Why were the roads we have now originally made smooth, with a surface suitable for wheeled vehicles, or in some cases even built at all?
This is a question explored in a new book (see the video above) to be published in August (and available for free download on kindle and as a .pdf).
The book, “Roads were not built for cars” by Carlton Reed – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/carltonreid/roads-were-not-built-for-cars-book-and-kindle-and, explores the early history of road building and improving in the UK and the USA – particularly looking at the period from 1880 to 1905, the golden age of the bicycle some would say. During this time the cycling lobby campaigned for better roads for cycling and the lobby was of such strength, with so many people cycling for work and leisure, that the existing roads were brought up to scratch and new ones built.
This it seems is a forgotten part of history and although the Automobile Association grew out of a sub group of the Cyclists Touring Club, the part cyclists played in ensuring roads were suitable for cars when they started appearing in numbers is generally overlooked (and until I came across this book on Kickstarter, was completely unknown to me).
So for all of us who use the roads – perhaps it’s worth bearing in mind how much we owe to those early cyclists for bringing many of them them to us. And for a more in depth understanding of how it all happened have a look out for the book when it comes out.
Read more about Electric Bikes at: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/electric-transport
Read about the benefits of cycling under the ‘Travel’ tab on our Sustainable Living page at: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/sustainable-living.