Just read an interesting article on why riding a bike is pretty special. The rite of passage from little kid to big kid when you get your first proper bike, dump the stabilisers and whizz away.
Interesting work by researchers in the Netherlands showed that riding a bike can tell us stuff about the brain and how it functions. Patients suffering with Parkinson's disease are often affected with tremors, involuntary muscle movements and can have problems with balance, co ordination and limb control. One such patient, a 58 year old man had "gait freezing"where he was incapable of normal walking, needed visual guides to help him step one foot in front of the other and often lost his balance so that he needed to sit in his wheelchair. Yet put him on a cycle and he was able to ride it with out any problems. The video is available on YouTube and it shows him initially shuffling down a corridor with help and after a few steps he stumbles and falls. The second video shows him riding a bike with no signs of tremor pedaling at a consistent pace with perfect balance and coordination then he gets off the bike and he is once more unable to walk. This phenomenon is called kinesia paradoxia and the study of which may lead on to different forms of physiotherapy treatment. Further research is going on to study how the human is able to ride, how the cyclist interacts with the bike and the environment and all the requirements that are need to make what is a very complicated procedure look so simple