Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, or for sport. Persons engaged in cycling are cyclists or bicyclists. Apart from ordinary two-wheeled bicycles, cycling also includes riding unicycles, tricycles, quadracycles, and other similar human-powered vehicles (HPVs).
Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century and now number about one billion worldwide. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions.
Cycling is a very efficient and effective mode of transportation optimal for short to moderate distances. Bicycles provide numerous benefits compared to motor vehicles, including exercise, an alternative to the use of fossil fuels, no air or noise pollution, much reduced traffic congestion, easier parking, greater maneuverability, and access to both roads and paths. The advantages are at less financial cost to the user as well as society (negligible damage to roads, and less pavement required). Criticisms and disadvantages of cycling include reduced protection in crashes, particularly with motor vehicles, longer travel time (except in densely populated areas), vulnerability to weather conditions, difficulty in transporting passengers, and the skill and fitness required.
Famous quotes containing the word cycling:
“If all feeling for grace and beauty were not extinguished in the mass of mankind at the actual moment, such a method of locomotion as cycling could never have found acceptance; no man or woman with the slightest aesthetic sense could assume the ludicrous position necessary for it.”
—Ouida [Marie Louise De La Ramée] (18391908)
“From the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”
—Charles Darwin (18091882)
“I shall not bring an automobile with me. These inventions infest France almost as much as Bloomer cycling costumes, but they make a horrid racket, and are particularly objectionable. So are the Bloomers. Nothing more abominable has ever been invented. Perhaps the automobile tricycles may succeed better, but I abjure all these works of the devil.”
—Henry Brooks Adams (18381918)