Cycling is a sport practiced with bicycles and that in almost every occasion it aims to travel a certain route in the least possible time, being thus the fastest to complete it if it wants to win the race.
Currently, cycling is also quite recreational or even a way to move to work, school, etc., and all thanks to the advances that have been made in the world of bicycles and its high popularity.
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History of Cycling
A cycling history dates back to the late nineteenth century, more or less from 1890. This is because bicycles start to develop more rapidly at this point in an attempt to perfect this mode of transportation.
With these advances, it became possible to achieve higher speeds with bicycles, becoming lighter and less expensive.
The sport was of English origin, but from the beginning, the main events were appearing in France, which adhered very well to this modality and the participants took advantage of the mountainous terrain to challenge themselves.
Types of Cycling
Over the years, more and more variants of this sport have appeared, which have also changed the characteristics of the bicycles so that they are better adapted to a certain activity.
The main variants of cycling are as follows:
This is the oldest and was where cycling began to emerge. Let’s talk more of this type in this article and its characteristics.
The tests are carried out on the road with light and aerodynamic bicycles so that cyclists can achieve higher speeds and greater distances. When talking about cycling, the vast majority of people associate this variant, and its popularity is immense, with one of its highlights every year the Tour de France, which is considered the most important event in the World Circuit.
This is more recent and there are many small variants in it, which change the terrain of your course, characteristics of bicycles and require different techniques and capabilities.
This variant not only has a characteristic not to be an exclusive proof of road, being it normally practiced in all type of terrains, like pine trees or even in streets with stairs and sidewalks, and also has like characteristic in the great majority of the types to be made or up or down.
Some of the types of this variant are:
- Trip Trail;
- Endurance of Regularity;
Let’s address more on this topic at: All about Mountain Bike.
This is the least known of the three, It is done in a circular lane, usually inside a pavilion, which has several variants but the main objective and completes the test in the shortest possible time.
Let’s address more on this topic at: All about cycling
In road cycling, the tests can also vary greatly between them and even in the same race if it has several stages. Let’s see what kind of evidence there is.
Proof of a day: This is only composed by one step, and you can give everything for everything to arrive as soon as possible and thus win the race. Usually, they are not as important and many of them are more with a somewhat recreational purpose or represent something like a tribute to an old cyclist.
Proof in stages: These are the most common ones, having the proof several stages (or races) and the goal is to finish in the shortest possible time but adding the times of all the steps. Something very important in this type of competitions is the teamwork (although the cycling is individual) and know how to evaluate well in what stages to bet more or less.
Against the clock: Already in these races, instead of leaving all at the same time and who arrives first wins, here the cyclists leave individually and just want to arrive at the goal as fast as possible. There are cyclists who are experts in this type of race.
These races can be only a day or a stage of a race, being much shorter than a normal race, usually ranging from 20 to 60km away.
Marathons: Marathons are evidence that many ordinary cyclists do not do, and the vast majority of people who make them are cyclists who only do great distances.
The main element for practicing cycling is the bike of course. But since this is an activity that can be done in very rough terrain and in conditions slightly drawn to the human body, it is also recommended to use some protection elements.
Let’s see all the equipment for cycling (more specifically road):
These made with a very aerodynamic design and materials that are light but at the same time sturdy. If you repair, the road bike is the only one that has super thin tires, all this in an attempt to achieve greater speeds as you walk on it.
These serve to protect your hands in case of fall but also to improve the grip of the palm of your hand with the handlebar, covering them the same palm and not the fingers.
How could it not be, you should not miss the helmet. This is obviously used to protect your head in case of fall, this being quite vital and not wearing the helmet pose a great risk to your health.
The clothes of cyclists are also quite different from normal. What stands out is that they fit well to your body, thus reducing any unnecessary wind resistance and are also made with a material that regulates your body temperature and protects you from prolonged exposure to the sun.
Teams and Specialties
In general, although cycling is an individual sport, not everyone has the main objective to win. It may seem a bit confusing, but usually, the whole team runs to help their team leader win the event, helping in a variety of ways, with the most common being to control competitors’ attacks and guarding their leader from the wind, your energies.
This is also due to the fact that cyclists themselves have different specialties and abilities. Let’s see some of them:
Sprinter: It is that cyclist who has a great force of explosion and manages to reach great speeds in a short distance, Normally the team works so that he wins the step if it is favorable to him. It is not necessarily (and often is not) the team leader since most of the evidence is in stages and what counts is the sum of time at all stages.
Climber: These are usually rather lightweight cyclists with good physical ability, being quite resistant. His specialty is climbing mountains, often serving as a shield to his mountain leader or even trying to win the stage if it ends up on the mountain.
Counter-clockwise: As we have already mentioned, there are experts in this category. One of the main difficulties is knowing how to maintain a constant and competitive speed because there is no one else to regulate and achieve good speeds and maintain for a good amount of kilometers.
Complete: Already these are often the team leaders. They are cyclists who have nothing that stands out but is high level and can perform all the tasks of the race well and have very good physical and technical ability.
Rules in Cycling
These rules and cautions apply to racer participants but also some in recreational cycling.
In a race, cyclists have specific places to stock up, but they can also do so on the go by moving to their team’s support car. Usually, a cyclist goes and brings it to the rest of the companions who are with him. From a certain point of the stage, it is no longer allowed to go to refuel.
At the end of the race, when it is time for the sprint, the cyclist can not make a sudden change of direction in order to cover the opponent’s path with him close and may be disqualified, since it endangers the physical integrity of the opponent since they are traveling at very high speeds.
It is important always to be aware of the route, and knowing the route is advisable, in order to avoid possible falls in more dangerous places and also not to cause a chain fall.
Always wear protective gear, whether in competition or just in recreational cycling.
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