Bikes. Thursday , August 10th , 2017 - 04:01:16 AM
Save the planet. Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes around ﬁve percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and a bike produces zero pollution. Bikes are efﬁcient, too — you travel around three times as fast as walking for the same amount of energy and, taking into account the ‘fuel` you put in your ‘engine`, you do the equivalent of 2,924 miles to the gallon. You have your weight ratio to thank: you`re about six times heavier than your bike, but a car is 20 times heavier than you.
Avoid pollution. You`d think a city cyclist would suck up much more pollution than the drivers and passengers in the vehicles chucking out the noxious gases. Not so, according to a study carried out by Imperial College London. Researchers found that passengers in buses, taxis and cars inhaled substantially more pollution than cyclists and pedestrians. On average, taxi passengers were exposed to more than 100,000 ultraﬁne particles — which can settle in the lungs and damage cells — per cubic centimetre. Bus passengers sucked up just under 100,000 and people in cars inhaled about 40,000. Cyclists, meanwhile, were exposed to just 8,000 ultraﬁne particles per cubic centimetre. It`s thought that cyclists breathe in fewer fumes because we ride at the edge of the road and, unlike drivers, aren`t directly in the line of exhaust smoke.
Further innovations increased comfort and ushered in a second bicycle craze, the 1890s Golden Age of Bicycles. In 1888, Scotsman John Boyd Dunlop introduced the first practical pneumatic tire, which soon became universal. Soon after, the rear freewheel was developed, enabling the rider to coast. This refinement led to the 1890s invention of coaster brakes. Dérailleur gears and hand-operated Bowden cable-pull brakes were also developed during these years, but were only slowly adopted by casual riders.
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