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On Your Bike, Get Set, GO!

Cindy Scarr and Meira Feinman

It's used by five-year-old children, and 80-year old men. It's used to deliver messages, and to win races. Songs have been written about them, and there are over 1 billion of them in the world today, that’s more than double the amount of cars. Would you believe we're talking about … the bicycle?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

bikeArmy Bikes

An “infantry” is a group of soldiers in the army. The infantry on horses is known as the “cavalry,” but some soldiers were given bikes instead. The riders were able to carry more than a soldier on foot and the bikes were easier to take care of than horses (the bikes don’t eat, for one thing!). Also, like bike messengers, these soldiers sometimes carried news from one battle to the next.

 

Rickshaws

Another type of bicycle messenger is the rickshaw, also known as a “bike taxi.” These are bicycles (actually, tricycles as they have three wheels) that take paying passengers from one place to another. They’re most commonly seen in Asian countries like Malaysia and Inida, where you can flag them down just like a taxi. The cyclists work hard — sometimes carrying entire families, with heavy luggage.

 

 

Mountain Bikes

High-tech mountain bikes are pretty new — people started making them in the 1970s and 80s. Mountain bikes are made for riding on tough terrain, or ground. Wheels are stronger so the bike can ride over rocks and bumps. If hiking up a mountain on a bike doesn’t sound fun to you, don’t worry — there are plenty of people who start at the top and just ride down. That can get pretty speedy, with the possibility of large jumps, so those bikers wear lots of protective gear, including a “full face helmet” that covers much more than the top of your head.

 

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