A smoother ride
As early as the 1880s, cyclists were advocating for good roads, both rural and urban. By the 1890s groups such as the League of American Wheelmen successfully lobbied state and municipal governments for road improvements.
The cycler’s heart beats glad and high
When he knows he never lacks
A road that’s hard and smooth and dry
And free from thorns and tacks.
– A Bicycular Paradise, 1898
In the 1890s bicycle manufacturers began to replace the solid, hard rubber tires attached to the rims of bicycle wheels with removable pneumatic tires filled with air. The tires made for a smoother, easier-to-pedal, faster ride—broadening the bicycle’s appeal and increasing the demand for good roads.