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6 Fun Facts About Bikes
6 Fun Facts About Bikes
More Than One Billion Bikes Have Been Produced
To say there are a lot of bikes on the road would be an understatement. While the exact number remains unknown, some experts have estimated there to be more than one billion. That's twice as many as automobiles, attesting to its widespread popularity.
Riding a Bike Takes the Same Energy as Walking
According to Wikipedia, riding a bike at speeds between 10-15 miles per hour (mph) uses roughly the same amount of energy that's required for walking. Of course, air drag will affect the energy requirements of cycling, as greater air drag/resistance forces the rider to work extra hard when peddling. Cyclists can lower their air drag by keeping their body close to the seat and using an aerodynamic fairing. The key thing to remember is that you want to keep your body compact and close together, as this reduces air resistance while subsequently minimizing energy requirements.
Bicycles Encourage Tourism
The rise of the bicycle at the turn of the 20th century had a positive impact on tourism in the United States. This otherwise simple two-wheeled device allowed tourists to travel the landscape with ease. And unlike automobiles at the time, bicycles were cheap and readily available, making them a particularly attractive choice for travelers. Furthermore, many cities even offer free parking for bikes, whereas drivers of automobiles are charged by the day or hour to park.
Bicycles Can Haul Stuff
You might be surprised to learn that bicycles can be equipped with trailers for hauling. A hitch must first be installed on the bicycle, at which point a trailer can be attached. Of course, adding a hitch and trailer to your bike will increase peddling resistance. But as long as you stick to flat, even landscape -- and keep your trailer weight to a minimum -- this shouldn't be a problem.
Bikes Were Originally Called 'Velocipedes'
Before they were called bikes, they were originally called "velocipedes." Later, however, the term "bicycle" was derived from the French word "bicyclette." Since then, the term had stuck is now widely used to describe this device.
Biking at 207 mph
Think you're a fast bike rider? Think again. The world record for the fastest, non-motorized bike ride goes to Bruce Bursford, who in 1996 achieved speeds in excess of 207 mph after being towed to 100 mph on a custom bicycle. Other cyclists have attempted to beat Bursford's record, but to no avail.