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Lance Armstrong in Bicycle Race
Lance Armstrong in Bicycle Race

Introduction to Bicycles

A co-worker, who rode his bike to work everyday, stated many times, "A bicycle is the most efficient transportation device known to man." America is headed toward a crisis that bicycling has solved in other nations. Growing urban areas require workers to travel ever-greater distances and spend hours each day commuting to work. Freeway expansion has been limited by the cost of acquiring right-of-way and demolishing buildings. Freeways are no longer free in many ways. Interurban trains require alternative travel means for going between stations and end destinations. The cost of downtown parking already causes workers in Finland to bicycle to their Helsinki workplaces. Imported petroleum for fuelling America's cars is getting more expensive. Furthermore, Americans generate more per-capita greenhouse gases than do the residents of any other country. The weather effects and ocean pollution effects of carbon dioxide emissions are becoming recognized, and America is being pressed to reduce its carbon dioxide releases. We want to take a look at considering bike riding to work a viable option, at least part time.

There are many options for bicycles today. Many cities provide bike lanes on their main streets. Urban buses,many times have bike racks on the front of the buses. Commuter trains will sometimes designate a special car, with minimal seats to accommodate bicycles.

Bicycle Navigation

We encourage you to take at least part of your transportation load to bicycles. Here are the topics we will cover pertaining to bicycles.

  • Uses for Bicycles

    There are many uses for bicycles: Recreation, Hauling, Going to Work, Shopping are just a few of the many uses for bicycle transport. See more suggestions here.

    Hurricane Irene Bicycle Flood
    Stranded Cab after Hurricane Irene, August 29, 2011.
    Bicycles Provide Resilience, Flexibility, and a Smiling Face.

  • Bike Components

    The bicycle has a few critical components that make it smooth and pleasurable to ride. And these sub-systems have different shapes or may or may not exist for various bike styles. For example, ball bearings (hidden small steel lubricated balls) are critical in making both wheels, the steering column, and pedal assembly function without cramping. Sprockets on the pedal assembly and rear rim allow you to tackle hilly terrain with ease. Being familiar with the parts of bicycles helps in shopping for a good quality bicycle. Learning the components of your bicycle make owning one that much more easier to keep in good running condition. Find out all about bicycle components here.

  • Bicycle Types

    There are many popular bike styles in use today: Street/Road Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Hybrid Bikes, Touring Bikes, Cruiser Bikes, Power Assisted (Electric) Bikes, Folding Bicycles. Find out more here.

  • Bicycle Brands

    There are many brands of bicycles available today. Most bike makers started with one or two friends building bicycles in their garage. They later had great success as popularity for their bicycle styles increased greatly. After demand peaked, then declined, some companies adapted and changed, others ended in bankruptcy and ended up selling the rights to their name to bargain hunting investors. Almost all recognized brands names available today are manufactured in Taiwan or China. Those that still make bicycles in their home country, import components from Asia. The economics of cheap manufacturing can make or break any company involved in marketing hard goods.

    Here is a list of most popular bicycles brands available today. They include universally known names such as Trek, Schwinn, Cannondale, Mongoose, Diamond Back, and Raleigh. What we hope to accomplish with this table is a short summary of what each company makes, along with the price range, so that you can compare apples with oranges. Once you have narrowed the field down, you can investigate a short list of bicycle brand more in-depth.

  • Bicycle Tours

    Bicycle tour is a very popular topic. There are some famous bicycle tours in different places around the world that attract a lot of attention. Europe is probably the best place to go on a bicycle tour. The infrastructure for bicycles has already been built. Bicycling is part of the culture and a primary means of transportation for many EU citizens. Countries such as Holland and Denmark strive to achieve maximum bicycle ridership through cities. There are also many great tour companies that provide turn-key bicycle tour packages, including bicycles, food, lodging, and thought-out best routes.

    Aside from Europe, all the other continents have great bicycle routes and scenery. The western countries of South America, such as Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina are excellent for travelling by bicycle. Central and Southern Africa have several countries, such as Mozambique that have governments friendly to foreign bike tourists. Viet Nam, China are two countries in Asia that have opened up to bicycle tourists. Find out more about bicycle touring here.

  • Electric Bicycles

    Electric bicycles have great promise as the next big boom in bicycle sales because they get you a little closer to car speeds. They are a good compromise, allowing you to get some exercise, while providing a little extra boost when you need it. The integrated electric motor can be used to help you over a steep hill, carry a heavy load, reduce body temperature on a hot day, and provide a little extra pep when your legs are tired. You can expect to lay out $2,000 - $3,000 for a good name brand electric bicycle. However, compared to purchasing and maintaining a new car, you are still getting a great deal. The average urban commuting car owner pays about $500 per month to maintain and use the car. This includes car payment, insurance, gas, repairs, and time wasted sitting in traffic. You can get all the best gear and accessories for your electric bicycle and never come anywhere near the cost of owning a car. To top it off, since thebatterycharger can be plugged into a simple home electrical outlet, without modifications, there are off the shelf solar power kits available to keep your bicyclebatterytopped off so you have carbon free transportation. Find out more about these up and coming jewels of transportation.

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    Bicycle Trailers

    Bicycle trailers move you one step further to using the bicycle to replace your car. They extend the carrying capacity of the bike. Their are bicycle trailers available for just about every application: from grocery shopping to camping. Adding a trailer to an electric bicycle offers effortless daily local transport for tackling most transportation chores.

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