Life is a Design: Bicycles


From the old penny-farthings to modern day’s racing bikes, all bicycles have been designed for a specific purpose.  The penny-farthing was not the first bicycle design, but that design was simple and cheap to produce.  Penny-farthings gave way to the safety bicycle.  We know them today as the standard type of bicycle.  They were called safety bicycles because they were designed so that the cyclist’s feet could touch the ground while being seated as opposed to being high up on a penny-farthing.  Nowadays, bicycles are designed for many different purposes.

One type of design is the city bike.  People ride these in a relaxed way and use them as a form of transportation.  This means that they must be designed so that they are comfortable and not too strenuous on the user.  Lately, we can see that there is a surge of recumbent bicycles.  These are used for the same purpose but are designed to be even more relaxing and efficient because the cyclist can then practically lay down and use more force to pedal stemming from the hips.  Here is a short list of different types of bicycles that have all been designed for different purposes:

- Carrier bikes
- Road bikes
- Track bikes
- BMX bikes
- Mountain bikes

I myself currently use a bicycle on a daily basis as a form of transportation.  One website that lists the most bicycle friendly cities is by the Virgin Group .  Amsterdam, Dot Kite’s headquarters, tops the list.  I have lived in two other cities listed towards the top and several others that are not bike friendly.  Therefore, I know that even if you have a great design, in this case a nice bicycle, it functionality is sometimes diminished by the environment.  Furthermore, it is important to know that the functional aspect of a bike is quite important.  A track bike, for example, is perfectly designed for the track, but it will not get you up a mountain.

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