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Bicycling In Chicago: City Wasn't Always So Bike-Friendly (VIDEO)

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Chicago Park District
Chicago Park District

Though Chicago today is one of the nation's bike-friendliest cities, it wasn't always that way: At one point, the two-wheelers were banned from parts of the city at one point.

These bicycles were the "high-wheelers," which were first introduced in the late 1870s and, according to a new video released Thursday by the Chicago Park District, were prohibited from Lincoln Park because of the danger they posed for their riders and pedestrians alike.

It wasn't until smaller -- and less expensive -- "safety" bicycle models were introduced later in the century that the practice really caught on. As the Chicago Tribune previously noted, by 1897, then-mayoral candidate Carter Harrison II attained the support of the city's powerful bicycle clubs and went on to be elected to four terms.

The video also features the velodrome built in the 1920s in Humboldt Park, Chicago's last wooden track of its kind.

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