8 weird and wonderful facts you didn't know about cycling | ActionAid UK

Alessandra Arnott

Fundraising team

Whether you're a roadie, newbie, Boris biker, a fixed-gear freestyler or a Shoreditch hipster cyclist - here are some fun facts that you probably didn't know about your beloved two-wheeled friend...

1. Wooden bikes were a thing once

The first constructed bike was almost entirely made of wood and several thousand copies were built and used. As you can imagine its popularity dramatically faded when the number of accidents soared and it was prohibited by the police!


2. This is the longest tandem bicycle ever

The longest tandem bike ever built had 35 seats and was about 67 feet long!

3. Bikes don't actually need riders

A bit of cycling science for you: amazingly, a bicycle can stay upright without a rider as long as it’s moving at 8mph or faster.

4. Cyclists are cool - fact

A recent psychological study conducted by Mindlab found that cyclists have a unique blend of intelligent generosity and the "cool" factor. Now there's a reason to get on your bike!

5. Damien Hirst designed the world's most expensive bike

The most expensive bike ever, a Trek Madone or the "Butterfly Bike" designed by artist Damien Hirst, was auctioned for $500,000 at Sotherby's.

Damien Hirst

6. This bike is world-record-breaking

The largest rideable bicycle has a wheel diameter of 3.3 m (10 ft 9.92 in) and was built by Didi Senft from Germany. Gut gemacht!

Largest Bike

7. Cycling is 3 times faster than walking

On a bicycle, you can travel three times faster than you can walk, for the same amount of energy. No other living thing can expend so little energy for so much self-powered travel!

8. You can cycle for change

Perhaps the most worthy of all cycling facts is that by joining the RideLondon team with ActionAid this year you can change the lives of thousands of people living in poverty. 

Going from this...

Dirty drinking water animation

to this....

Dirty drinking water animation


Change lives and sign up to take part in Ride London