Two mountain bike riders in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA
© Grant Ordelheide/Tandem Stills + Motio
Pedal power. For the love of bikes
In honour of World Bicycle Day, here’s a bird’s-eye view of two mountain bikers on the Shafer Trail switchbacks in Canyonlands National Park in Utah, USA. In 2018, the UN officially recognised the “uniqueness, longevity and versatility” of the bicycle as a “simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation”.
German Karl von Drais is credited with creating the first version of a bike in 1817; it was a heavy wooden contraption that the rider pushed forward with his or her feet. It had many names - the “draisine”, velocipede and dandy horse - and it was a fad for a few years, but eventually the bike was banned because it was too dangerous (it had no brakes).
The bicycle has since evolved from the aptly-named boneshaker of the 1860s and the penny-farthing with its huge front wheel, to today’s fat bikes and e-bikes. Whether it’s for recreation or transportation, the ever-popular bicycle is here to stay.