Urban Velo

Twain’s Bike Lessons

MarkTwainOnBicycleFrom Poets & Writers:

This appears to be a fact: Some time in the early 1880s, when he was approaching his fiftieth year, Mark Twain set out to learn how to ride a bicycle, a big-wheeled, unwieldy penny-farthing, no less. If you don’t find this to be astonishing, you must never have attempted to teach a child to ride a bike. I have, and I can tell you it’s like trying to teach a horse to drive a car. But kids are the acme of flexibility. They are little learning machines. How Twain managed this feat in his relatively advanced years is a mystery—and then there’s the question of why he did it.

Read more, or click here to read Twain’s Taming The Bicycle.

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  1. Joe PeraltaOctober 8, 2012 at 7:37 am

    That whole page is a nice catch!

  2. Joe MakiOctober 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Obviously a mid-life crisis. Since no sports cars were available the pennyfarthing was his best bet to reboot his youth and become a chick magnet again :)

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