Too cool for school in the Victorian Era
The bicycle riders of the 1800s rode what are known as high wheelers. This was a vast improvement over the original bicycles, the delightfully named boneshakers. However, the high wheelers had their own set of issues.
Sarah McCullough, whose PhD dissertation at UC Davis explores the history of mountain biking, talks about these early renegades of bike culture:
They would race by going down hill. The pedals were directly connected to the front wheel and so when going too fast, it can be hard to keep your feet on there. So some of the young men would throw their legs over the handlebars and they could sort of leap off the bike if it was crashing.
Watch: Renegades of Bike Culture →