Imagine walking everywhere in this day and age. I hear you laugh with a degree of decision. Do we walk enough? Medics perhaps would not think so. We rely so heavily on transport in so many varied ways nowadays, walking is no longer a practical option. We tend only to use walking as a form of exercise nowadays rather than a necessary form of transport.Turn your minds back then to as relatively a short time ago as, say, 1830.
Transport was carriages, drawn by horses and the horse and cart. So we relied almost entirely on our own two legs. Distances were not even considered as a hindrance, we simply got off our backsides and walked!.
Then along came the bicycle. Let's think about this for a moment. From having pretty well no means of personal transport at all, within a reasonably short time, this mode of transport became a saviour for getting from A to B.OK, firstly we have the penny-farthing and all its "relatives" that we now see in sepia-coloured documentaries, but it wasn't such a long time before they became commonplace in most places in the so-called civilised world.Time was cut down by half and more on these labour-intensive trips. How in heavens name could you plan successfully a trip that might need an overnight stay? Now, not only could bicycles be considered a reliable mode of transport, they could also be used for family pleasure and good old-fashioned days out altogether.
We have now looked how this vehicle revolutionised transport, but is it as popular now as it was then, or has the motor vehicle taken over? Of course the car is more popular because it is even more convenient, but that does not mean that the bicycle has been shoved into the background, never to be heard of again.Think of the various types of bicycle that is used in sport. We have the streamlined racing machines we see in the velodrome, types of bicycles that reach incredible speeds in road races like the Tour de France and finally mountain bikes, those sturdy vehicles that pound rocks and hard or wet ground and still come through at the end.
All these are human drive, pedal-powered and pushed to their technological limits. No quick spin around the park for these fellows. The price of these bikes, which I won't go into here, would make your hair curl with fright.Pedal-power nowadays is still the preferred form of transport. Take a country like Holland.
Flat as a tack. Without question, it makes sense for its population to take advantage of the geography of their country and ride their bikes with minimal strain on their physical condition.I read only the other day that there are eight million bicycles in the Republic of China.
Pollution would certainly be improved with this amount of two-wheeled vehicles.I think it is fair to say that the bicycle is here to stay. It would surprise me in the least to hear of other new activities for this most popular form of transport.Long live the bicycle!!..Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Bicycles.
By: Michael Russell