A family rides bicycles on the Champs-Elysees on a Sunday morning in 1956 in Paris, where cycling has always evoked freedom. “Historically, the French have had a romantic attachment to their bikes,” The Times has written. “Though the first functioning two-wheeler is thought to have been invented by a German in 1817, it was the French who popularized and marketed the device in the 1860s, giving it the name ‘bicycle.’ ” split There are no bicycle helmet laws in Paris, and helmet-wearing is rare. “Even now, the default clich’ image of the chic Parisienne is a young woman in a flouncy skirt and high heels pedaling insouciantly along the Seine, a bouquet of flowers and a baguette in her bike’s wicker basket,” wrote The Times in 2015.This photo of bicycles on the Champs-Elysees appeared with a Times travel article, “What the Trip Will Cost,” on March 4, 1956. The Times story noted that long itineraries, from 21 to 41 days, were being offered to Europe-bound travelers. Back then, a 32-day bus tour of the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and France, including round trip airfare, was only $1,003 per person. Making that five-country tour today at that price would probably require a bike.