduce drag. The first pedal-powered velocipede was built in Paris in the early 1860s by Pierre Lallement. He was hired by a carriage maker to make a velocipede.

The first American bicycle craze started late in 1868, and quickly spread to major East Coast cities. It was inspired by news from Paris. In 1876, two British companies were invited to exhibit bicycles at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The bicycles were a copy of the British Duplex Excelsior. The American bicycles were styled to appeal to children, and weighed about 60 pounds.

In the late 1800s, ordinary bicycles were constructed from heavy steel. Their speed was limited by the diameter of the front wheel, which restricted pedaling cadence. To increase speed, the front wheel was increased in diameter. The rider’s pedals connected to the front wheel through the cranks, and power was transferred to the rear wheel through a chain.

The first velocipede was constructed in Paris in the early 1860s, and was called a “velocipede de pedale.” The rider would propel himself by pushing his feet against the ground, which was supported by a frame-mounted pedal-crank. However, pedaling and steering through the front wheel remained a problem. In 1865, the Olivier brothers pedaled a velocipede 800 km from Paris to Marseille. The following year, a pair of Englishmen, J.H. Lawson and his nephew, James Starley, pedaled the same distance.

In the following decades, the bicycle industry shifted from Paris to Coventry, and the bicycle industry in Britain began to decline. Sales were lost in France during World War II, but the British market easily absorbed the entire batch. In the 1920s, the bicycle industry in the United States was displaced by automobiles. This led to a smaller adult bicycle market, which developed during the 1950s and 1960s.

In the 1930s, alloy steels became widely used for frame tubes. This increased the availability of light frames. In the following decade, aluminum became more popular because of its light weight. These frames were primarily used for mid-range bikes, with lighter alloys becoming popular in the following decade.

In the 1960s, the teenage fad was typified by the Schwinn Stingray. This bicycle had a banana-shaped saddle and large handlebars. It accounted for about 75 percent of bicycle sales in the U.S. By 1968, about 20 million teenagers owned high-rise bicycles.

The frame on an adult bicycle is generally made of steel, aluminum alloy, or a composite material. The goal is to have a light weight that is strong. The frame is usually constructed by machine, or by hand with brazing and welding. The frame is composed of a front triangle (top tube, seatstay, and down tube), a rear triangle (chainstays and rear wheel dropouts), and an axle. The axle may be tightened with bolts at the ends or a quick-release skewer.

GOES Satellites for Weather Monitoring and Forecasting


GOES is a system of space and Earth-based environmental sensors used for weather monitoring and forecasting. It is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is composed of two spacecraft and a number of ground-based elements. It is used by the National Weather Service for weather monitoring in the North American region. It also provides information to commercial and university weather services. The system also includes data collected by satellites and insitu stations located near the Earth’s surface. The Satellite Operations Control Center (SOCC) in Suitland, Maryland, controls the satellites.

The GOES spacecraft are in geostationary orbit at about 135 degrees west. The satellites stay above the surface in a position that allows them to produce full-disk images of the Earth. The satellites also provide continuous views of South America, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean. The spacecraft can also image the Earth’s surface, enabling meteorologists to monitor the development of tropical cyclones and local severe storms.

GOES data is crucial to short-term forecasting and the National Weather Service relies on the system for its weather monitoring and forecasting. The satellites provide near-continuous observational information to ground-based user stations, such as the Meteorological Service of Canada and the National Hurricane Center. In addition, the system is used to monitor the effects of atmospheric triggers that can lead to severe weather. GOES data products are also used by the Department of Defense and the international research community for meteorology research.

The GOES satellites have been in service since 1991, and each spacecraft is equipped with a primary payload instrument. The Imager senses the infrared radiant energy of the Sun and provides multispectral imaging. The Imager has 16 spectral bands and four near-infrared channels. The instrument is especially useful for measuring cloud properties and solar irradiance in the upper atmosphere. The GOES spacecraft also has a suite of instruments that are used to detect lightning. These instruments include the Geostationary Lightning Mapper and the Geostationary Search and Rescue (GEOS&R). The GOES-S spacecraft is also designed to be capable of generating 4,000W of power in space.

GOES satellites are controlled from the Satellite Operations Control Center (SOCC) in the Suitland area of Maryland. NOAA has designated each GOES satellite with a letter before it is launched. The Satellite Operations Control Center can modify the schedule of the satellites to provide coverage during major weather events. The GOES system includes a number of ground-based elements, including Data Collection Platforms (DCPs). DCPs are used to collect and transmit data from the satellites. They have an antenna, transmitter, and a recorder.

GOES spacecraft provide real-time coverage of severe local storms. They can also provide more detailed imagery of clouds and hurricanes. GOES satellites are used to improve the accuracy of numerical weather prediction models. The satellites also provide continuous view of the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, South America, and southern Canada. This data is used by scientists to better understand the atmosphere and land.