Cycling is an excellent way to get exercise while enjoying the great outdoors. Even if you are a seasoned cyclist, you may not be aware of some fun (or even obscure!) facts about cycling.
A Brief History of the Bicycle
- The first design for the bicycle originated in France, with the current design coming out of England. Blacksmiths, or cartwrights, were responsible for the initial design.
- A Scottish blacksmith named Kirkpatrick Macmillan invented the first rear-wheel powered design.
- The first device resembling a bike was designed by Karl von Drais in Germany in 1817.
- The first commercially sold bicycle was called the “Boneshaker” and was purchased in Paris in 1868.
- John Boyd Dunlop was responsible for the invention of the pneumatic tire in 1887. A decade later, the auto industry adopted the use of the pneumatic tire design.
Facts and Figures About the Bicycle
Now that you know how the bike developed, check out some random fun facts and figures about the bicycle:
- The fastest cycling trip on a flat surface is 133.75 km/h.
- The smallest bicycle constructed has wheels the size of silver dollars.
- By bicycling to your destination, you are helping save over 238 million gallons of gas each year.
- There are an estimated 1 trillion bicycles being utilized across the globe.
- China now boasts over a half billion bicyclists in the country, while the United Kingdom has 20 million cyclists.
- One parking space for a car can fit between 6 and 20 bikes.
- Fred A. Birchmore was the first person to ride his bike around the globe. Birchmore biked 25,000 miles and traveled 15,000 miles by boat in between countries. He went through 7 sets of tires on his global trek.
- The first mountain bike was made in 1977.
- In the United States, you can join 1 of 400 cycling clubs located throughout the country. In New York City, 10% of people commute to work on their bikes.
- Orville and Wilbur Wright, designers of the first aircraft, also operated their own bike repair shop. It was there that they designed their 1903 Wright Flyer that made history.
- The record for a tandem bike is a 67-foot long bike that was ridden by 35 people.
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