What is a Bicycle?


A bicycle is a two-wheeled human powered land vehicle that has a seat, pedals, and a frame. The cyclist pushes the pedals with their feet, which turns the cranks that spin the rear wheel and propel the bike forward. The bike also has a front wheel that swivels to steer it. The handlebars curve toward the rider, and a shifter allows the cyclist to change gears. A bike is used for transportation, recreation, exercise, and racing.

Invented in 1817 by German baron Karl von Drais, the bicycle was the first machine that allowed humans to travel at speeds greater than walking. It was a clumsy and dangerous affair, however, and it took until the mid-1880s for what had been a fad for well-off gentlemen to become a reliable, affordable means of transport for the masses.

Today’s bicycle is more comfortable than ever before, thanks to improvements in materials, frame design and suspension. The majority of bikes are made from steel or aluminum alloys, and lighter weight has helped to reduce the cost and complexity of the components. High-end models often feature carbon fiber, which is very strong and incredibly light, allowing for greater stiffness without increasing the weight.

One of the most important advances has been in the saddles, which have evolved to be more comfortable. Designers and engineers have come up with a range of ergonomic features, including anatomical shapes, cutouts to eliminate pressure on soft tissue (preventing numbness or pain), flexible frames, gel padding, and cushioning springs. Most modern Hybrid and Comfort bicycles will have a suspension fork, which compresses to absorb bumps and cracks and insulate you from the jarring jolts of rough roads and cycle paths.

Depending on the type of bike you choose, you may also want to consider adding a rack and fenders to protect you and your possessions from the elements. Many road bikes are designed for speed, and will have a narrower tire (around 28c). These tires can be uncomfortable on rough terrain, so it is usually a good idea to upgrade to a wider tyre, which can take more of the impact and be more comfortable.

A road trip is a great way to relax, see the country, and meet new people. If you want to make the most of your trip, consider detouring to visit worthwhile museums and monuments along the way. For example, if you’re traveling to Yellowstone, consider taking the long way there by visiting the Crazy Horse and Devil’s Tower in South Dakota, or the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus. Also, make sure you plan ahead by using online mapping tools to calculate how far you can drive in a day and how much time you’ll need for breaks.