Why was the very first bicycle so important?
Actually, the first bicycles weren't that important in
themselves. They didn't work that well, and they were hideously
expensive - toys for rich men.
But the first bicycle was the seed that eventually grew into the
"safety bike", a design easily recognizable even today. And that
bike was the first affordable means of personal transportation,
allowing people to work, study or socialize outside walking
distance from their homes.