Bike Week 2023
No disrespect to Giovanni Fontana. I’m sure he meant well, but that bike he designed way back in 1418 really wasn’t practical. For a start, it had 4 wheels and its gears were connected by rope. Still, he was on to something, and a mere 400 years later German baron, Karl von Drais, invented what is regarded as the first modern bicycle – or the steerable running machine as he called it. So what if it didn’t have pedals and the rider had to push it along the ground with his feet? It was the big bang of cycling – the realisation that mechanized personal transportation was a thing, and that thing was here to stay.
Not long afterwards the first pedal-driven bicycle with rear wheel drive was invented by a Scotsman – yay! He was either Kirkpatrick MacMillan or Thomas McCall. It’s been disputed since the 1860s – and that’s when cycling really started to, erm, motor.
Today, of course, bike technology is so advanced that there is a type and model for every type of cyclist, whether you’re into racing, mountain-biking, recreational weekend tootling, getting to work or just nipping down to the shops. And of course, cycling is not just a convenient way to get around, it’s healthy and good for the environment too.
According to charity, Cycling UK, British cyclists notched up 5.03 billion miles in 2020, and the trend is going up by an average of 3 billion every year. We’re still lagging well behind our European neighbours, though. Out of 28 countries surveyed, the UK came 25th for cycling. So let’s all get saddled up and bump up those statistics.
Bike Week 2023
This month national Bike Week takes place from the 5th to the 11th of June. To see how you can get involved, see here:
And for more local information, check out: Edinburgh Festival of Cycling | Cycling UK
We at Edinburgh Napier are keen to promote safe cycling in and around the city. To see what resources are available and how we can encourage you to get on your bike, please see here:
By Lesley McRobb
Exercise is a great way to practise self-care and get fit. For more ideas why not check out some of the books here.