A bicycle is the most efficient machine in terms of energy expended for moving weight over distance.
A human on a bicycle is also the most efficient animal on earth in terms of energy spent for travel.
Bicycling is six times more efficient than walking.
Using a bicycle, it takes 35 calories to move an average-size person one mile (1.6 km). It takes 1,860 calories to move a person a mile in a car. So, taking a bike uses two percent as much energy as a car.
The average bicycle costs three percent as much as a typical car.
People who commute on bicycles have a 39% lower death rate than people who do not ride their bikes to work.
According to at least one statistical study, the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by twenty to one.
The fastest speed ever recorded on a bicycle was achieved by Denise Mueller-Korenek in 2018, who reached a speed of 183.93 miles per hour (296.01 km/h) on a specially designed bicycle.
In the 1890s, bicycles were considered scandalous by some, because they allowed women to travel alone without chaperones.
The longest tandem bicycle in the world was over 67 feet (20 meters) long, and it was ridden by 20 people at the same time.
During World War II, the Japanese confiscated over 200,000 bicycles from occupied countries to use for their own military purposes.
The first bicycles had no pedals – riders had to push themselves along with their feet, like on a scooter.
In 1890, John Boyd Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire, which made cycling much more comfortable and efficient. John was a veterinarian who adapted his technique for making surgical gloves.
Bicycles played an important role in the women’s suffrage movement – suffragettes used bicycles to travel to rallies and spread their message.
BMX and mountain bikes did not exist until the 1970s.
During the Vietnam War, bicycles were used by soldiers as a way to transport equipment and supplies through the dense jungle terrain.
Bicycles are considered a form of art by some – there are many famous paintings and sculptures featuring bicycles, including “Bicyclette” by Pablo Picasso.
You’ll find much more information about bicycles and bicycling in the Bicycling section of 500Ways.