The History of Cycling

The History of Cycling

Lance Armstrong is one of the most famous cyclists in recent years. The fact that he is one of the most winning racers on the cycling circuit is a testament to how well trained and physically able he is, regardless of his cancer diagnosis.

Cycling could not have begun without the invention of a bicycle. In 1816, a man named Draisine created the first bicycle to have a steering apparatus, thus, the rider of the bicycle had a distinct advantage for controlling the bicycle with hands instead of relying solely upon the needs and hips, as one does in a unicycle. Kirkpatrick MacMillan improved upon the bicycle in 1839 when he invented a bike which could allow movement and propulsion, which was similar to how a pedal works. In 1861, the first pedal and crank bicycle was invented by Pierre and Ernest Farthing. James Starley made several contributions to the improvement of the bike over the span of a decade. His first improvement was in 1870 when he created the first bike which utilized gears to aid in the stopping of movement. He named this bicycle the Penny Farthing. Then, in 1874, he created the first spoked wheel for a bicycle. Finally, in 1879, the very first bicycle which was chain-driven was created. This is the modern equivalent of what most cyclists use today because they have more control and power when using the chain and the gears to control the chains. That aspect of cycling is very important in competition, as the power of the cycler is channeled through the bike when racing.

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Cycling had been a sport of overwhelming odds and physicality since its beginnings in 1868. The first cycling race ever held in history was held on May 30 of that year. It was a 1,200 meter race in which Mr. James Moore won the race. The next year, on November 7 saw the first city to city race which was over 135 kilometers. Mr. Moore won that one as well, winning it in 10 hours and 25 minutes. Ever since then, the cycling races have been very long and prestigious to win.

Once organizers caught on to the idea that spectators liked to watch the cyclists, but did not like to have to move every few miles to see the race, they realized that track cycling would solve this problem. The organizers could create a venue where the spectators could watch the race from one seat without ever having to miss part of the race because the cyclists would race around an indoor track. The spectators would have seats above the track, similar to the Roman coliseum where the crowd watched from the safety of above the arena, while the action was down below them. Because this was an indoor attraction, the organizers could charge for admission and many people would gladly pay it so see how well their favorite cyclist did in the race. This race made its Olympic debut in 1896.

Because the indoor track racing was different from road racing, changes to the bicycle have been made to make the bike lighter, faster, and more aerodynamic. The reason for this is simple. Make the bike lighter and it will ride faster.

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