Bicycles are an amazing way to get the needed exercise. They are a fun way to get a much-needed break from our routine and cruise along the roads carefree. And with the pandemic, more and more people have picked up on cycling as a hobby.
Despite these bicycles being a part of our lifestyle, how much do we know about them anyway? Do you know how they were invented and what led to their evolution? Here’s the good news: I have all this information jotted right here so you can know more about your favorite set of two wheels!
So let’s travel into the past and uncover some really interesting bike facts. Are you ready?
How Were Bikes Invented?
Did you know that bikes are the result of beautiful art sketches made by the Legendary Artist Leonardo Da Vinci? Prior to the modern bicycle, there were many models of the bicycle that evolved over the years.
When Da Vinci passed on, he even left behind some sketches of a version of the modern-day bicycle. These sketches were recovered in 1493. They say art never dies, and that is true when it comes to the legacy left behind by Da Vinci. Many people claim that the discovery was made by Da Vinci’s student Gian Giacomo Caprotti. Some even say that the original sketch was made by the student but there is no existing proof of that yet.
The sketch that was made by Da Vinci would only work in theory for a while as people used horses as the main mode of transportation for hundreds of years. There is also no singular number of how many bikes were made for trials and were then discarded because of their designs or performance flaws.
Contribution Of The German Laufmaschine
Inspired by the findings, a German Baron named Karl Von Drais started his own experiments and thus invented a vehicle that looked and performed mainly like the modern-day bicycle. It was named the “Laufmaschine.” This was a machine that had two wheels. These were held together by a bar which was at the main center. It worked and performed very differently than a bicycle but the concept was the same, to move a person from point A to point B using two wheels.
To use the Laufmaschine, the person had to sit and then run till there was momentum. After gaining enough speed, the legs would then be raised up and the vehicle would keep running until the momentum faded. Word traveled fast to the far reaches of England and that is when they produced the Dandy Horse which the Laufmaschine inspired.
The French Upgrade
The original Dandy Horse was used for a good 40 years. During this time, and till then the design was not modified. That changed when a pair of French Carriage Makers Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallemen decided to make their own improvements to the Dandy Horse.
Their improvement forever revolutionized bicycles. They decided to attach the pedals to the front wheel and install the driver’s seat on the support beam. This is very familiar to the design of the modern-day bicycle.
In 1864 they transformed their vision into an actual machine. That is when the bicycle was produced for the first time. Although, in the beginning, the production was limited. But in just a short span of 4 years, they gathered enough funds to mass-produce the new bike. They had to name this bike, so they went for the “Boneshaker”.
What made the Boneshaker so special? I am glad you asked! The Boneshaker had many improvements. It had an iron frame, whereas the previous model had a frame made out of wood. Rubber tires and ball bearings were also added later on.
Cycling is a low-impact aerobic exercise that offers a wealth of benefits. It can help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol, and strengthen your legs. To learn more about the benefits of cycling, check out our blog post
Next Came The Safety Bicycle
Although the high-wheel Boneshaker was very famous for some time, in 1885 there were some massive changes made by Englishman John Kemp Starley. He named this upgrade, the “Safety Bicycle” and later on it was changed to Rover. This bicycle features chains that connect the pedals to the front and rear wheels. The upgrade was so popular that later on, it was standardized. All four aspects were cleared: safety, speed, comfort, and steering.
This was the Golden Age of Bicycles and it lasted for a very long time, from the 1900s to the 1950s. Bicycles became so popular at that time that they were used as a mode of primary transportation. Bicycle clubs all over England and America encouraged recreational and urban trips so that the popularity of bikes would increase and that is exactly what happened.
When the importance of these bikes increased, their popularity also increased! This resulted in the manufacturing costs of these bikes taking a huge fall. It was finally affordable to purchase a bike because it was also cheap to construct a bike.
Finally, The Modern Age Of Bikes
The New Era of Bike started in the 1960s. America and Europe were clearly cashing on the benefits of healthy exercise and bikes. These bicycles were fun to use. They were also energy efficient when it came to transportation. When the late 1970s came, more than 17 million people were already riding the new and improved bicycle.
Manufacturers started researching and thus came up with different types of bikes, such as mountain bikes, road bikes, and hybrid bikes. The construction of modern bikes also changed. Now the frames were made from aluminum and carbon fiber. Fast forward to 2010, more than 130 billion bicycles were being produced all over the world.
Isn’t that fascinating? Well here are some more facts to blow your mind! Cycling is a wonderful workout that keeps you active. It can help shape a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally. Learn more about how cycling can enhance your mood!
Astonishing Bike Facts That Will Blow Your Mind
Isn’t that fascinating? Well here are some more facts to leave you astonished!
1. China Has The Most Number Of Bicycles In The World
You might not know this but bikes are most popular in China. The sheer number of bikes there will just blow your mind to smithereens. If you wanted to know which country has the most number of bikes, or which country produces the most number of bikes, now you have the answer.
As of today, there are more than 500 million bicycles in China. Now if we talk about the bikes that are registered in China, this number could also go up as there are still many people that have not yet registered their bikes.
2. Germany Is The Birthplace Of The Modern Bike
The story goes around like this, in 1817, there was a German Baron by the name of Karl Von Drais who invented a horseless carriage. The idea of this horseless carriage was to go from point A to point B faster without any leverage.
3. The Term “Bicycle” First Originated In France
Bikes were indeed first produced in Germany but they were not called bicycles at that time. They were called different names. The word “Bicycle” first originated in France. In French, at that time it meant a two-wheeler vehicle that came with a mechanical drive. This concept is similar to the modern-day bike.
Cycling is an eco-friendly mode of transportation that can help reduce your carbon footprint.
4. The Yearly Bike Production Count Will Surprise You
Seeing that bikes are so popular in the world, how many are even produced yearly? In a year, more than 100 million bikes are produced around the world. Bicycles continue to grow every year, there are new improvements and new models with attractive features. Just as technology advances, so do bikes and that is why it leads to a whopping number of bike production. People love sustainable traveling and that is why the numbers keep on going up!
5. The Wright Brothers Had A Bike Repair Shop
Remember the Wright Brothers? The same brothers who invented the airplane! They had a bike repair shop at first. Their first shop was in Dayton, Ohio and it was very famous because the Wright Brothers knew how to tinker with stuff.
Orville and Wilbur Wright used the same bike repair shop to invent the famous Wright Flyer in 1903. Who knew that a couple of mechanics who used to tinker with bikes would invent the world’s first airplane? Bikes actually lead to the first flying airplane!
Cycling is a fun and enjoyable way to stay healthy. It’s a low-impact exercise that can be done at any age!
6. The Original Mountain Bike’s Design Emerged In The Late 1970s
The bicycle may have been invented a long time ago, it was in the 1970s when the original design of the mountain bike came into existence. The courier-style normal bikes were being used everywhere as they were one of the main modes of transportation. That is when Mountain Biking started becoming very famous. Bike riders wanted to try something more adventurous.
In 1977, a more advanced version of the bike was invented that was aimed at hikers and people who were into fitness. Using the new type of bike they were able to ascend hills and go to areas where the previous bike couldn’t. This prototype bike became so famous that manufacturers took a massive liking to it. That is how the modern-day mountain bike came into existence.
7. The Tour De France Is Over a Century Old
Who knew that the most famous bicycle race in the whole would be more than a century old? The first Tour De France was held in 1903. It was only meant to promote the sales of the local L’Auto newspaper. Although the original Tour was held for a short duration, now it spans 23 days. Men and women have different versions of the Tour De France while the latter is called Tour De France Femmes.
8. Bikes Are The Most Energy Efficient Vehicles There Are
When it comes to inventions that humans have made over the past centuries, the bicycle stands as the most energy-efficient vehicle there is. If we take into account the calories burned per kilometer, the bike expands like none other. No other type of vehicle can match the energy efficiency level of bikes and that is a proven fact.
If you love walking, then it would be wise if you switched to bicycles. Bicycling is 3 to 4 times more efficient than walking, you spend less energy but would be able to burn triple the amount of calories.
9. The Return Of Bicycle Courier Services
If we take a look back at a century ago then we can see that bicycle courier services used to be very popular. They are still used nowadays but vans and cars have replaced them significantly. Although the popularity of bicycle courier services is starting to increase again.
Bikes are able to skim through traffic without any kind of problems. That is an amazing ability that should be taken advantage of.
10. Cycling Is The World’s Most Profitable Sport
Cycling is not just for the views or the aesthetics. It stands as the World’s most profitable sport there is. Annually, cycling generates more than $51 billion dollars of worth.
11. Bike Is A Man’s Best Friend
What if I told you that there was once a guy who traveled the whole globe on his bike? Hard to believe, isn’t it? In 1935, Fred Birchmore traveled the whole world using only his bicycle. His travels took him across Europe, Asia, and America, he traveled a total distance of 40 thousand miles.
He had to change his tire set seven times to get this amazing feat done.
12. When In the Netherlands, Do As The Dutch Do
The Netherlands is a country which is famous for a lot of stuff, they are also famous for their use of bikes. More than 30 percent of all trips are made on bikes, doesn’t matter if it is an urban or rural trip. In the Netherlands, seven out of eight people own a bike.
If we compare these cycling trips to the United States, people use bikes for less than 1 percent when it comes to urban adventures.
13. Turning Olympian
The Bicycle Moto Cross (BMX) which is known to be an extreme level of sport, turned so prestigious that it was added to the 2008 Olympic Games in China.
14. Bike Popularity Knows No Bounds In Europe
If you thought bikes are very famous in the United States then just take a look at Europe. When it comes to urban trips, bikes are used for less than 1 percent in the United States. In Italy, bike trips consist of 5 percent, and in the Netherlands, it amounts to more than 30 percent.
Why do people love bicycling?
People love bicycling because it is a fun and affordable way to get in the exercise. It also takes one’s mind off of the daily hectic routine.
What is a fun fact about bicycling?
While bicycling, you can burn 500-600 calories per hour at just a moderate speed.
Why is it called a bicycle?
The word bicycle is derived from “bi” meaning two and “cycle” meaning the wheel. That is why it is called a bicycle because it has two wheels.
Who rode the first bicycle?
Karl Drais rode the first bicycle in 1817.
How many bicycles are there in the world?
There are roughly over a billion bicycles in the world. The exact number is not know because some bicycles are not registered.
Which city has the most bicycles in the world?
Utrecht, Netherlands has the most bicycles in the world.
Bicycling is one of the best human inventions. Since it was invented, it has remained a favorite of many people. And rightly so! Which of these facts did you already know of? Let me know what you think of them in the comments below!
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