Interesting Facts About Bicycles

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Some interesting facts about bicycles – Don’t miss out the fun!

Did you know that there’re over a billion bicycles on this plant at this moment? This number is two times higher than the total number of motorcars. In China alone, there are approximately 4 hundred million bicycles. Every year, around fifty million bicycles are manufactured. Just compare it with the twenty million new cars every year!

Though Leonardo da Vinci came up with a few rough drawings of bicycles, it was a Frenchman called De Sivrac who built the earliest bicycle type thing in 1690. That masterpiece was as interesting as it gets! They called it – the hobbyhorse. The funny thing is that it had no pedals. Rather, pedals were introduced in 1840. And the mastermind was a brilliant Scottish blacksmith called Kirkpatrick Macmillan. Many Scottish people still claim that this is the guy who first came up with a real bicycle.

Did you know about a special kind of bicycle called penny-farthing? This kind of bicycle usually has a pedal that gives just a single turn of the wheel. Boy! That sounds like lots of pedaling needed for getting around! But in modern times, different types of gears have been attached to bicycles. This makes them keep the same pace as cars in city streets.

In the beginning, air-filled tires were used with bicycles before the motorcars got them. The bicycles we see today have 2 wheels that measure just the same size. And that’s the way things have been since the early 1900s. The world saw the first 5-seat bicycle called the Quindem. It was made in 1940. Do you know which one the fastest bicycle of the world is? Well, historians say that Fred Rombpelberg used to be the fastest in the mid-1980s. It helped John Howard (the Olympic cyclist) set a world record speed record. Though it sounds amazing, this guy really managed to reach 152.2 miles per hour (245.08 kilometers per hour) speed cycling within the slipstream of a highly specialized car.

This record stood still till October 1995 as a Dutch cyclist called Fred Rompelberg managed to pedal the slipstream of one dragster at around 167 mph. This record is yet to be broken. Would you believe that the new record holder Fred, was actually 50 when the Absolute World Speed Record for Cycling was set? This makes him the eldest professional cyclist of the world.

There are different kinds of stories known regarding the invention of first bicycles. In the late 1810s, a German called Karl von Drais invented a special horseless carriage so he could go around faster. It was a 2-wheeled, a pedal-less vehicle propelled as he pushed his feet on the ground. During that time, this machine came to be popularly known as – the “draisine.” This, many historians believe, actually led to the invention of the modern bicycles.

Bicycles were known as bicycles till the 1860s. These two-wheeled vehicles were named as bicycles in France first for describing a new flanged two-wheeled vehicle with a simple, yet effective mechanical drive.