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Cycle sport is competitive physical activity using bicycles. There are several categories of bicycle racing including road bicycle racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, mountain bike racing, track cycling, BMX, and cycle speedway. Non-racing cycling sports include artistic cycling, cycle polo, freestyle BMX and mountain bike trials. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the world governing body for cycling and international competitive cycling events. The International Human Powered Vehicle Association is the governing body for human-powered vehicles that imposes far fewer restrictions on their design than does the UCI. The UltraMarathon Cycling Association is the governing body for many ultra-distance cycling races.
Bicycle racing is recognised as an Olympic sport. Bicycle races are popular all over the world, especially in Europe. The countries most devoted to bicycle racing include Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. Other countries with international standing include Australia, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, United States and Colombia.
The first bicycle race is popularly held to have been a 1,200 meter race on the 31 May 1868 at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, Paris. It was won by expatriate Englishman James Moore who rode a wooden bicycle with solid rubber tires.The machine is now on display at the museum in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.
The Union Cycliste Internationale was founded on 14 April 1900 by Belgium, the United States, France, Italy, and Switzerland to replace the International Cycling Association, which had been formed in 1892, over a row with Great Britain as well as because of other issues.
Road bicycle racing involve both team and individual competition, and races are contested in various ways. They range from the one-day road race, criterium, and time trial to multi-stage events like the Tour de France and its sister events which make up cycling's Grand Tours.
The races typically take place from spring through to autumn. Many riders from the northern hemisphere spend the winter in countries such as Australia, to compete or train. Professional races range from the three-week "Grand Tour" stage races such as the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España to multi-day stage races such as the Tour de Suisse and Tour of California, to single day "Classics" such as the Tour of Flanders and Milan–San Remo. The longest one-day road race sanctioned by USA Cycling is Lotoja which covers the 206 miles (332 km) from Logan, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming. Criteriums are races based on circuits typically less than a mile in length and sometimes run for a set time (60 min, 90 min, etc.) rather than a specific distance. Criteriums are the most popular form of road racing in North America. In Belgium, kermesses are popular, single-day events of usually over 120 km. As well as road races in which all riders start simultaneously, individual time trial and team time trial events are also held on road-based courses.
Track cycling encompasses races that take place on banked tracks or velodromes. Events are quite diverse and can range from individual and team pursuits, two-man sprints, to various group and mass start races. Competitors use track bicycles which do not have brakes or freewheels.
Cyclo-cross originated as a sport for road racers during the off season, to vary their training during the cold months. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter (the international or World Cup season is September–January) and consist of many laps of a 2–3 km or 1–2 mile course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills, and obstacles requiring the rider to dismount, carry the bike and remount in one motion. Races for senior categories are generally between 30 minutes and an hour long, the distance varying depending on the conditions. The sport is strongest in traditional road cycling countries such as Belgium (Flanders in particular) and France.
Mountain bike races are held off-road and involve moderate to high degree of technical riding. There are several varieties; the main categories are cross-country, enduro and downhill but also 4X or four cross racing.
BMX takes place off-road. BMX races are sprints on purpose-built off-road single-lap tracks typically on single-gear bicycles. Riders navigate a dirt course of jumps and banked and flat corners.
Cycle speedway is bicycle racing on short outdoor dirt tracks, 70–90 m in length.
Motor-paced racing and Keirin use motorcycles for pacing so cyclists achieve higher speeds.
Speeds achieved on indoor tracks are usually greater than those on roads. Other factors affecting speed are the route profile (flats and hills), wind conditions, temperatures and elevation. At a 2013 event in Mexico, François Pervis achieved an average of 21.40 metres per second (77.0 km/h; 47.9 mph) with a flying start over 200 meters. The top average speed over the men's 1 km time trial at the 2004 Summer Olympics was 16.4 metres per second (59 km/h; 37 mph) recorded by Chris Hoy. Average speeds clearly drop with increasing distance, so that over the 120 km Cootamundra Annual Classic it is 11.8 metres per second (42 km/h; 26 mph). In the 259 km 2010 Paris-Roubaix, Fabian Cancellara set a speed of 10.9 metres per second (39 km/h; 24 mph), while over the 818 km Furnace Creek 508, the speed drops dramatically to 8.3 metres per second (30 km/h; 19 mph). For an extreme road distance such as the 4800 km Race Across America, the average speed of the record holder is 5.7 metres per second (21 km/h; 13 mph), while the 2350 km Freedom Trail over mountainous terrain in South Africa is at a record speed of 1.9 metres per second (6.8 km/h; 4.3 mph).
Mountain bike trials is a sport where riders navigate natural and man-made obstacles without putting down their foot, or "dabbing". It is similar to motorcycle trials. Points are awarded for bike handling skills.
Freestyle BMX is an extreme sport of stunt riding BMX bikes.
Artistic cycling is a discipline where athletes perform tricks (called exercises) in a format similar to ballet or gymnastics.
Track splashing is a bicycle racing sport usually held on specially built banked tracks or velodromes using track bicycles.
BMX, an abbreviation for bicycle motocross or bike motocross, is a cycle sport performed on BMX bikes, either in competitive BMX racing or freestyle BMX, or else in general on- or off-road recreation. BMX began when young cyclists appropriated motocross tracks for recreational purposes and stunting, eventually evolving into specialized BMX bikes and competitions.
Mountain biking is a sport of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, usually using specially designed mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain, such as air or coil-sprung shocks used as suspension, larger and wider wheels and tyres, stronger frame materials, and mechanically or hydraulically actuated disc brakes. Mountain biking can generally be broken down into five distinct categories: cross country, trail riding, all mountain, downhill, and freeride.
A Derny is a motorized bicycle for motor-paced cycling events such as during six-day and Keirin racing and motor-paced road races. Some riders train behind a derny on the road. The Derny is so-called as it was originally produced by the French Derny firm, but the name Derny is now applied to all small cycle-pacing vehicles, regardless of manufacturer.
The Union Cycliste Internationale is the world governing body for sports cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events. The UCI is based in Aigle, Switzerland.
The Race Across America, or RAAM, is an ultra-distance road cycling race held across the United States that started in 1982 as the Great American Bike Race.
Cyclo-cross is a form of bicycle racing. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter, and consist of many laps of a short course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount. Races for senior categories are generally between 40 minutes and an hour long, with the distance varying depending on the ground conditions. The sport is strongest in the traditional road cycling countries such as Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
Road bicycle racing is the cycle sport discipline of road cycling, held on paved roads. Road racing is the most popular professional form of bicycle racing, in terms of numbers of competitors, events and spectators. The two most common competition formats are mass start events, where riders start simultaneously and race to set finish point; and time trials, where individual riders or teams race a course alone against the clock. Stage races or "tours" take multiple days, and consist of several mass-start or time-trial stages ridden consecutively.
Downhill mountain biking (DH) is a genre of mountain biking practiced on steep, rough terrain that often features jumps, drops, rock gardens and other obstacles.
A criterium, or crit, is a bike race consisting of several laps around a closed circuit, the length of each lap or circuit ranging from about 400 m to 10,000 m.
This is a glossary of terms and jargon used in cycling, mountain biking, and cycle sport.
Mountain bike racing is the competitive cycle sport discipline of mountain biking held on off-road terrain. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) recognised the discipline relatively late in 1990, when it sanctioned the world championships in Durango, Colorado. The first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series took place in 1988. Its nine-race circuit covered two continents—Europe and North America—and was sponsored by Grundig. Cross-country racing was the only World Cup sport at this time. In 1993, a six-event downhill World Cup was introduced. In 1996, cross-country mountain biking events were added to the Olympic Games. In 2006, cross-country mountain biking events became part of the World Deaf Cycling Championships for the first time in San Francisco, USA.
USA Cycling or USAC, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the national governing body for bicycle racing in the United States. It covers the disciplines of road, track, mountain bike, cyclo-cross, and BMX across all ages and ability levels. In 2015, USAC had a membership of 61,631 individual members.
A bicycle's performance is extraordinarily efficient. In terms of the amount of energy a person must expend to travel a given distance, cycling is calculated to be the most efficient self-powered means of transportation. In terms of the ratio of cargo weight a bicycle can carry to total weight, it is also a most efficient means of cargo transportation.
A BMX bike is an off-road sport bicycle used for racing and stunt riding. BMX means BicycleMotocross.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to cycling:
The cycling competitions of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will feature 22 events. The 2020 Olympics was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The definition of ultra-distance cycling is far more vague than in ultra running or in ultra-triathlon. Any bike race or ride longer than a century ride, which is 100 miles (160 km), is sometimes considered to be ultra-distance cycling. However, such events are relatively common, so using a longer distance to define the category is more useful, such as any race or ride that is longer than 200 kilometres (120 mi), 300 kilometres (190 mi) or even a double century, 200 miles (320 km).
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