While the rest of the world carried on cycling during the 1950s and 1960s, America forgot how; even high-school children would drive to school. Recently there has been something of a renaissance in cycling, and in many areas it is a very useful way of getting around, especially where bike paths or bike routes have been established. You may well want to buy, hire or borrow a bike.
There are two important consequences（后果）of this earlier decline in cycling in the USA. One is that many people do not know how to cycle. That is, cyclists often behave more like pedestrians（行人）than motorists: they ride on the pavement（人行道） or on the wrong side of the road; they ignore stop signs and traffic lights; they ride without lights at night; they give no hand signal（示意）. The other consequence is that cycling is regarded by many people not so much as a way of getting from A to B but as a way of life, a form of exercise, etc. As a result, large number of young Americans have ten-speed racing bikes. These are very hight and fast and great if you are cycling long distance, riding up mountains or racing. At first, though, you may find them awkward（笨拙） for cycling in town, sight-seeing or shopping——they are expensive, uncomfortable and hard to control until you get used to them, and unsuitable for bumpy（崎岖不平的）groundor stony roads.
There are also ordinary bikes around. If you get hold of one of these , you may find that the brake（刹车）work by pedaling（踩踏板）backwards. This is perhaps safer than ordinary brakes when it is wet, but it seems to be less effective. This arrangement also means you can't pedal backards in orderto get the pedals in the right place for getting on or moving off.