Speed-intensive bicycle races are held at angled oval tracks called velodromes. Bicycles used at such races have no brakes and only one gear. Racers ride in single file to reduce wind resistance.
Bicycle, vehicle usually consisting of two wheels fixed to a frame, steered by handlebars, and propelled by an arrangement of pedals and gears that are driven by the feet. Different types of bicycle are tailored for different kinds of riding. The term bicycle is sometimes extended to include rider-propelled three-wheeled tricycles, which are favored by young children and others, such as some senior citizens, who lack the balance needed to operate a two-wheeled bicycle.
Bicycles were immensely popular in Europe and the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their popularity declined with the rise of the automobile and the motorcycle, and bicycle manufacturers concentrated on producing bicycles for children. In the late 20th century, however, bicycles enjoyed a strong renaissance in the United States. The energy crisis of the 1970s, the growing popularity of mountain bikes since the 1980s, general interest in aerobic exercise and fitness, the growth of bicycle touring and fundraising events, and the success of American racing cyclists in international racing competitions all contributed to this renaissance.
In Seattle, Washington, the police department instituted bicycle patrols in the late 1980s. Fast and immune to traffic congestion, bicycle patrols make far more arrests than foot patrols in Seattle.