Human-powered land vehicle / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A velocipede (/vəˈlɒsəpd/) is a human-powered land vehicle with one or more wheels. The most common type of velocipede today is the bicycle.

Velocipedes from an 1887 German encyclopedia. Among the examples shown are a penny farthing and a boneshaker.

The term was probably first coined by Karl von Drais in French as vélocipède for the French translation of his advertising leaflet for his version of the Laufmaschine, also now called a 'dandy horse', which he had developed in 1817. It is ultimately derived from the Latin velox, veloc- 'swift' + pes, ped- 'foot'.[1] The term 'velocipede' is today mainly used as a collective term for the different forerunners of the monowheel, the unicycle, the bicycle, the dicycle, the tricycle and the quadracycle developed between 1817 and 1880. It refers especially to the forerunner of the modern bicycle that was propelled, like a modern tricycle, by cranks, i.e. pedals, attached to the front axle[1] before the invention of geared chains and belt and shaft drives powering the rear.