Bicycle Built for You: 15 Coolest Bikes in the World

Here's a selection of the 15 best designed bikes as seen in "Velo—2nd Gear."

According to the book Velo—2nd Gear: Bicycle Culture and Style, by Gestalten, the first bicycle was created in 1817 by Baron Karl Drais von Sauerbronn of Germany, for the purpose of collecting taxes from his many tenants. Built out of wood, brass and and iron, von Sauerbronn was able to cover long distances on what was then called a Laufmaschine (running machine).

As bike technology advanced, new iterations of the two-wheeled device were introduced, with another benchmark coming in 1890 with the "safety bicycle." Just like the name suggests, this bike was more refined and less dangerous and could be ridden by both sexes. Suffragist Susan B. Anthony called it the 'freedom machine,' saying that the bicycle had 'done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world,'" Velo explains. Women traded in their corsets for skirts and bloomers and had a field day with this new technology.

Over 100 years later, bike design and style has come a long way, with everyone from seasoned bike pros, architects, mechanics and tinkerers trying their hand at perfecting the craft. That means that today, there are more beautifully built bikes than ever before. Here's a selection of the 15 best designed, from Velo—2nd Gear. Which one is your favorite?

This Cicli Berlinetta, specialists in Italian pedigree bicycles and equipment, was photographed by Berlin-based photographer Tino Pohlmann, whose recent series My Life in Cycles is all about, yep, you guessed it.

Vanguard Bicycles, based in Singapore, customizes and restores classic bikes as well as builds beautiful one-offs, like this one here.

Vanguard Churchill

Created by Marcelo Ertorteguy and Sara Valente, the Cyclo-phone is a bicycle-powered music machine; rhythms change when pedaling speed is adjusted.

Candy Cranks is an online forum for “chicks that spin around the globe.” They also sell bespoke cycling products, and customizable frames like this one, by Tarn Mott, of Primate Cycles.

With the Swedish line Bike By Me you can customize your bike online, and have it shipped as soon as two to five days.

The Mixie Bike enables you to ride in urban environments, but with smaller 20" wheels that make storage and transportation easy.

With their sleek, colorful designs, Tokyobike's ethos is all about the idea of Tokyo Slow: enjoying the ride as much as the destination.

La Malle Bicyclette was developed as a collaboration between Moynat, a French luxury line and the Italian bicycle company Abici.

The Universal Bike by New York designer Manuel Saez includes a unique frame made from two parallel, continuous loops.

Peugeot built its first bicycle in 1882, and today, Peugeot Design Lab, expands on the brand's long legacy with these two models.

Biascagne Cicli describes itself as “two guys and a garage." If this is what can happen in a garage—I'm in.

Los-Angeles based sculptural artist Robert Wechsler made the "Circular Bike" from nine salvaged bikes, tube steel, and yellow paint.

Dutch designer Jan Gunneweg crafts bespoke bikes from the likes of walnut, ash, French oak, and cherry wood.

Images courtesy of designers from the book Velo—2nd Gear, Copyright Gestalten 2013

For more information on Velo—2nd Gear edited by Sven Ehmann and Robert Klanten, and published by Gestalten visit here.

This post is part of the GOOD community's 50 Building Blocks of Citizenship—weekly steps to being an active, engaged global citizen. Try Biking to Work. Follow along and join the conversation at and on Twitter at #goodcitizen.

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The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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