mc_grogor. Bikes. August 28th , 2017.
In the early 1860s, Frenchmen Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallement took bicycle design in a new direction by adding a mechanical crank drive with pedals on an enlarged front wheel (the velocipede). Another French inventor named Douglas Grasso had a failed prototype of Pierre Lallements bicycle several years earlier. Several inventions followed using rear-wheel drive, the best known being the rod-driven velocipede by Scotsman Thomas McCall in 1869. In that same year, bicycle wheels with wire spokes were patented by Eugène Meyer of Paris.
The French vélocipède, made of iron and wood, developed into the "penny-farthing" (historically known as an "ordinary bicycle", a retronym, since there was then no other kind). It featured a tubular steel frame on which were mounted wire-spoked wheels with solid rubber tires. These bicycles were difficult to ride due to their high seat and poor weight distribution. In 1868 Rowley Turner, a sales agent of the Coventry Sewing Machine Company (which soon became the Coventry Machinists Company), brought a Michaux cycle to Coventry, England. His uncle, Josiah Turner, and business partner James Starley, used this as a basis for the Coventry Model in what became Britains first cycle factory.
Get (a legal) high. Once a thing of myth, the infamous ‘runner`s high` has been proven beyond doubt by German scientists. Yet despite the name, this high is applicable to all endurance athletes. University of Bonn neurologists visualised endorphins in the brains of 10 volunteers before and after a two-hour cardio session using a technique called positive emission tomography (PET).
Increase your brain power. Need your grey matter to sparkle? Then get pedalling. Researchers from the University of Illinois found that a ﬁve percent improvement in cardio-respiratory ﬁtness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests. That`s because cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus — the region responsible for memory, which deteriorates from the age of 30. “It boosts blood ﬂow and oxygen to the brain, which ﬁres and regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer`s,” says the study`s author, Professor Arthur Kramer.
Burn more fat. Sports physiologists have found that the body`s metabolic rate — the efﬁciency with which it burns calories and fat — is not only raised during a ride, but for several hours afterwards. “Even after cycling for 30 minutes, you could be burning a higher amount of total calories for a few hours after you stop,” says sports physiologist Mark Simpson of Loughborough University. And as you get ﬁtter, the beneﬁts are more profound. One recent study showed that cyclists who incorporated fast intervals into their ride burned three-and-a-half times more body fat than those who cycled constantly but at a slower pace.
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