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Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century in Europe and, as of 2003, more than a billion have been produced worldwide, twice as many as the number of automobiles that have been produced. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions. They also provide a popular form of recreation, and have been adapted for use as children’s toys, general fitness, military and police applications, courier services, and bicycle racing.

The basic shape and configuration of a typical upright, or safety bicycle, has changed little since the first chain-driven model was developed around 1885. But many details have been improved, especially since the advent of modern materials and computer-aided design. These have allowed for a proliferation of specialized designs for many types of cycling.

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Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century in Europe and, as of 2003, more than a billion have been produced worldwide, twice as many as the number of automobiles that have been produced. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions. They also provide a popular form of recreation, and have been adapted for use as children’s toys, general fitness, military and police applications, courier services, and bicycle racing.

Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.

The basic shape and configuration of a typical upright, or safety bicycle, has changed little since the first chain-driven model was developed around 1885. But many details have been improved, especially since the advent of modern materials and computer-aided design. These have allowed for a proliferation of specialized designs for many types of cycling.

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F
rom a mechanical viewpoint, up to 99% of the energy delivered by the rider into the pedals is transmitted to the wheels (clean, lubricated new chain at 400W), although the use of gearing mechanisms reduces this by 1-7% (clean, well-lubricated derailleurs), 4-12% (chain with 3-speed hubs), or 10-20% (shaft drive with 3-speed hubs).

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O
n firm, flat ground, a 70 kg (150 lb) person requires about 60 watts to walk at 5 km/h (3.1 mph). That same person on a bicycle, on the same ground, with the same power output, can travel at 15 kilometers per hour (9.3 mph) using an ordinary bicycle, so in these conditions the energy expenditure of cycling is one-third of walking.

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I
n utility cycling there is a large variation; an elderly person on an upright roadster might do less than 10 kilometers per hour while a fitter or younger person could easily do twice that on the same bicycle. On a racing bicycle, a reasonably fit rider can ride at 40 kilometers per hour (25 miles per hour) on flat ground for short periods.

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The bicycle’s invention has had an enormous effect on society, both in terms of culture and of advancing modern industrial methods. Several components that eventually played a key role in the development of the automobile were initially invented for use in the bicycle, including ball bearings, pneumatic tires, chain-driven sprockets, and tension-spoked wheels. The word bicycle first appeared in English print in The Daily News in 1868, to describe “Bicycles and tricycles” on the “Champs Elysées and Bois de Boulogne.” The word was first used in 1847 in a French publication to describe an unidentified two-wheeled vehicle, possibly a carriage.

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Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century in Europe and, as of 2003, more than a billion have been produced worldwide, twice as many as the number of automobiles that have been produced. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions. They also provide a popular form of recreation, and have been adapted for use as children’s toys, general fitness, military and police applications.

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The basic shape and configuration of a typical upright, or safety bicycle, has changed little since the first chain-driven model was developed around 1885. But many details have been improved, especially since the advent of modern materials and computer-aided design. These have allowed for a proliferation of specialized designs for many types of cycling.

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From a mechanical viewpoint, up to 99% of the energy delivered by the rider into the pedals is transmitted to the wheels (clean, lubricated new chain at 400W), although the use of gearing mechanisms reduces this by 1-7% (clean, well-lubricated derailleurs), 4-12% (chain with 3-speed hubs), or 10-20% (shaft drive with 3-speed hubs).

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On firm, flat ground, a 70 kg (150 lb) person requires about 60 watts to walk at 5 km/h (3.1 mph). That same person on a bicycle, on the same ground, with the same power output, can travel at 15 kilometers per hour (9.3 mph) using an ordinary bicycle, so in these conditions the energy expenditure of cycling is one-third of walking.

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In utility cycling there is a large variation; an elderly person on an upright roadster might do less than 10 kilometers per hour while a fitter or younger person could easily do twice that on the same bicycle. On a racing bicycle, a reasonably fit rider can ride at 40 kilometers per hour (25 miles per hour) on flat ground for short periods.

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Americans spend upwards of 25 minutes per day commuting to work and more than $700 per year simply burning fumes in traffic.

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Due to rising fuel costs and tire upkeep, the cost of owning a car increased nearly 2% in 2012 to 8,946 US dollars, according to AAA.

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“Bike trips of three to five miles taking less time or the same amount of time as commuting by car”, writes Kiplinger editor Amanda Lilly.

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There has been a wave of new bike share programs in major cities in the US such as Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, and Miami…

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Making New Year's resolutions to save money, get healthy, or cut your carbon footprint in 2015? You could hit all three by simply riding your bike to work. Here are 5 reasons you should consider making it a new habit this year

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Research shows that unlike cars, the more bicycles on the road, the safer it becomes for cyclists.

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The dandy horse, also called Draisienne or laufmaschine, was the first human means of transport to use only two wheels in tandem and was invented by the German Baron Karl von Drais. It is regarded as the modern bicycle’s forerunner; Drais introduced it to the public in Mannheim in summer 1817 and in Paris in 1818.

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On average, bicycle commuters lose 13 pounds in their first year of cycling alone.