The Course of a Velocipede (1862)

The Course of a Velocipede

It was long ago known that the courses of many things, forbye true love, did not run smooth and the occurrences are so general and frequent, that one does not require to refer to ancient history for proof to establish the facts. Indeed they occur daily, but some of them are only noticed and forgotten again, while others are from circumstances connected with them, “noted.” One of the “noted” kind occurred here on the forenoon of Sabbath (we will not say it was Sabbath last.) A gallant youth in this neighbourhood, of a mechanical turn of mind, made, or caused to be made, some time ago, a “velocipede.” A vehicle driven with the feet by means of two treddles, so adjusted as to cause locomotive speed when set in motion. This machine, on the forenoon of Sabbath, was set in motion by its worthy owner, somewhere north of this and being bent on going south, haset the treddles a trundling on his journey with refreshing speed. But as he had occasion to come in the direction of Alyth along the Bamff Road, he kept near – rather near – the south side of that same road, when, coming betwixt the quarry and the town. At this same south side there is a declivity, or rather precipice, descending forty or sixty feet, with a considerable run of water moving along its base. The velocipedarian allowed one wheel to run off its level, which brought the “balance of power” to the dangerous side of the road and ere the ingenious propeller could regain a proper wheeling down, down went the hurly-burly over bank and brae and bush. Fortunately, in his descent, he was able to sieze hold of a bush, by which he clung, while the velocipede went crashing down below. When he got to it, he found that a very slight repair would set it right and this having been done, the adventurer again set forward on his journey.

The Dundee Courier & Argus, September 20, 1862

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