The Leeks set an energetic pace sure to divert anyone who hasn't already pedaled over the same ground in the company of Frederick Alderson et al. (KR, 1972). Ungainly first steps such as the boneshaker (whose shortcomings hardly need further explanation), the ""ordinary"" with its oversized front wheel, and the ladies' tricycle are only part of the Leeks' story. Once such refinements as pedals, gear chains and brakes became standard equipment, the bicycle really began to make its mark and was responsible for the decline of the chaperone, the long dress and Sunday church attendance -- developments usually attributed to (or blamed on) the automobile. The authors' disdain for American Puritanism (whether it was directed at cycles or long hair) can be irritating at times, but on the whole this is a freewheeling look at a phenomenon that's still fun -- even the second or third time around.