Cycling is a sport enjoyed all over the world. This unique mode of transportation made it possible for people all over the planet to hop on two wheels and travel across all kinds of landscapes and terrains. The humble bicycle also played a role in women’s rights by enabling women to become more independent and transforming cultural norms surrounding clothing. Today we take a look at some of our favourite cycling facts.
1. Cheaper than a car
Since bicycle parts are cheaper than car parts and bicycle repair is more simple than car repair, a bike is 20X cheaper to maintain than a car. If you want to maintain your bicycle yourself, there are handy videos online that can show you how. Our favourite cycle maintenance videos are by the team at Cycle Maintenance Academy who produce free, easy to follow videos on YouTube explaining how to repair and maintain a bicycle at home.
2. Bike Capital of world
Anyone who has visited Amsterdam is likely to be familiar with the reems and reams of bicycles. The city is owned by cyclists rendering motorists powerless. Bikes account for 36 percent of all traffic movements in Amsterdam making it the bike capital of the world.
There are a number of reasons why cycling is so popular in Amsterdam, one of them being that traffic rules are so bike-friendly that the dutch don’t even need helmets. Although we would still recommend wearing a helmet whenever you use a bicycle, Amsterdam has a well designed cycling infrastructure meaning cycling accidents are surprisingly low. Another reason why cycling is so popular across Amsterdam is because of their convenience. Amsterdam is small, flat and better suited for cycling than driving. In fact, driving is generally discouraged and parking fees are high.
3. Cycling and women’s rights
Before the bicycle, during the early 1800s, womens were heavily restricted by lack of rights, clothing and limited social interactions. However, after the more modern style bicycle was introduced, cycling suddenly became a viable mode of transportation. The bicycle gave women the freedom of movement and travel.
What’s more, the bike made women have to deal with the realities of riding a bicycle in Victorian dresses, which as you can imagine was particularly impractical. Corsets were restricting and dresses were heavy and obstructed. This led to the controversial bloomer being born.
Overtime, bicycle riding came to embody the individuality women were working toward with the suffrage movement. Once the bicycle wheels gained momentum, there were no stopping women from riding their way to liberation.
Although cycling is now widely used in the west regardless of gender, unfortunately in some countries it remains illegal for women to ride a bike. This demonstrates that there is still inequality between genders across the world and fighting for equal rights is an ongoing battle.
4. Fastest cyclist ever
The world record for the fastest speed on a bicycle is currently held at 183mph. To achieve her new cycling speed record of 296.01kmh (183.932mph), Mueller-Korenek took to the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah in the USA.
It would be virtually impossible to accelerate up to that speed by pedalling alone, so she was initially towed up to speed by a dragster before releasing the tow line and covering the final mile at full tilt under her own power, with a windshield behind the car helping to reduce aerodynamic drag.
5. Amount of bikes in the world
Although there is no exact figure, data collected on bicycles suggests that there are approximately 1 billion bikes in the world. Almost half of bicycles were seen in China. Other countries in the top 5 were the USA with 100 million, Japan with 72 million 540 thousand, Germany with 62 million, and Brazil with 40 million.
There are almost twice as many bicycles in the world than cars. Choosing a bike over a car just once a day reduces an average citizen’s carbon emissions from transport by 67%, imagine if everyone who owned a bicycle switched to using that as their primary source of transportation instead of a car.
We hope these cycling facts have taught you something new, if there are any we’ve missed we would love to hear from you. Thanks for reading.