British businessman and inventor who is widely recognised as the father of the modern bicycle. He was born in Walthamstow, Essex. He moved to Coventry in 1872, first to work for his uncle building Ariel bicycles and then to go into business with local cycling enthusiast William Sutton in 1877 when they founded Starley and Sutton Company. They worked together to improve on the usability and safety of the penny farthing, which was the standard model of bicycle at this time. The breakthrough came in 1885, when Starley developed the Rover Safety Bicycle. It was chain-driven cycle, with both wheels the same size. Cycling magazine thought that it 'set the pattern to the world' and it did indeed look strikingly similar to the modern bicycle, as well as being a great commercial success across the world.
Bio by: Matt Harrison