8 Weird But Interesting Facts You Didn't Know about Cycling

Posted by tan xiao yan on

You may find some very amazing facts on reviewing the history and development of the bicycle. Whether you are a roadie, newbie, Boris biker, a fixed-gear freestyler or a Shoreditch hipster cyclist, you might not get a knowledge about these fun facts. As a matter of fact, your two-wheeled friend didn't have pedals when he was born. You were in need of powering the bicycle by running along with your feet while using the wheels for propulsion. How amazing it was! In effect, there are still more interesting stories about bikes in history. Let's see…

The word "Bicycle" originates in French from the 1860s

The earliest shaping bicycle, named the German Draisine, was created around 1817. It was almost entirely made of wood. And several thousands of copies were built and used. The rider must propel the Draisine, also known as a velocipede, along with the road. Later on, an improved version appeared in 1818 in Britain. But riders' boots wore out easily. A French metalworker solved the problem by adding pedals, laying the foundation for what people today would identify as a bicycle.

Bicycles were known as "Bone-Shakers" during a period

As we all know, the earlier bicycles on designs were different from what they are today. Early versions were still to get rid of many design inefficiencies, leaving Britons and Americans to commonly regard bicycles as "Bone-Shakers" because of the inferior tyres they served. Of course, this name predated the later addition of solid rubber tyres.

Risky toys

Generally speaking, the earlier bicycles were too risky for ordinary people, particularly the high-wheeled bicycles. Only daring young men were brave enough to ride. These men were probably looking for challenges. And the large wheel allowed for additional speed, if the bicycle lost control, the rider would be in danger. Hurting wrists or getting caught were common occurrences under the bicycle. As you can imagine, the number of accidents soared at that time. So it was prohibited by the police! And its popularity dramatically faded. It was not until the emergence of the "safety bike" in the late 1800s that bicycles were popular again.

Bicycle heyday

Its heydey was the period from the mid-1890s into the early 20th century. At that time, the designs of bicycles were gradually improved. Newer designs of bikes had equally sized wheels (in the past, the two wheels of bicycles were different in size), with the front one being steerable. The better design also highly improved safety. The change of pneumatic tyres added made the bikes more comfortable. And a rear wheel was fixed chain drive, which added the speed. More importantly, the mass production brought down the costs, thus making a bike affordable. Riding has been as a means of transport, and as a leisure activity prevailed in America and Europe.

Emancipation of women

The cheaper bikes gave women mobility and independence. The restrictive clothing worn by women was impractical and cumbersome. Clothing developed which was practical for bicycle riding, freeing women from restrictive clothing. This change may have been brought about by the practical needs of bicycle riding, but eventually assisted in modernising women's attire in daily life.

The longest tandem bicycle

The longest tandem bicycle ever built in the world had 35 seats and was about 67 feet long.

Bikes can head on without pedalling

The cycling science tells you: amazingly, a bike can stay going without pedalling as long as it's moving at 8mph or faster.

A world-record-breaking bike

The largest bicycle has a wheel diameter of 3.3 m (10 feet, 9.92 inches) and was built by Didi Senft from Germany. Gut gemach!

We can know that the invention of the bicycle changed our society dramatically. The bike developed from a dangerous novelty to an indispensable mode of transport, and even push forward the women's movement in the process. Modern bikes later added gears and became tailored to the varying needs of different cyclists, which lead to the development of different models, such as BMX bikes and racing bicycles.