01 April 2015

Medieval bicycle found

Archaeologists are reporting a spectacular discovery at excavations around the Château-Gaillard, the favorite castle of Richard the Lionheart (1188-1199) in Lower Normandy:
They have unearthed two graves side by side. In both of them they have found the rests of the body of an armored knight, and above it in one grave the well preserved skeleton of a horse, while in the other the fragments of iron objects which, seen from above, resembled… a bicycle -

At Poemas del Rio Wang, you can read additional details about other pre-modern bicycles, including some from the Renaissance.  Here is an illustration from a 15th-century French book of coats-of-arms:

Unbelievable.  Literally.


  1. You had me for about 10 seconds. Bravo.

  2. "Especially surprizing the number of fish bones found buried with it."

  3. If the wheel designs weren't clearly different in each pic, you might have got me good :)

  4. Ouch, I believed it for two whole minutes!
    until reading the next post..

  5. Isn't it fantastic the amount of trouble taken by people to fool us all. It is, after all, for our amusement, and to make us all a little happier.

    1. Definitely. I showed this to a young man that works for me. He said, "I used to think adults didn't do anything for April Fools. I then learned they just do things that are sometimes quite a bit more sophisticated and amazing."

      This was the best of all April Fools jokes that I saw this year.

    2. I trust everyone is reading the full version at Poemas del Rio Wang, rather than stopping with my brief excerpt. The original is way more detailed and sophisticated.

  6. I'm only reading this now on April 6th, you had me for a minute there! When I seen the pedal-chain I really began to doubt it, then the mud guards.. :)


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