Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bicycle Passengers

Over the years I have seen many different "styles" for taking an extra passenger on a bicycle, including this one scene in this picture from 1921. For this style, the passenger rides sidesaddle on the bar in front of the driver. This works OK for a smaller passenger. Most of the bicycles like this one that I remember had some sort of rack behind the seat, and a passenger could sit straddling the rack. The worst technique that I have witnessed, which almost always ended in disaster was to have the passenger ride seated on the handlebars, with legs straddling the front wheel, and feet resting on the tine nut on each side of the front wheel axle.


  1. Riding with two one a bike (unless it is a tandem) is never a safe idea. I remember when I was young watching my older brother take my younger brother for a ride on the seat and after hitting a bump little brother's foot swung into the moving wheel and was badly abraded. Ouch!
    Any women with bikes this week, PJM?
    -Anne K.

  2. If you had a passenger on the back rack, it was hard to balance the bike, it made it wobbly. Then another device was a small bar attached through the back wheel hub that the passenger stood on and held to the driver's shoulder. Then the handlebar rider was in the most danger, one bump and you were right over on your head. Side saddling the bar in front of the seat was probably the way to go. I notice none of these old bikes had a chain guard and we have all had our pants leg caught in the chain. This meant a fall and the hard task of getting your pants free. What fun though, bicycles were the most fun of all.

  3. What great smiles these guys have!