I have been doing some intensive research into the history of the humble bicycle.

I came across some very interesting references in the archives of the Dorset Council.

One of the most famous attractions in Dorset is the river Piddle, and it was in the village of Little Piddle straddling this waterway that Mr and Mrs Broodingstock lived in the 14th century.

[Mrs Broodingstock, by the way, was the original owner of the `Great Guzunder` or `Thunder Pot` now on proud display in Little Piddle Museum. The item was reputedly used by Charles the First (1625-49).]

Anyway, in the records it is revealed that Mrs B was not entirely happy with Mr B, he being a less than ardent fellow, and told him “ Be thou on thine bike, m’ lad!”.

As the first bicycle wasn’t to be invented for about 500 years Mr B was slightly puzzled and eventually ended up in an asylum, spending the rest of his days going round and round in circles with a puzzled expression on his face.

We must now leap forward those 500 years to when the Hobby Horse was first introduced into society. A good effort of course but improvements were needed.

Ernest and Pierre Micheaux in 1861 introduced the pedals and cranks that we are familiar with today. They’d heard of the Broodingstocks and, inspired by the really uncomfortable and ‘imposing’ saddle, named their invention the Boner Deflator, afterwards mis-translated to Boneshaker,  when their invention arrived on our shores.

The rest, as they say, is history.

NB I came across another interesting fact about Little Piddle during my research.
Daniel Defoe (Author of Robinson Crusoe) mentioned `Little Piddle` in a deleted chapter of his book published in the 1700s `A Tour Thro` The Whole Island Of Great Britain`

The chapter was deleted from the first publication on the advice from Defoe`s Lawyers.

[Hat tip to zzippster]


(You’ve had a lot of advice about deletion, Peabrain. I wish you’d take it. Lo,TG Ed)