Bicycles are the most popular human powered vehicles in the world. They utilise a simple pedal locomotion system and are relatively affordable. Cycling is enjoyed by a plethora of people for recreation and fitness. Bikes are also ideal for regular commutes to and from work. In some regions they are even the principal means of transportation. Cycling has a wide range of applications. Whilst they are popular with children bicycles are also often used by the military, police and courier services. In the sporting world they are used for racing and stunts. It is fair to say that the invention of the bicycle has had a huge impact on global society.
The History Of Bicycles
The first vehicle to use a two wheel tandem system was called the “dandy horse” and invented in 1817. Whilst it did not have pedals it is often regarded as the earliest form of bicycle. In 1868 an improved version called the velocipede emerged. It was mechanically propelled via a pedal and crank drive. The most significant development was the safety bicycle of the 1880s. It featured a chain driven cycle and rear wheel drive. This model became the prototype for other bicycles that would come after it. Today there are numerous bike types but none deviate too far from the engineering of the safety bicycle.
Why Are Bicycles So Popular?
Bicycles are significantly cheaper to own and maintain than cars. They are also a greener choice as they do not cause emissions. Bikes do not take up much space and can be stored in most homes. Furthermore, an entire culture has formed around the act of cycling. It promotes healthier living and environmental protection.
The Health Benefits Of Bicycles
Another reason why so many people choose to cycle is because this activity provides several health benefits. Riding a bike regularly can increase cardiovascular fitness, muscle flexibility and strength. Posture and coordination may be improved. It is an ideal way to prevent obesity and diseases associated with inactivity. Cycling has also been proven to decrease stress levels. Therefore this activity is good for both the body and mind.
Choosing The Right Bicycle Type
There are several factors to bear in mind when choosing the right bicycle type. Firstly the cyclist should determine what its main purpose will be. Their budget will also play a role. Mountain bikes are better for off-roading. Folding ones are popular for work commutes. Racing tends to be performed with a cyclocross. If the rider wants their bike to perform a variety of functions then it is better to go for a hybrid.