In our after-school activity ‘Bicycle Design and Technology’, we made a replica of the Celeripede, the first human powered two-wheeled machine, built by a French nobleman Count de Sivac in 1790.
We made our replica using recycled materials– wheels from Khun Rose Marie’s old bicycle and timber left over from other school workshop projects. We studied the original design and tried to follow it. We drilled holes for the wheel axles and assembled the wooden frame using nuts and bolts. We had to learn new skills in accurate measurement, and using hand tools such as wrenches and screwdrivers as well as drill and jigsaw power tools, which was a good experience
We also learned problem-solving skills, creative thinking, history, and team work. We gave the celeripede a trial ride. The conclusion was that it was quicker and easier than walking except when it came to trying to turn. Now we are thinking of making a steerable version, like the ‘Hobby Horse’ of 1816.