A bicycle is a two-wheeled vehicle, usually pedaled by a rider. It is a common mode of transportation in areas where automobiles are unavailable or uneconomical.
Developed by Karl von Drais in Germany, the first bicycle had no pedals and was a wood-beam frame with iron rims and leather-covered tires. It hit the road in 1817, and soon became a popular sport among German athletes.
Early bicycles were inherently unsafe, because mounting and dismounting required skill and a large front wheel allowed the rider to be pitched forward by road hazards or severe braking. They were expensive and only a few riders could afford them.
In the 1870s, the boneshaker was replaced by a practical bicycle called the ordinary. The front wheel ranged from 40 to 60 inches (102 to 152 centimeters), depending on the rider’s leg length, and it could go faster on bad roads. The ordinary’s cranks were directly connected to the front wheel and it had limited speed by pedaling cadence and wheel diameter, but it was much safer than the boneshaker and popular with young men.
Bicycles are also used for recreational pursuits such as riding to the mall or along the beach. They are a great way to get fit and exercise.
Cycling can build muscle and strength, and is a good aerobic workout that burns calories quickly. It also helps improve blood circulation and lowers cholesterol levels, which are associated with heart disease.
However, you should only try a new fitness activity three times before you decide whether or not it’s right for you. If you don’t enjoy it, chances are that you won’t stick with it.
If you do like cycling, it’s a great way to lose weight and keep your body healthy. It’s also good for your heart and lungs, and it can raise your spirits.
There are many types of bikes and components, so it’s important to choose the right one for you. Here are some tips on what to look for:
Types of Bicycles
There are several different types of bicycles, including mountain bikes, comfort bikes, and road bikes. Choosing the right bike depends on your riding preferences and where you live.
For example, if you live in a rural area where there are few roads, you’ll want to invest in a mountain bike. The bike will have a wide base for climbing hills, a heavy frame for stability, and a long reach to help you maneuver through narrow areas of the countryside.
If you live in an urban area, on the other hand, you’ll probably prefer a road bike that has a lighter frame and a lower reach. This can help you avoid injuries on rough roads and make it easier to ride uphill.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a safety helmet. This will protect your head, neck, and face from injury in the event that you fall off the bike or are hit by a car. You can also buy helmets that have an integrated computer that will tell you how fast you’re going and can display information such as your estimated time of arrival to work or your average heart rate.