Learn something about your wheels at this Web site
By BRYNA ZUMER
KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
Whether you own a bike, ride a bike or just enjoy science and history trivia, there's something for you at Science of Cycling (www.exploratorium.edu/cycling), the latest Web site from San Francisco's science museum, The Exploratorium.
Although the site's mission is to "focus on the science behind popular spectator and recreational sports," there is much more to Science of Cycling than that. A fact-filled timeline takes you through the history of bicycles, starting with - you guessed it! - the invention of the wheel around 3500 B.C.
Along the way, you can watch audio/video clips of several experts discussing how the bike actually works. Several do-it-yourself activities let you see how all the parts, from the frame to the gears to human power, come together to make the bicycle work.
You'll also meet some interesting people from the past and the present. Read about early bike racer Charley "Mile-a-Minute" Murphy, who in 1899 was moving faster than a car, and Major "the Ebony Streak" Taylor, one of the first black bike racers and the world's fastest during the late 1800s. Then read about modern-day cyclists like Missy "The Missle" Giove, one of the world's top female downhill mountain-bike racers. You can even hear a song from a music group called Bicycle that tours the country on bikes.
No matter what your interest is in cycling, this site will make you appreciate the historical progress that made it possible for today's bikes to take you down the block or up a mountain. And after you learn all there is to know about bicycles, check out the rest of the Exploratorium's Sport Science series at www.exploratorium.edu/sports.
XBryna Zumer is a journalism student at the University of Maryland in College Park and is an intern for KRT Campus.