A bicycle is a human-powered and pedal-driven vehicle. The basic design of a bicycle has two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. Some people refer to the bicycle as a cycle or bike. A bike rider is called a cyclist or a bicyclist.
Bicycles were first introduced in Europe towards the end of the 19th Century. By the early 21st Century, over one billion bikes have been produced globally. In some parts of the world, bicycles are the primary means of transportation. They are also used for fitness purposes, racing, recreational purposes, and courier services. Currently, there are many types of bicycles that are available on the market. The selection depends on the preference of the cyclist and the purpose for which they intend to use the bike.
Types of Bicycles
There are several types of bicycles, based on the design and use:
- Road bike. This bicycle is designed for fast riding on smooth pavements. It is skinny and has a lightweight design for enhancing speed.
- Mountain bike. This bicycle is suited for rocky rough off-roads and steep trails. It is one of the most preferred bicycles.
- Hybrid bike. It has both features of road bikes and mountain bikes. The hybrid bike is relatively comfortable, and it is capable of tackling off-road tracks and trails with ease.
- Triathlon/Time trail bike. This bicycle is built precisely for time trial or triathlon events. Its special design maximizes on the bicycle’s aerodynamic properties.
- BMX/Trick Bike. This bicycle is most popular with kids due to the small size. It is also suitable for the trick and stunt riding.
- Folding bike. This bike is ideal for those who travel with their bicycles as it easily fits in a trunk or a boat. It is also suitable for riding to work.
- Tandem bike. It is a bicycle for two. Riding this bicycle does not require any special skills, and it is delightful to use with a partner.
Benefits of Cycling
There are many benefits of cycling including health and environmental benefits. They include:
- No carbon dioxide emissions. Bicycles do not require fuel to operate therefore cycling eliminates carbon dioxide emissions.
- Fuel economy. Fuel is costly, and it is an energy pollutant. Cycling saves on fuel costs and conserves energy.
- Cycling improves the cardiovascular health thus reducing mortality rates.
- Saves on the money. Those people who use public transportation like buses can save money by use of bicycles.
- Traffic congestion. Cycling reduces traffic congestion, especially in the big cities.
- Increased muscle strength. Peddling strengthens the muscles and increases flexibility.
- Decreases stress levels. Cycling can be done as a recreational activity to reduce stress.
Bicycles have many benefits beyond transportation. They are very easy to use and come in different sizes and at very affordable prices. Compared to cars, they are more economical and environmentally friendly. Bicycles are also portable meaning you can carry them along as you travel or go for vacations. Cycling is an enjoyable and healthy sport that has become internationally recognized through biking competitions.