A bicycle is a two-wheeled steerable machine propelled by human power. It is an alternative to driving, and it can be used to commute, work out, and for fun. Bicycling helps reduce the carbon footprint and improves aerobic fitness. Cycling is also useful in places where walking is not possible.
The first bicycle was invented in France. In 1847, the inventors of the bicycle were the Olivier brothers. They were inspired by a design they saw in Paris. After testing the concept, they started to make their own models.
The first model had a serpentine-shaped malleable iron frame. The frame was later replaced with a diagonal one made from wrought iron. But pedaling and steering using the front wheel remained a problem. During the Franco-German War, the industry was devastated.
Bicycles were soon sold in Britain. Two British companies exhibited their bikes at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. This was followed by a second boom. One of these was a factory of Albert E. Pope, which began making Columbia bicycles in 1880. Another was the Rover Cycle Company Ltd. That firm changed its name to the Rover Company in the late 1890s.
Later, the use of chain drive was introduced. Chain drive connected the cranks mounted on the frame to the rear wheel. By the middle of the 20th century, bicycles were manufactured in a wide range of materials, including metals such as aluminum and steel. Some of the components were specially designed for bicycles, such as derailleur gears.
Many people continue to bike for different reasons. Many riders ride their bicycles for fitness or fun. Others bike to commute or to compete in races. Regardless of the reason, cyclists should use safety precautions, and they should obey traffic laws. Cyclists should also be careful of inclement weather and other road conditions.
Cyclists should avoid riding on railroad tracks and busy roads. They should always be alert and keep a safe distance from parked cars and potholes. Also, be sure to wear bright clothing when riding during the day, and use bright lighting when cycling at night. Watch for storm grates, potholes, and other hazards. And be prepared to stop when required, such as when crossing intersections.
Bicyclists should exercise caution when changing lanes or turning left or right. When doing so, signal well before changing directions. Avoid swerving into the path of traffic, running stop signs, and riding into traffic, especially when turning. Instead, cyclists should use their eyes and ears to help them navigate the world around them.
Bicycles have a wide impact on human society. As a result of their development, they have helped to ease the burden of transportation, allowed for more leisure time in the country, and reduced the dependence on horses.
Today, millions of people ride their bikes worldwide. They can go as fast as five miles per hour, and they are a great way to get fit. If you’re interested in getting into cycling, it’s a good idea to check out local gyms and cycling clubs.