In the late 1800s, bicycles became the new craze. It was a time of significant change and innovation. People could travel farther distances with ease, changing how they lived their lives. The invention of bicycles helped pave roads, created more jobs for bike manufactures and bike riders alike, and improved transportation in urban areas.
This blog post will explore some of the significant changes that happened because of bicycles- from social to economic impacts.
History of Bicycles
Baron Karl von Drais is credited with designing the first bicycle in 1817. It was a wooden frame with two wheels and no pedals that riders propelled themselves by pushing off with their feet.
Pierre Michaux began installing pedals on his bicycles in the 1860s, making them more accessible to ride. This design became well-known and more individuals started riding bikes.
The safety bicycle, credited to John Kemp Starley in the 1870s, was the basis for the modern bike. This bike had two identical-sized wheels, a chain mechanism, and brakes. It was considerably more straightforward to ride than previous versions and quickly grew popular.
Bicycles have evolved. The pneumatic tire, developed in the early 1900s, made them much more pleasant to ride.
The Impact of Bicycles
Bicycles have had an enormous impact on our world. Here are just some of the ways they’ve changed things:
- Paved roads: Before bicycles were popular, most roads were rutted and full of bumps. It was very uncomfortable traveling by horse or carriage, so people didn’t travel as much. Bicycles changed this because they could easily ride on roads, which meant cars needed better roads.
- Jobs: Bicycle factories created jobs for workers who built bikes from start to finish, and bike riders needed jobs too. There was increased demand for food, gas, repairs on bikes- all because more people started riding them.
- Urban areas: Before bicycles became popular, moving around in urban areas (like cities) was challenging. It took a long time to walk places or travel by buggy – which meant most people used public transportation. This changed because bicycles were faster and more reliable, which meant people relied on bikes for everyday travel.
- How we live: Bicycles helped make life easier in many ways. People started to move further away from work or school because it was much easier to bike than walk or ride a horse/carriage everywhere.
- How we work: More people could get jobs outside of walking distance because they could bike there in a short amount of time. This impacted how and where companies decided to set up their offices or factories, which meant more jobs for everyone.
The benefits of cycling are many and varied, both for the individual and society as a whole.
- Health: Cycling is one of the best exercises you can do for your health. It’s low impact, so it’s easy on your joints, and it helps improve cardiovascular health, strength, and flexibility.
- Sustainability: Cycling is a sustainable form of transportation. It doesn’t produce emissions as cars do, and it helps reduce traffic congestion and the need for parking spaces.
- Community: Cycling brings people together. It creates bonds between cyclists and connects communities by providing a way to get around without using fossil fuels.
Why more people in cities are choosing to cycle
There are many reasons why more people in cities are choosing to cycle. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Cost: Cycling is a cheap way to get around. You don’t need to buy gas, and you can use your bicycle or borrow one from a friend.
- Traffic congestion: Cars and public transportation take a long time to get around busy cities, but bikes can move quickly and easily through traffic.
- Environment: People who choose cycling over driving cut down on their carbon footprint and reduce air pollution in the process. Bicycles also don’t use fossil fuels like cars do, which is good for our planet!
- Health: Cycling is a great way to get exercise, and it’s a healthy form of transportation. It helps improve cardiovascular health, strength, and flexibility.
- Fun: Riding a bike is a fun way to get around the city. You can explore new areas you wouldn’t be able to see in a car, and it’s a great way to meet new people.
- Convenience: Bicycles are small and easy to store, so you can take them with you wherever you go. They’re perfect for short trips or errands in the city.
What you need to know before buying a bike for your commute.
Buying a bike for your commute to work can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to cycling. Here are five things you need to know before buying:
- How much do I want to spend? How much money should you budget for the purchase of a bicycle? Think about how often and far you plan on biking and how much you want to spend. You should also budget for maintenance costs, like getting your brakes checked every year, usually around $40-50 dollars.
- How long is my commute? How far do I plan on biking? If you only have a short distance to travel (less than two miles), buying an inexpensive bike should be fine. If you have a longer commute, it’s worth spending more on something that can handle the daily wear and tear.
- How comfortable do I want to be? Comfort is critical when choosing your bike for your commute because you will spend hours sitting on it every day! Think about the seat, the handlebars, and the tires when making your decision.
- What kind of terrain will I be biking on? If you’re only going to be riding on paved roads, then almost any type of bike will do. But if you plan on biking on trails or unpaved roads, you’ll need a mountain bike or cyclocross bike.
- What’s my style? Do I want a flashy, high-end bike or something more practical? There are many different types of bikes to choose from, so take your time and find the one that fits your personality and needs.
So what are you waiting for? Go out and buy yourself a bicycle today! And remember: even though the world has changed a lot since 1817, bikes can still help us enjoy life and explore our communities to the fullest.