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Benoit Tessier

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For well over a hundred years, people have hopped on bicycles for transportation, recreation, competition, and more. In many parts of the world, spinning pedals moves goods and generates electricity. While usually attached to two wheels, pedal power takes many forms, adapting to a wide range of needs. Globally, over 100 million bicycles are produced every year - over 60% of them in China - easily doubling world production of automobiles. Efficient, clean, and cheap, pedal power in all its forms can solve modern problems with basic technology, and offers a health benefit to those cranking away. And it's hard to beat the simple joy of riding a bike. Gathered here are images of people around the world as we pedal for a reason, or just because. -- Lane Turner (49 photos total)
A boy rides his bicycle near rice fields in Bago, Myanmar on February 20, 2012. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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Today is the vernal equinox, the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It also marks the end of "the winter that wasn't," as the past several months in North America have been dubbed. It was the fourth-warmest winter in the United States since record-keeping began 117 years ago. In accord with the unusual weather, this turn of the season brings us snow in Arizona and Saudi Arabia, while conditions remain sunny and warm in America's Northeast and Western Europe. Collected here are scenes from around the world as a strange winter gives way to spring. [40 photos]

The sun sets behind cherry blossoms which have come into full bloom due to the early warm weather in Washington, D.C., on March 19, 2012. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

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FISH FOR SALE: A vendor checked fish for sale at a market in Manila Wednesday. (Noel Celis/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

BIG FIRE, LITTLE HOSE: A hotel receptionist tried to extinguish a fire set during a demonstration in Barcelona Wednesday. Students held nationwide protests against education spending cuts. Some demonstrators said police responded with truncheons and rubber bullets. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

ONBOARD: Erwan Israel and Thomas Coville held their ground with the Groupama sailing team during the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race Tuesday. The race started in Alicante, Spain, in October and concludes in Galway, Ireland, in early July. (Yann Riou/Groupama sailing team/Volvo Ocean Race via Getty Images)

SLICK: Nine-year-old Sujon’s foot was covered with oil as he worked in a vehicle-parts store in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday. (Andrew Biraj/Reuters)

FASHIONABLE IN BLACK: A model wore a design from Marcel Marongiu’s ready-to-wear collection for French fashion house Guy Laroche during Paris Fashion Week Wednesday. (Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

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