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What Country Is The Bicycle Capital?

(Mai.Nemisis@Flickr)

Of the approximately one billion bicycles in the world, 400 million are in China. 50 million new bicycles are produced every year.

Frenchman De Sivrac is credited with building the first bicycle-type vehicle in 1690, even though Leonardo da Vinci had drawn some rough sketches of what looked like a bicycle some years before. That first bicycle didn’t have any pedals, but they were added in 1840 by Scottish blacksmith, Kirkpatrick Macmillan and it’s he who’s credited with inventing the real bicycle.

Tires filled with air were used on bicycles before they were used on cars.

The bicycle as we know it today – with two wheels of the same size – looks almost exactly the same as one from 1900.

In 1985, Olympic cyclist and Ironman triathlon winner John Howard of the United States, set the world speed record for a bicycle when he reached 152.2 mph riding behind a specially designed car. The record would stand until 1995 when Dutch cyclist Fred Rompelberg got up to a speed just a fraction over 167 miles an hour pedaling behind a dragster. And he was 50 years old when he did it. He still is the world’s oldest professional cyclist.

 

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