In any list of the greatest films of all time, you will surely find “The Bicycle Thief.” Released in 1948, this Italian masterpiece narrates the story of a father and son who spend the whole day desperately looking for their stolen bicycle. Today that might sound silly but during that time, a bicycle was very important. Actually, that should not sound silly at all. Every day thousands of bicycles are stolen. In the United Kingdom alone, reports reveal that over half a million bikes are stolen each year.
What makes bicycles a magnet for thieves? Before figuring it out, you have to understand how bikes work. A bike has two wheels and is powered by pedals. Its main parts are the main frame, the steering rod, the drive train, the seat or seats and the brakes. A bike uses a simple mechanism of pushing its wheels forward by moving the pedals in a circular motion. An iron chain connects the pedals to the wheels. The first bikes were built in the 19th century in Europe. Since then, they have evolved into numerous models, types and designs available today.
The bicycle is an ideal mode of transport. It is quiet, light and inexpensive. It doesn’t produce pollution and is a great form of physical exercise. Most of all anyone from about age five to 70 can use it. However it can be really tiring, so it cannot be used for great distances. This is why motor or engine-powered bicycles were invented.
A bike is very easy to maneuver. It stays upright when steered to keep its center of gravity over the wheels. The steering is provided by the driver but in certain circumstances, it may be provided by the bike itself. In order to turn, the rider must lean into the turn. It is induced by a method called counter-steering, which is performed by the rider by turning the handlebars or by leaning the bicycle. To stop, the rider must press the brake.
Bicycles are employed for many practical uses. The most obvious, of course, is the simple act of going from point A to point B. However, bicycles are more than that. Some people use bikes for recreation such as bicycle touring, track racing and mountain biking. Some use bikes for work, like the traffic police and for mail delivery. Others use them for entertainment and performances, as in the circus.
These advantages and uses make bicycles a really good item to steal and a possession to keep and protect. They may be inexpensive but they are very valuable. If you own a bicycle, make sure to take necessary measures to keep it safe.
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