Bicycles - A Perfect Invention?

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    Apr 01, 2018 1:18 AM GMT
    I'm always happy to see bicycles listed among the top 100 most significant inventions in history. They let a human travel under his/her own power faster & easier than walking, and using less energy for considerable distances. Nothing else does.

    The classic diamond frame with chain drive came into existence in the late 19th Century. It's still the dominant form in the 21st Century. That's staying power! Nothing has improved on the basic ergonomics, although outré frame variants still appear.

    I love bikes. Ever since I got my first diamond-framed 2-wheeler in 1954. My Father loved to spoil me, a European bike he had imported from Belgium. That's 64 years ago! icon_eek.gif

    In 1957 I was given a heavy, tanky 26" American-style cantilever bike, what all the kids had. That I never really liked. More like pedaling a truck. And then Dad got me a lightweight derailleur bike in 1962. Almost nobody had those on the streets back then, and I wasn't expecting it, involved a learning curve.

    I've never been without one since. My latest 30-speed derailleur sits behind me in this office as I type this. Along with a hi-tech folding bike more suited for some local city use.

    I feel natural on 2 wheels. I think that may be why I also got into motorcycling. People are surprised I still bicycle, since I limp with a cane. But I can ride a bike easier than I can walk. The pedal pressure on my feet & legs is a fraction of what it is when walking. On the bike I carry a compact folding cane, that I use when off the saddle.

    Are any of you as dedicated to 2 wheels as I am?
  • barefootlover

    Posts: 562

    Apr 02, 2018 12:48 AM GMT
    Art_Deco saidI'm always happy to see bicycles listed among the top 100 most significant inventions in history. They let a human travel under his/her own power faster & easier than walking, and using less energy for considerable distances. Nothing else does.

    The classic diamond frame with chain drive came into existence in the late 19th Century. It's still the dominant form in the 21st Century. That's staying power! Nothing has improved on the basic ergonomics, although outré frame variants still appear.

    I love bikes. Ever since I got my first diamond-framed 2-wheeler in 1954. My Father loved to spoil me, a European bike he had imported from Belgium. That's 64 years ago! icon_eek.gif

    In 1957 I was given a tanky American cantilever bike, what all the kids had. That I never really liked. More like pedaling a truck. And then Dad got me a lightweight derailleur bike in 1962. Almost nobody had those on the streets back then, and I wasn't expecting it, involved a learning curve.

    I've never been without one since. My latest 30-speed derailleur sits behind me in this office as I type this. Along with a hi-tech folding bike more suited for some local city use.

    I feel natural on 2 wheels. I think that may be why I also got into motorcycling. People are surprised I still bicycle, since I limp with a cane. But I can ride a bike easier than I can walk. The pedal pressure on my feet & legs is a fraction of what it is when walking. On the bike I carry a compact folding cane, that I use when off the saddle.

    Are any of you as dedicated to 2 wheels as I am?


    It's a great way for me to get to work 9 miles one way. I see so much more on my bike and it is so much more relaxing then driving. And it only takes me about 15 minutes longer then driving. I like not polluting our air with emissions and it saves me about $1,500 in fuel every year and all that wear and tear on your car and tires that cause expensive repair bills. Over the long haul it will save me the price of an entire vehicle, so this is not just pocket change. And the benefits it gives me to my overall health has sold me on commuting to work by bike. I'm able to ride in temps as low as the teens, so I'm able to ride a lot in the winter time, too. I have some friends that never drive to work no matter how snowy or cold it gets. They do make studded bike tires and fatties for winter riding and you can buy some very warm biking gear and heated jackets to keep you very comfortable on the coldest days of winter. Winter biking has become very popular here in Wisconsin.