I’ll begin by talking about an American; not a bike runner that has become sincere, but a certain Steve Jobs (even if I write in Windows) that apparently said he thought that computers were to be bicycles for the mind. He meant that the energetic output of the human body when moving, poor when compared to that of other animals, was better than that of the condor when using a bicycle. Because that is what a bicycle is for, as it multiplies the human muscular efficiency.
Fundación Esteyco has published in 2010 the book “La Ingeniería de la Bicicleta”, with the contribution of a number of authors. It is a wonderful reference on the object itself, its origins, the problems and solutions raised in engineering terms, and, why not, the sheer aesthetic beauty it sometimes shows.
The last chapters focus on the engineering of the spaces the bikes use (from the Tour de France mountain roads to the urban spaces) and the bike as an urban transportation system. There is also a set of short texts from authors as Hemingway and Delibes, and artistic visions on the bicycle.
A complementary vision (this time in English) can be seen on Pucher & Buehler, Transport Reviews, Vol. 28, No. 4, 495–528, July 2008