As in a number of past years, the art of cycle-making in 1898 exhibits distinct signs of two irresistible tendencies. One is toward fixity of type; the other is toward reversion to type. Fixity of type means the condition when—although there may be several widely different patterns of bicycle in use, as there always are of other wheeled vehicles—all of one pattern are substantially alike, varying only in trivial details, the product of all makers bearing the same appearance to the casual eye, however varying in real quality. When that time comes bicycles will resemble cut nails in being staple, standard, uniform and all alike. Such a time has not yet arrived, and it is not necessary to try to name the date in the new century when it will arrive; nevertheless the signs of its approach are unmistakable.

Reversion to type—a well-known phrase of the scientific evolutionist— 역삼풀사롱 means here a return to earlier and once-discarded forms of construction. Very few notice the process, yet it constantly goes on. The inquirer for novelties often has the old presented to him and is satisfied, supposing he is looking on a new up-to-date production; it is a common experience to find alleged new devices brought out and rapturously received by the quidnuncs which the veteran instantly recognizes as among the things he saw tossed, years ago, into the refuse of the scrapheap.

That unhappy and irrepressible person, the “born inventor”—one of whom, like the “sucker,” is born every minute—is perpetually doing this in cycle matters, because the cycle is so much in the public eye that it draws him as the lamp flame draws the moth; he cannot keep away from it. Twenty years ago, at the very beginning of the bicycle in this country, he was eagerly on hand with his multiple-speed, mile-a-minute contraption; he has been doing the same ever since, and is just as industriously as ever reinventing the old folly; the Patent Office is flooded with his lumber. This, however, is repetition rather than reversion