National Bike Month: A chance to review bicycle history and challenges | Martin Pion,

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Today’s motorists don’t realize that we can thank the “Good Roads Movement” for the modern smooth-surfaced road system we all enjoy. The League of American Wheelmen, founded in 1880 and now called the League of American Bicyclists, spearheaded this effort in the 19th century, propelled by the bicycle’s popularity as an affordable means of independent mobility. . . .

[E]arly cyclists faced challenges besides poor roads. Carriage drivers used horsewhips on cyclists daring to pass them, and children enjoyed poking a stick through a bicycle’s spokes, causing a “header” over the handlebars.

Today's cyclists still face numerous challenges. Increasing motor vehicle usage was accompanied by discriminatory bicycle-related laws. Missouri's mandatory side path law prohibited a bicyclist from using the road when an adjacent usable path was present. It was repealed in 1995, thanks to the efforts of sponsor Sen. Larry Rohrbach of central Missouri.