Thursday, April 30, 2009

The bicycle is a great invention!

As the Red Hot Chili Peppers already sing in the "Bicycle Song"
How could I forget to mention the bicycle is a good invention
a lot of people really do forget about that and completely underestimate the transport capabilities of bicycles.

But GEO (a publishing house in Germany for popular scientific magazines) did not forget to mention the bicycle in the list of the 100 most important inventions in the GEO Kompakt magazine, number 18. According to them, the French mathematician Jacques Ozanam was the first to ask in 1694 for "a carriage that can be driven without horses". It took a while though, until the first bicycle was realized -- and the first ones didn't have pedals. In 1817 Baron Karl von Drais introduced his "Laufmaschine" (in English "running machine" or dandy horse). They say that it is controversial who invented the first bicycle with pedals. Apparently it was Pierre Lallement, who was cycling through Paris in 1863.

But well, who cares who invented the bicycle? Nowadays about 1.4 billion bicycles are in use (compared to about 800 million cars and trucks). You guys know why the bicycle is so successful, others yet have to rediscover that again ;-).

It doesn't really fit in here, but as I just read it: The fastest cyclist so far was the Canadian Sam Whittingham in 2008 -- with his recumbent bicycle he reached 132.5 km/h (82.33 mph). Isn't that amazing?


lehommeauvelo said...

That is something else 132.5km/h (82.33mph) amazing.
I went to our Local small Mountain in Dublin The Howth Peninsulla and tried to Cycle up the Howth Village side and had to give up after 100 Metres of the Main Street so instead walked up to the Summit of I would say 500metres in Height above Sea Level to the Viewing Area.

Then I took off for a few Kilometres down the other side the Sutton side . It is great going down the Hills at Speed.

I reached over 55 kp/h on the Cyclo Computer and had to slow down ,I thought I was going to take off and brought it to 44kp/h. I just could not handle that Speed on my Dutch Bike,the Poor thing got a terrible Fright. It is used to Pottering along at 15 kp/h mostly and if the going is good rarely 25 - 30 kp/h. It was enjoyable to be going at a fast speed for once, I did not know if the Roller Brakes could handle the Speed though and I had to be careful but all was well.

Dottie said...

Ha, thank goodness for the person who came up with pedals!

crispy said...

On youtube there are videos of Sam's record-setting run, and some videos of other runs going rather wrong.

Sam's run:

One going rather pear-shaped:

One day I hope to design and build a faired 'bent.... one day :-)

jenniffer said...

i simply love the concept, each invention has its own advantages and disadvantages that makes it better. But beside this every new idea should be acceptable like yours.

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