So once again, here we are in December. December – from the Latin word decem – meaning the month of the ten-speed. Back during the Roman calendar, when the bicycle was first invented, the fifth month was called Quintilis, from the Latin word quinque (meaning five) for that is the month that King Romulus invented the five-speed bicycle.
It was then that cycling boomed across Italy and by the time they were in the midst of the tenth month, December, Campagnolo had invented the 10-speed derailleur. They then basically took the next 61 days off for winter, during which they did absolutely no riding because those days were not actually assigned to any month and thus they were unable to make any entries into their cycling logbooks.
By the time 713 BC rolled around, King Numa Pompilius really felt the desire to have the kingdom out cycling during the winter time and had January and February added to the calendar to account for those unnamed 61 days. Unfortunately, by the time he was able to get this adjustment made to the calendar, the horse had been invented and most all of the people in the kingdom had taken advantage of the “cash for clunker” offers and had traded in their bikes for horses.
As a result, the bicycle virtually disappeared off the face of the earth for roughly the next 2,550 years and basically no one got to...