'Two years after the Civil War ended in a Union victory at Appomattox, a machinist named Sylvester Roper fitted a bicycle with a small steam engine. He called it a steam velocipede, and it's still considered the earliest incarnation of what would come to be known as the motorcycle. Roper eventually settled in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, area; refined a number of inventions; and amassed more than a dozen U.S. patents. In 1896, throngs of people gathered along the Charles River to watch him and his steam velocipede reach speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour. Moments later, Roper, ever the pioneer, became the first man to die in a motorcycle accident.'
When a motorist cut him off.