A history of the machine’s evolution, a dive into the thrills of bicycle racing and a meditation on the two-wheeled life.

By Michael Barry for the Wall Street Journal

A cyclist stands up on his pedals and rides out of the saddle. As he hovers over his handlebars, his bicycle swaying in harmony with his body, the sight is often one of fluidity and grace. The French call this riding en danseuse—“as a dancer.” Even a novice rider cruising through a city park can easily find his “dancing” rhythm, his breathing in sync with his pedal strokes, his heart rate increasing with his effort, the ticking of his chain and wheels steadily keeping time. In these moments, some may find relaxation, others exhilaration, but almost all will discover a sense of solace and freedom.

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