Week of June 12, 2022

Let’s Ride


The first bicycle had no pedals or chain. The “hobby horse” was propelled by pushing against the street with your shoes, like a skateboard.


To take back or soften what you already said is called “backpedaling.” However, only on a fixed gear bike would you go backward by pedaling so, since the modern freewheel only drives the wheel one direction: forward while pedaling forward.


There’s intriguing brain science in the fact that people almost never forget how to ride a bike. The coordination of movements involved becomes a “procedural memory,” which, it turns out, is a more permanent and deeper kind of memory than a factual “declarative memory” (and unfortunately for creators of fun fact websites).


The Tour de France is the most watched sporting event in the world, garnering over 3.5 billion viewers.


Worldwide, the Netherlands has the most impressive bicycling resume. Seven out of every eight people age 15 or older own a bike, and an impressive 30% of all trips made in the country are on a bicycle.


The famous feminist quote “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” was itself inspired by an earlier quote about religion.


A “peloton” is the name for a group of bicyclists riding in a pack to conserve energy.