Sunday, October 3, 2010

How About Some Bicycle Facts...?

We see them every day, but how much do we really know about the bicycle?

For something so common place, the bike has a pretty interesting history! When you think about how long the thing has been around, it has changed very little over the years in it's basic design.

Here is a bit of interesting history that you might find entertaining...

There are about a billion bicycles in the world, twice as many as motorcars. Almost 400 million bicycles are in China. Every year some 50 million bicycles and 20 million cars are produced.

Although Leonardo da Vinci drew some rough sketches of a contraption that looked like a bicycle, the Frenchman De Sivrac built the first bicycle-type vehicle in 1690. It was referred to as a hobbyhorse. However, it did not have pedals. Those were added in 1840 by a Scottish blacksmith, Kirkpatrick Macmillan, who is credited with inventing the real bicycle.

On a penny-farthing bicycle, one pedal gave the wheel one turn. A lot of pedaling was needed to get around! With the advent of gears, bicycles could move as fast as cars.

Air-filled tires were used on bicycles before they were used on motorcars.

The bicycle as we know it today – with two wheels of the same size – looks almost exactly the same as one from 1900.

The first five-seat bicycle, the quindem, was built in 1940.

The world speed record on a bicycle is held by John Howard, Olympic Cyclist and Ironman triathlon winner from the US. In 1985 he reached 245,08 km/h (152.2 mph), cycling in the slipstream of a specially designed car.

Well, there ya go! Probably more information than you ever wanted to know about the humble bicycle! Just a little some thing to ponder while share our morning cup!

Speaking of that, my friends, let's get a fresh cup and sit outside before the rain shows up again!


Anonymous said...

You may want to check David Herlihy's The History for a fact check and some mythbusting.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Really interesting!
I do like the bicycle You show i the photo. It must be like biking with the highest gear all the time, but I guess one can reach very high speed with it if one only can manage to make that first pedaling :-)

Have a great day now!

Ben in Texas said...

Really more info than I ever cared to know about bicycles.. All I know is that the air heads that ride them around here on the county roads have absolutely NO respect.. Personally I think all bicycle riders should have to ride two abreast holding hands. and obey the laws.

JoJo said...

Good Morning My Special One
Very interesting. But I have to agree with Ben, some of these people have no respect, they are the first to blame drives of cars for their accidents, They will ride 4-5 abreast of their bike lanes and into traffic.
But we can sit around the patio and have our cup and yes before the rain. :)

Barney (The Old Fat Man) said...

Just so you folks know, us airheads have the same right to the road as other vehicles per Texas laws. Us airheads also are required to obey the same laws as other vehicles.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Over 152 mph, golly!! I couldn't get that fast if I peddled off a cliff. The fastest I ever got when I was young was just a little over 50 mph.

Jym said...

=v= Analysis of the materials in the da Vinci sketch of a bicycle revealed that it was added many years later, as a joke or a hoax. There is no doubt, though, that da Vinci invented the bicycle chain and cog!

Catman said...

Bicycle thefts in NY City is 4.5 times that of cars.

russell1200 said...

Bicycles became popular just a little before automobiles in the United States.

The improved roads (in the cities and towns) that were available to the new automobiles, where there because of lobbying by bicycle groups.

Ashley said...

I love bicycles. I plan to try teaching the child again soon. I think she's finally got that whole "pedaling" thing down, so now I just need to teach her balance. And steering. And safety. And... Well, anyway, do you have one? I could bring the child and we could go biking together while the weather is cool.