One moment …

Wacky cycling facts

July 1, 2016

Learning to ride a bike is a monumental moment in childhood. Getting the stabilisers off was a leap into independence, then before you know it you’re rallying down forest paths and doing bike stunts with your friends. Some people keep their passion for cycling, others drift away and see cycling as a here-and-there hobby, but whatever your level of interest, there’s no denying it’s a great way to keep fit! Here’s a few cycling facts to encourage you to hop back on that bike…

  • There are over one billion bicycles found throughout the world.
  • The Tour de France was first held in 1903 and has since become the most famous cycling race in the world.
  • The earliest bikes were called “Velocipedes” (to be honest I think I prefer this name!) They were developed in 1860s in France and there were many varieties of these bikes, including the well-known Penny Farthing…


  • Earliest bikes were made from wood and iron wheels and were often called the “boneshaker” due to the uncomfortable ride.
  • The term bike derives from the French term “bicyclette”.
  • The longest “tandem” bike was over 20 meters long and it seated 35 people.
  • The bicycle is the most efficient vehicle ever devised; a human on a bicycle is more efficient than a train, truck, airplane, boat, car, motorcycle or jet pack.
  • Supposedly, if a bike is travelling more than 8mph, it can stay upright by itself.
  • The largest rideable bicycle has a wheel diameter of 3.3 m and was built by Didi Senft from Germany
  • The most expensive bike in the world is Damien Hirst’s ‘Butterfly Bike’. It is a racing bike decorated with real butterflies, created to celebrate Lance Armstrong’s return to cycling after beating cancer. It cost $500,000.
  • According to Guinness World Records, James Bowtell is the fastest man to cycle across Europe. It took him 37 days 16hours and 15minutes to cycle through Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France and Spain before arriving in Cabo da Roca and Portugal in 2014.
  • Figures show the average person will lose 13 lbs (5.8 kilograms) in their first year of cycling to work (Source: Outdoor Foundation 2010)

If this hasn’t encouraged you to reconsider getting the bike out of the shed, then maybe this will… We offer various cycling breaks across Europe, including a variety of wine and taste trails or self-guided exploration packages. Whether you’re an avid cyclist, or just like the wind in your hair, we have something to suit everyone. Our cycling breaks in Italy are particularly picturesque – take in the Northern Lakes, or explore Lake Garda! Or simply check-out our cycling breaks here

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