Published on 09 November 2021

What Is Cycling?: Things You Should Know

Cycling what-is-cycling-things-you-should-know
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To put it simply, the sport or act of riding or traveling by bicycle is called cycling. The word 'Bicycle' originates from the emulsification of two words- the prefix 'bi,' which means two, and 'cycle,' which means wheel. 

Since the sport was introduced, it has evolved in many areas. Cycling as a sport is a highly competitive physical activity using bicycles where the competitors ride on challenging trails, which include velodromes, mountain tracks, water crossings, dirt, etc.

Cycling in the sport is used to describe racing a bicycle. There are different types of competitive cycling, including road cycling, track cycling, BMX, and mountain Biking. Cycling is an Olympic sport and one of the world's most popular sports.

Tour de France, the premier cycling event, has around 12 to 15 million viewers every year and comes in one of the largest sporting events in the world. Let's look at the history of cycling.

History Of Cycling

About bicycles, we have seen pictures of old bicycles in encyclopedias, on television, or in art galleries with huge front wheels, tiny rear wheels, and extremely levitated seats, yes! Those were the first bicycles introduced in 1817; the mastermind behind these astonishing steerable, two-wheeled mechanisms was a German baron named Karl von Drais.

Karl's contraption was known by various names like "hobby horse," "velocipede," and "running machine." This noble creation of Karl von Drais made the world huge acknowledge him as the father of the bicycle.

Cycling as a sport officially began on May 31, 1868, 51 years later after the invention of bicycles. The 1,200-meter race was managed between the fountains and the entrance of Saint- cloud park in Pairs which still stands there and is home to several species of flora and fauna. The winner of this memorable race was James Moore, an 18-year-old expatriate Englishmen originating from Paris.

Frequently asked questions

Cycling works with different muscles in your lower body, including your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and hips, but when it's done vigorously for training, your abs are even getting a great workout. Even Your heart is also a muscle that is getting fantastic cardiovascular exercise.
Yes, even though your abdominal muscles aren't working as hard as your lower body parts like quads, hamstrings, and glutes when you ride. But however, Cycling is an Aerobic activity which means you are burning fat.
Cycling can be associated with some side effects that mostly happen to men. Problems like Genetial Numbness, Priapism( painful and prolonged erection), Infertility, ED problems (Erectile dysfunction), and Elevated PSA( Prostate-specific antigen).

Types Of Cycling

There are many different cycling categories, each with a unique surface. There are many other formal and informal types of Cycling, but it is broken down into three main types Road, Off-Road, and tracking Cycling.

  • Road Cycling: Road Cycling is the most widespread form of Cycling. As the name shows, it takes place on Roadways and Streets. The most famous road event in the world is the Tour de France. Where the race is held all over the city, road races can be pretty long( over a hundred miles). Even though some races are under 25 miles, that is called sprint.
  • Off-Road Cycling: It is totally different from a road cycling track. In off-road cycling, the track is never a smooth surface. It has a tricky terrain. It is not known for speeding, but planning it with a technique.
  • Tracking Cycling: Tracking racing generally occurs in velodromes. Velodromes are large cycle racing tracks with steeply banked curves inside the arena, not similar to indoor tracks. The actual racing track is just over 8 miles long, a small loop of wooden panels. 

Evolution Of Cycling

Cycling, from the time of its innovation in 1817, has traveled a long way and evolved into the form of cycling we know today and the bicycles we ride in 2023.

The 1880s- The Safety Bicycles

The 1890s was the start of a new era for bicycles as major changes were made in the bicycles running on streets based on the designs of Karl von Drais since 1817, with some modifications throughout the time. But the significant change was in the 1890s when the Safety bicycle boomed.

The safety bicycle was used in the 1880s as an alternative to penny-farthing. The penny-farthings were bicycles with high wheels and elevated seats, which were popular up until the 1880s. The bicycles caused a boom due to being lighter, less expensive, and easier to ride.

Unlike the penny-farthings, the rider's feet could reach the ground, making it easier to control the bicycle and stop, highly diminishing the danger of 'taking a header Or long fall over the handlebars. 

The impact of the Safety of bicycles on female emancipation was huge. It symbolized the new era of women and revolved around the 'rational dress' movement of the late nineteenth century.

The 1890s- The Tandems

Just ten years after the revolution of the Safety bicycles, the tandems came into the limelight and started to show up more in the early 1890s. Many early tandems were 'courting bikes' initially designed for a man and woman to ride the bicycle together, not on different bicycles but a single bicycle with two seats, one in the front and the other placed in the rear.

The tandem's front seat was for the lady, and the man was placed behind and steering the bike through a linkage from the rear position. However, tandem popularity began to decline after WWII.

The 1930s – Switching The Gears

The 1930s introduced derailleurs, a variable bicycle gearing system consisting of a chain, multiple sprockets of different sizes, and a mechanism to move the chain from one sprocket to another. It was first developed in France in the early 20th century but was first introduced in the Tour de France.

Before that, the riders have to use a two-speed bicycle and get off the bike to switch gears. However, derailleurs started to become standard on roads in 1938 when Simplex introduced a cable-shifted derailleur, the mechanism still in use on some bicycles.

The 1980s- Mountain Bikes

A tremendous boom was in place for bicycles in the mid-1970s in America when the petrol price hike was making the use of automobiles prohibitive, followed by a period when sports bicycles were the focal design that was trending.

In the 1980s, people started switching from only-road bicycles to all-terrain bicycles, such as mountain bikes and BMX, as they were much lighter, had multiple, and had more robust frame construction.

These bicycles gave people a sense of adventure and adrenaline rush, leading to mountain bike races and BMX competitions worldwide.

21st century- Bicycles Of All Kinds.

While the frames of bicycles have remained the same for over 100 years in the 21st century, use of space material has come into use, for instance, carbon fiber and titanium, which are more robust and lighter than the early used iron and wooden frames.

The styles of bikes have also been upgraded and have got much more aerodynamic and efficient. Hybrids, road, and mountain bikes are now in place with better structure, lighter weight, and better derailleur systems.

The 21st century also kept convenience in mind and brought gadgets like an installed torch, a bottle holder, Bluetooth, and much more. Electric bicycles are also introduced, have features that no one would have imagined, and are environmentally friendly. 

Equipment For Cycling

It is essential to carry the equipment that would make you comfortable driving through and be in a safe zone. There are a few pieces of equipment required that every cyclist should have:

  • A good Bike
  • Water Bottle
  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses or goggles 
  • Gloves
  • Tight Short
  • Jersey
  • Shoes

Always carry all the above equipment and have a safe journey.

Cycling For Health And Fitness

You should know all the benefits and pros of cycling through the road for your own well-being. Find out all things you might benefit from cycling.

Cycling Improves Mental Health Being

A study by YMCA found that physically active people had better well-being scores than inactive individuals. Physical activities, which force us to get tired and sweat, help remove toxins from our body and act as a detox therapy that results in a better mood and mental health. Even doctors suggest cycling and other physical activities to people who might be suffering from depression.

Cycling Improves Strength/Health And Stimulates Weight Loss.

The simple equation for weight loss is 'calories out must exceed calorie intake, So the need to burn more calories than you consume. Cycling is beneficial for health. It burns about 1-hour calories between 500 to 1000, depending on the intensity of the rider. This helps us stimulate weight loss and acts as a step towards a better immune system and health. 

Fitness is the key to having a healthy life; a fitness routine keeps our body active and our calories in check. Cycling is considered a full-body workout routine but has a slightly primary focus on leg strength; various researchers found that a cyclist's leg strength and the leg strength of an inactive individual have vast differences.

Cycling Helps The Environment.

It is known that fossil fuels are depleted and expensive for the common people to use. As a result, petrol prices have hiked, severely harming the environment. The co2 emissions from automobiles are known to be the most significant contributor to carbon dioxide emissions. 

The use of bicycles can eradicate this problem. Bicycles are based on human power. The use of any fossil fuel is zero, and if efficient in every way, it helps the environment and our health and promotes fitness, and all age groups have access to it.

Health Benefits Of Regular Cycling

Cycling is an Aerobic activity generally means your heart, lungs, and blood vessels get worked out. You breathe deeper and get sweat that experiences increased body temperature, which will help to improve your overall health. The benefits of regular cycling include the following.

  • Improve Cardiovascular Fitness
  • Increased Muscle Strenght
  • Enhance joint mobility 
  • Decreased stress level 
  • Reduces Anxiety and depression 
  • Improve body coordination
  • Reduced body fat
  • It helps to improve body postures

You will definitely benefit from the cycling process. Once you get into it, you will not want to be away from cycling.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solution

In conclusion, cycling is something that we all are familiar with, our parents taught us how to ride a bicycle, and we are in the process of learning, getting hurt, and creating memories. Riding our bikes with friends and having a joyful time.

Cycling is a challenging sport; it has been there since childhood like a sibling and always ensures that we grow. Grow in all the aspects of living, be it fitness, mental health, protection of our environment, or being connected to our history. Exploring new ways to ride such astonishing machines on new terrains and evolving continuously that's what cycling offers

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