8 weird and wonderful facts you didn’t know about cycling

19 March 2021

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.

Theresa (left) and her friends were given bikes by ActionAid so they could travel to school safely in northern Ghana.
Theresa (left) and her friends were given bikes by ActionAid so they could travel to school safely in northern Ghana.

How much do you know about your trusty bicycle? Find out our top ten facts about cycling and if you're feeling inspired, why not sign up to take a cycling challenge with ActionAid

  • 1 Wooden bikes were a thing once

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

  • 2 The world's longest bike was 135 feet and 10.7 inches long

    The company Santos and the University of South Australia built this bike in 2015. Guinness World Records required the constructors to prove that the bike could travel a minimum of 100 meters, without riders touching the ground - which it could!

  • 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 2014 psychological study found that cyclists tend to demonstrate a unique blend of intelligence, 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, Damien Hirst's Trek Madone, or the Butterfly Bike, was auctioned for $500,000 at Sotherby's.

  • 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!

  • 7 Cycling is three times faster than walking

    On a bicycle, you can travel three times faster than you can walk, for the same amount of energy. What a way to travel!

Cycling can change lives

Now for the most important bit.

By signing up for a cycling challenge with ActionAid, you can use your passion for cycling to help change the lives of women and girls around the world.  

We'll support you every peddle of the way with fundraising tips and handy resources. So what are you waiting for - why not saddle up and get ready to make a difference?

Explore cycling challenges

Ruth McDowall/ActionAid; "Wooden bike" by magnetbox is licensed under CC BY 2.0; Guiness World Records; Robert Bye @ Unsplash; Solé Bicycles @ Unsplash; Didi Senft; "File:Lance Armstrong - Tour de France 2009 - Stage 21.jpg" by Hyku on Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0; Joe Caione @ Unsplash