by Alan Craner, Urbane Bike Cultue Mountain bike, road bike, or BMX, no matter what your favorite ride is, I think we can all agree that bicycles are awesome. And just like everything else that fits the description of awesome, the bicycle has its fun facts list that we should all read about.
1. The velocipede is the oldest traceable ancestor of the modern bicycle. Invented in 1817 by Baron von Drais, the wooden two-wheel vehicle was powered by pushing the feet against the ground.
2. Bicycle-like sketches were found in Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks dating back to the end of the 15th century. Though the bicycle was invented centuries after, it could be that Leonardo already had thoughts of the possibility of such human-powered vehicle.
3. Though off-road bikes were already in use in the early 1900's, the actual mountain bike prototypes first came about in the seventies, which leads us to fun fact number 4;
4. October 22, 1976, in what is now known as Repack Road in Fairfax, California, the first downhill mountain biking time trial took place. Riders sported prototypes of the mountain bike known as "klunkers" or cruisers with modified balloon-tires.
5. The longest rideable bicycle according to Guinness World Records is 28.1 m (92 ft 2 in) in length. The bicycle was made by mechanical engineering students from Delft University, The Netherlands
6. More on records, the largest parade of bicycles happened in Taipei City, Taiwan on July 21, 2007. The number of bicycles that attended reached to 1,901.
7. In 1988, the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame was established to chronicle the historic events and the people who have contributed to the development of the sport. The museum can be found in Crested Butte, Colorado.
8. Amsterdam is often referred to as the bike capital of the world, with bicycles making up 40 percent of its traffic movements. In 2006, the city had 465,000 bicycle units for its 750,000 residents.
9. It is long believed that professional cyclists shave their legs for better aerodynamics. The truth is that shaving has nothing to do with aerodynamics. The most common reasons are to look good and in order to treat leg injuries easier.
10. The fastest recorded bicycle speed on a flat surface is 83 miles per hour (133 kmh) by Canadian cyclist Sam Whittingham.
11. Cycling is proven to be a good form of exercise, helping to reduce weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.