klitscho. Bikes. July 19th , 2017.
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.
The Svea Velocipede with vertical pedal arrangement and locking hubs was introduced in 1892 by the Swedish engineers Fredrik Ljungström and Birger Ljungström. It attracted attention at the World Fair and was produced in a few thousand units. By the turn of the century, cycling clubs flourished on both sides of the Atlantic, and touring and racing became widely popular.
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.
Beat illness. Is cycling good for you? Yes! Forget apples, riding`s the way to keep the doctor at bay. “Moderate exercise makes immune cells more active, so they`re ready to ﬁght off infection,” says Cath Collins, chief dietician at St George`s Hospital in London. In fact, according to research from the University of North Carolina, people who cycle for 30 minutes, ﬁve days a week take about half as many sick days as couch potatoes.
Cycle away from the big C. There`s plenty of evidence that any exercise is useful in warding off cancer, but some studies have shown that cycling is speciﬁcally good for keeping your cells in working order. One long-term study carried out by Finnish researchers found that men who exercised at a moderate level for at least 30 minutes a day were half as likely to develop cancer as those who didn`t. And one of the moderate forms of exercise they cited? Cycling to work. Other studies have found that women who cycle frequently reduce their risk of breast cancer by 34 percent.
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