The use of a bicycle as a means of transportation has been around for quite some time, until people used it for recreation. Nowadays, Cycling is done as a leisure activity or form of exercise. Many cyclist also participate in different Cycling events held all over the world.
Mountain Biking is one of the branches of Cycling. In its basic form, Mountain Biking makes use of a bicycle in tackling different bike trails. Learn more about Cycling and Mountain Biking in the following sections.
What is Cycling?
Cycling can be defined as the act, sport or technique of riding or racing a bicycle or motorcycle and other human powered vehicles (HPVs). It has been considered as an important social activity in most countries of the world, the true first form of modern individual mobility.
Cycling, also known as bicycle racing, begins with the history of bicycle which is developed and improved through the years. Since it was first invented in 1817 up to the modern day, bicycles have a huge impact on world history. The first ever recorded bicycle race was held on May 31, 1868 at Street Cloud Park in Paris. Since then, more people were hooked to this kind of sport and led to a development of many organizations that conduct different races.
Cycling has two main racing disciplines: road and track. Track racing includes individual and team pursuits, point races, time trials, sprints, the keirin and the madison. The mass start or in-line road race, the time trial, and the stage race are the three types of racing. The two disciplines which were developed early were pretty much equal but most professional races were conducted on tracks both in the U.S. and in continental Europe.
Cycling can also be a great way to stay in shape. Getting on your bike regularly is an effective workout and will keep you in good physical condition. It also makes you feel younger and it reduces stress. This is the type of exercise that is most effective at promoting good health.
Nowadays, Cycling comes in many forms and is done in different surface or terrain conditions. Whatever type of Cycling you want to try, make sure to get the necessary pieces of gear and equipment and know the essentials of the sport before riding your bike.
The History of Cycling begins with the invention of the bicycle. The first bicycle was constructed by Comte de Sivrac of France in 1690, although it looked more like the modern scooter than a bike. In 1816, a walking machine that became popularly known as Draisienne or hobby horse was invented by the German Baron Karl Drais von Sauerbronn. This wooden device didn’t have pedals yet; you need to push your feet against the ground to glide. But it did have a padded seat and steerable front wheel. It was only in 1839 when the first pedal-driven bicycle was created by Kirkpatrick Macmillan.
Later, the Michaux family invented the velocipede, which had pedals attached to the front wheel. It gained popularity in the 1860s. However, it was made of wood (later metal). Riding it was uncomfortable, so it gained the nickname “bone-shaker”. Bicycling only became much more comfortable after the invention of the pneumatic tire in 1888 by J.B. Dunlop.
In 1874, H.J. Lawson invented the chain drive, which became the precedent for his safety bike. A carriage manufacturer named Albert Pope was the first to commercialize bicycles in 1877, when he established a bicycle factory in Hartford, Connecticut. By 1893, Pope’s “Columbia” bike, which incorporated the best features of the earlier bikes as well as mechanisms devised by Pope himself, was the best-selling bicycle in the world. More mechanisms like coaster brakes were developed later on, but the basic design remained.
When bicycles became commercially available in the 1870s, many Cycling clubs were formed in the United States. The Union Cycliste Internationale, composed of countries around the world, was formed in 1900. It is still the international governing body for Cycling up to this day.
In the History of Cycling, competitions were the key to attracting bikers around the world. Pope did not sell bikes until 1877, but the first recorded bicycle race in the world reportedly took place 9 years earlier. It was a 1,200-meter race in St.-Cloud Park in France. The victor was then 19-year-old James Moore, an Englishman. He won several Cycling races later on. Six-day races, which began in England in 1878, spread to Madison Square Garden in New York and started a phenomenon in American sports. Soon, six-day races were being staged in major cities in the United States.
Cycling experienced a brief decline when the Ford Motor Company was established in 1903. People started to become more hooked onto automobiles. Five years later, however, John M. Chapman set up a franchised racing circuit that offered substantial prize money to winners. He and his colleagues revived the six-day races in 1920, and the rest, as they say is history.
What is Mountain Biking?
In its most basic form, Mountain Biking can be defined as a form of Cycling on offroad or unpaved surfaces such as mountain trails and dirt roads and the biker uses a bicycle with a sturdy frame and fat tires. As time progresses, there is an increase in the number of people who are getting enthusiastic about recreational and competitive Mountain Biking.
Through the years, Mountain Biking has evolved into a sport that has the technology similar to that of a motorcycle used in motocross. The Mountain Bike itself is a bicycle with a sturdy frame and fat tires. It is specifically designed to ride through rough and mountainous terrain. You have full-suspension Mountain Bikes with hydraulic disk brakes. You have body armour and full-faced helmet. Above all, more and more people are getting interested in this sport, and the number of Mountain Biking enthusiasts is increasing every year.