Monday, May 14, 2012


John Marine | 5/14/2012 11:55:00 PM | | | | | | |
(UPDATED: July 29, 2012)

Bicycles are enjoyed by many walks of life ranging from children to adults for reasons ranging from recreation to sport. This is two-wheeled fun for many reasons and applications. Push those pedals and be on your way to a fun ride. Or if you're the more adventurous or rebellious kind, you're into mountain biking or even BMX stunts. Whatever the case, bicycles may well be worth your time. This blog post is all about bicycles.

I haven't been on a bicycle since childhood. Do not think that this is any information based on personal experience or anything like that. I am simply providing all of this for entertainment and educational purposes.

WARNING: This post includes a number of YouTube videos. Your viewing performance may be slow depending on your connection. You may view the individual videos in links if you are unable to view any of the videos.

--- Bicycles at a Glance ---

^ from: - Two-wheeled fun awaits you when you ride a bicycle.

A lot of us may have started out riding tricycles. I certainly remember riding tricycles before moving up to a bicycle. My memories even include riding a bicycle with training wheels. Bicycles have been around since the 19th Century. As with most inventions, the bicycle has been enhanced and innovated over time to become and remain a fun form of both transportation and recreation. Some cities and nations have bicycles as the most effective mode of transportation.

I remember when I was younger and had a bicycle. I previously had a scooter that I enjoyed riding. My first bicycle had training wheels since I was not comfortable going on two wheels yet. Over time, I would learn to properly ride a bicycle and be able to ride it properly. I sometimes challenged a little girl to a race when at my grandmother's house. I would be on my scooter while she was on her bicycle. We had to go to this one intersection in our neighborhood back to my grandmother's house. Fun times. One time, I even once had a dirt bicycle. I think it was too big for it and didn't get to ride it too much, though.

--- Kinds of Bicycles ---

A bicycle from a retailer can cost anywhere between $100 US Dollars (or less) to even four-figure US Dollar amounts! Some of the more expensive bicycles (namely racing bicycles) have carbon fiber construction and can be quite expensive. Bicycles are usually sold based on the wheel width. Some bikes even have gears to them. So not every bike is created equal. Here are a few different kinds of bicycles (thanks:

Road Bicycles.

road bicycle
^ from: - A men's road bicycle from Schwinn.

These bikes were meant to take on concrete and asphalt. Bikes like these were meant to be ridden around the neighborhood or in the park. They can even be performance-ridden as you could compete in bicycle racing events with road bikes. A number of manufacturers make road bicycles... even including Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot!

Mountain Bikes.

mountain bicycle
^ from: - A Men's Mongoose mountain bike.

Mountain bikes are rugged and durable bicycles. They are best made for taking on natural terrain, yet many others do have them around town or on tarmac. Mountain bikes have wide and rugged tires. These are performance bicycles meant to take on undulating terrain.

Hybrid Bikes.

hybrid bicycle
^ - A women's hybrid bicycle from Schwinn.

The hybrid bicycle is best suited as a happy medium between road bikes and mountain bikes. You get the ruggedness of a mountain bike coupled with the city-happy nature of a road bike.

Cruiser Bicycle.

cruiser bicycle
^ from: - Women's Pacific cruiser bike.

Just like cruiser motorcycles are meant more towards style than outright performance (as opposed to sporty motorcycles), cruiser bikes are meant more towards style than being some kind of performance-oriented bicycle. Only difference is that nobody will look at you as a poser/poseur on a cruiser bike compared to a cruiser motorcycle. :)

BMX Bikes.

BMX bicycle
^ from: - A Mongoose BMX bicycle.

BMX stands for "bicycle motocross" ("X" instead of cross). Think of these like non-motorized dirt motorcycles. They are best known for pulling off stunts like most motocross and supercross riders do. BMX bicycles are meant for those action sports types who ride while doing tricks. Everything from bunny hops to rail riding is what the BMX rider is all about. They are the rebellious riders who are all about pulling cool tricks and being real cool while riding.

These are the basic kinds of bicycles. Have you a favorite kind of bicycle?

--- Bicycles for Recreation and Sport ---

Before I begin the next section, I would like to thank the people who allowed their videos to be embedded. It's great to know my readers could view these videos without having to leave my blog (not to say that my readers/visitors would rather be any place besides "John's Blog Space").

Bicycles for Recreation.

A bicycle can be a fun way to go around the block or through the park. Think of kids who enjoy going around on bicycles as they ride. There are older bike riders who may enjoy bike riding at a park- whether a city park or a dedicated skate park. Whatever the case, a bicycle can be fun to ride around on. Some people even have their own custom bicycles. Bicycles are as much a casual expression of who we are as any other thing. Basic bicycles to creative bicycles are out there for riding enjoyment.

Want to make a scene and have fun? Try a tandem bicycle! Tandem bicycles are meant to have more than one person ride along with others. When coming up with this blog post, one person's YouTube channel shows that there is an actual science to tandem riding. While it may seem cute to have more than one person riding one bike, check this video out for more insight on tandem riding:

^ "Tandem Bike Riding"

Some people make custom bicycles; some even turned into tricycles. Look no further than with Lowrider bicycles. These bikes may have custom-made frames and accessories while also being fully tricked out. Talk about riding in style! Check out the lowrider bikes in this video:

^ "Lowrider Bike Commercial"

Bicycles for Sport.

In the sporting realm, bicycles have been great for working out. There are stationary bicycles

Bicycles can also be great sporting equipment for those doing outdoors sports. There are a number of people who'll ride their bicycles in outdoor settings. Mountain bikers ride their bikes on some undulating and hilly trails. Here is an example of mountain bike riders going all-out:

^ "GoPro HD HERO camera: Mountain Bike Clip"

Those into action sports have seen bicycles being used at skate parks and at half pipes. Dave Mirra is one of the finest in performing amazing stunts and tricks on a bicycle. He is a multiple-time champion of BMX competition. A lot of these stunt bikes have bars on the wheels so they can pull off tricks riding on rails. This video below is an example of BMX stunts. This is Morgan Wade and his gold medal run in the Action Sports World Championships round in 2007 in Dallas, TX, USA:

^ "BMX: Morgan Wade's Gold Medal Run in Dallas, 2007"

And of course... let's not forget those who take part in bicycle tours and rallies. Here in the Houston area, we have a famous event called the MS 150, a 150-mile bicycle rally from Houston to Austin benefiting the fight against Multiple Sclerosis (or MS for short). There are many cycling events worldwide. The most of famous of which, is of course... the Tour de France. This is a look at how brutal bike rallies and tours can be:

^ "Tour de France 2011 Highlights"

You now know about cycling both for recreation and for sport.

--- Bicycle Safety and Gear ---

When riding a bicycle, are you geared? Do you know about being safe while riding? A few pieces of advice are mentioned here in this section.

Bicycle Gear and Parts.

Here is a brief look at bike parts and accessories.

• Training Wheels - if you're starting out trying to ride a bicycle, training wheels are a great way to start. I remember I had training wheels on my bicycle once I went from a tricycle to a bicycle.

• Custom Saddles - bicycles may have custom seats designed for various applications, ranging from racing to just average bike riding. Some seats are even recommended by doctors and physicians.

• Baskets and Carts - some bikes can be equipped with carts for carrying around things safely.

• Water Bottle Cage - if you have a water bottle, equip one to your bicycle to be able to take water with you on the go as you ride.

These are among many other different items and accessories for bicycles.

Bicycle Apparel.

Most casual bike riders usually wear street clothes. Serious cyclists usually wear specialized cycling apparel. Some of these items include bicycle jerseys as well as bike shorts. There are also bib shorts worn by cyclists, which are kind of like overalls for cyclists. There are also shoes and socks specially designed for cycling. Here is an example of someone wearing dedicated cycling apparel:

cycling apparel
^ from: (best I could find) - This men's cycling outfit is an example of what cyclists wear as part of their outfit.

I am not any kind of cycling expert, but my best guess is that wearing such bicycle apparel helps you better perform as you're cycling. Those who compete in bicycle races will probably find wearing dedicated cycling apparel to better help you aerodynamically as you ride. Those bicycle racers often tuck down (just like motorcycle racers do) as they ride to get as little wind resistance as possible while at speed. Some cyclists wear bicycle gloves for protection and better grip.

For female bicyclists, there are special active skorts designed for those who want to wear a skirt while still being covered. These cycling skorts have attached shorts or bloomers to keep a cycling girl covered while also looking cute. There are even cycling dresses from one site I saw in preparing this blog post.

Bicycle Safety.

A riding helmet is the best method of protection. It is also a good idea to invest in knee pads. These (especially a riding helmet) can be very helpful to have if in the event of a head-on crash. I thankfully have never experienced an incident where I was thrusted off of my bicycle for all the times I've ridden a bicycle.

It helps to wear light-colored clothing, especially if riding at night. Speaking of night bicycle riding, have reflectors at the front and the back so you can be better spotted in darkness. Don't also forget to let people behind and in front of you know when you're turning. Links to much more detailed bicycle safety measures will be showcased later in this blog post.

Equally important in all of this is making sure your bike is secure and protected. Be sure the bike is properly secure to a bike rack with a lock and a cable.

I hope you all are able to dress nicely and ride carefully while riding your bicycle.

--- Bicycle Manufacturers ---

Click on the hypertext link in each heading to visit the official websites of these bike manufacturers. The majority of these are mostly suited towards my American audience. I am not sure if any of these can ship overseas or are also available in other nations. These are only a few of so many different bicycle manufacturers and retailers:

Bicycles: From Dedicated Bicycle Makers.

They are known for their bicycles. Visit any or all of these links to learn more about their products.

Schwinn - Well-known for producing great bicycles. In addition to riding bicycles, they also offer stationary exercising bikes.

Mongoose - a very popular bicycle maker with a vast variety of bicycles to choose from for various applications.

Huffy - Maker of many bicycles as well as scooters and other sporting equipment.

Kent - With over 100 years of cycling, they offer a variety of bicycles for many age groups and in various styles.

Trek Bicycle - Bicycle maker with loads of experience, having been around since 1976.

Brodie - They offer many bikes mostly for adults. They go by the slogan of, "Real bikes for real people."

Surly Bikes - Surly sells complete bicycles as well as bicycle frames.

MIRRACO Bikes - a bicycle company founded by multiple-time BMX World Champion, Dave Mirra. Frames and parts are offered in addition to the many different bicycles offered.

Terry Bicycles - a feminine-exclusive brand that offers bicycles for women as well as bicycle apparel and parts.

Renovo Bicycles - a bicycle manufacturer featuring wooden frame bicycles.

Chubby's Cruisers - A maker of cruiser bicycles offering various styles for adults and children. Accessories for ordered bicycles can be added to each bike upon ordering.

Specialized Bicycle Components - A maker of sophisticated bicycles. Their bikes are made for many applications, for both adults and children. It even includes a bicycle made in conjunction with the McLaren Formula 1 racing team.

Waldmeister Bikes - a German maker of wooden-frame bicycles.

Prestigio Bikes - a bicycle manufacturer based in the Republic of San Marino. Site is in Italian, but is also available in Spanish and English.

Shimano (North American link) - Japanese company that sells bicycles, and they also make various parts and apparel for bicycles. The Osaka-based company was established in 1921 and incorporated in 1940. They also offer products for rowing and fishing.

Sexy Bicycles - Yes, this Australian bicycle maker is actually called Sexy Bicycles. They make stylish bicycles designed with an exciting array of colors.

Bicycles: From Auto Makers.

Did you know that auto makers have provided their own bicycles? Only links to legitimate, commercially-available bicycles are featured here.

Peugeot - Having made bicycles in the past, world-renowned automaker Peugeot offers a line of bicycles thanks to a new partnership with a well-respected bicycle maker. Peugeot bicycles are only offered in select European nations (including its native France) as well as Japan.

Ferrari Bikes - Anyone even remotely educated about cars knows what kind of exotic ecstasy Ferrari provides. While they may not go as fast as their gasoline/petrol counterparts, Ferrari does provide some bicycles for your enjoyment. These bikes don't come cheap, though. Their cheapest-priced bike sells for about

BMW - BMW makes both automobiles and motorcycles. They also make bicycles. Are these bicycles, then... the ultimate bicycle riding machines? I don't think they are sold outside of Germany or Europe because prices are only offered in Euros.

Volkswagen (of Ireland) - Volkswagen and its long heritage of making automobiles also makes a number of bicycles. The bikes offered from this link are featured only for Volkswagen of Ireland.

Mini Cooper Bicycle - The Mini Cooper is one of the finest automobiles of all time. Its heritage is prevalent on these bicycles. There are bikes offered for both adults and kids bearing the Mini Cooper namesake.

Maserati - Better known as the luxury arm of Ferrari, Maserati made a bicycle called the Montante for Maserati 8CTF. It is an elegant bicycle from the Italian company.

Land Rover - Land Rover is best known as a maker of rugged vehicles for off-roading. They also make bicycles for adults and children for multiple applications.

Porsche - Pure pedal-pushing Porsche power. Porsche provides some bicycles that are as elegant and as capable as their cars. It isn't likely you'll draw stares on a Porsche bicycle as you would in a Porsche automobile. Of course, you could always fly the Porsche flag by attaching a Porsche bicycle to your Porsche Cayenne. :)

McLaren (links to more info on the bicycle) - In a joint effort between the McLaren Formula 1 team and Specialized, the world's fastest bicycle was born- the S-Works + McLaren Venge. Visit the Specialized link to see the Venge Aero Road Bike co-developed by Specialized and McLaren. Or as an added bonus, let me share with you a video on this bicycle. Enjoy!

^ "Specialized S-works+McLaren Venge"

I may include more links in the future if I find more bicycle makers to feature.

--- Bicycle Resources ---

Resources for bicyclists and those into bicycles. Have a look around, this being my way of thanking you for reading this blog post:

Individual Links on Bicycles and Cycling.

People for Bikes
Bikes Belong
International Mountain Biking Association
PedalHouston (Houston/Galveston area)

Bicycle Safety.

Bike Safety - KidsHealth by Nemours « advice for children on riding bicycles
Bicycle Safety - How Not to Get Hit By Cars
Kids and Bicycle Safety « provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Kids Bike Quiz « test your knowledge of bike riding for kids.

Bicycle Dealers, Parts, and Accessories.

Shop for bicycles and bicycle parts on Amazon
Performance Bike
Cambria Bike
Wheel World Bike Shop
Just Bicycles
PV Bicycle Center - Palos Verdes, CA, USA

More links may be included in any future edits.

I have never really been too fond of cycling to say I am any sort of bicycle person. I do hope you cycling fans have enjoyed my blog post. Remember to Subscribe and Follow if you love my work. If you're indulged in social media, GET SOCIAL WITH ME! Thank you for reading!

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Gabriella Cozza said...

I used to love riding my bicycle when I was younger.  I used to ride around the block with my friends until I was about 12, then I guess I forgot about it or didn't like it so much anymore.  Nice post, I liked how you mentioned racing that little girl as a child; it's nice when you include personal experiences in your posts. :)  You should write about more personal things that you've experienced sometime...if you want that is, of course.   :)

♥ Principessa

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