Bicycles have been used in so many different types for so many different purposes by humans since the day they were invented. Being mainly designed as the simplest yet quite practical vehicles, they happen to be the first thing that come to mind when we think of going out for fresh air on a road that is right below natural leaf tunnels and full of steep slopes. Even though we generally cannot be aware of how beneficial using a bike is, it does not stop helping us in any way it can; including standing out as the cheapest mean of transportation that lacks the need of an artificial force to be able to operate and, thus, being our fellow traveler in the long process of getting rid of our surplus weight!
Not surprisingly enough, all the loyalty that bicycles offer us is now internationally recognized with the celebration of the World Bicycle Day which we celebrate on the 3rd of June every year. Being acknowledged by the United Nations, this day has a very important history. However, I would like to start by giving you a little insight into the evolution of the bicycle itself.
The Evolution of Bicycles
Introduced in the 19th century in Europe, the bike is thought to be originated from another human-powered vehicle called “Draisines”. Draisines were mainly used in the areas of railway construction to help workers carry supplements. Then, Kirkpatrick MacMillan added a mechanical crank drive to this vehicle, and helped another vehicle that we call “bicycle” or, shortly, “bike” today came into being. After that, two French inventors designed a version of the bike with bigger sized seats and wheels, but unfortunately, they were not commonly preferred due to their bad weight distribution. Another improvement during the evolution of the bike mended many impracticalities of the old version but the front oversized wheel. In the end, J.K. Starley was the one to lead us to the true sense of the modern bicycles thanks to his invention 1885 Rover, which had even wheels and a proper seat.
The History of The World Bicycle Day
In April 2018, The United Nations General Assembly declared June 3 as International World Bicycle Day. The resolution for World Bicycle Day recognizes "the uniqueness, longevity, and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transport.” Professor Leszek Sibilski from the United States led a grassroots campaign with his Sociology class to promote a UN Resolution for World Bicycle Day, eventually gaining the support of Turkmenistan and 56 other countries.
Added almost two years ago to the list of important international dates, I think that the World Bicycle Day is a day that we all should give the importance it needs. As we all know, cycling is one of the most crucial exercises that one should keep doing to become a healthy person. Hence, the bicycle is seen as a symbol of human progress and advancement that also makes a positive impact on balancing the global climate.
Interesting Facts About Bicycles and Cycling
-Over 100 million bicycles are manufactured each year.
-First commercially sold bicycle “Boneshaker” weighed 80 kg when it appeared for sale in 1868 in Paris.
-5% of all trips in the United Kingdom are made with a bicycle. In the United States, this number is lower than 1%, but the Netherlands has it at a staggering 30%.
-Seven out of eight people in the Netherlands that is older than 15 years old has a bicycle.
-The fastest measured speed of driving a bicycle on a flat surface is 133.75 km/h.
-Bicycles save over 238 million gallons of gas every year.
-The smallest bicycle ever made has wheels of the size of silver dollars.
-Cycling is one of the best pastimes for people who want to reduce the risk of having heart disease and stroke.
-1-year maintenance cost for a bicycle is over times 20 cheaper than for a single car.
-Daily 16-kilometer ride (10 miles) burns 360 calories, saves up to 10 euros of budget, and saves the environment from 5 kilos of carbon dioxide emissions that are produced by cars.
For more interesting facts, you can go here and spend a gorgeous time learning about the wonders of cycling.
Happy International Bicycle Day to everyone!