Cycling is the practice of using a bicycle, either as a sport or a form of locomotion. It was in England, in the mid-19th century, that cycling emerged, a time when the improvement of the vehicle made it possible to reach higher speeds. Sport cycling is governed by several rules, and generally falls into four categories: road events, track events, mountain events (Mountain Bike or MTB) and BMX and is practiced with different types and models of bicycles.
In the Mountain Bike modality there are several categories that are divided into more or less radical, and they are: cross country, on all types of terrain, preferably on the hill, whether uphill, flat or downhill; the Freeride, with a more extreme gait in which jumps and descents are preferred; Downhill, which is the most extreme and dangerous version of MTB that consists only of going downhill, usually at high speeds, being practiced either on the hill or in the city (the so-called urban downhill or DHU).
In terms of health, cycling is a rhythmic and cyclic activity, ideal for the development of aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, depending on the type of training applied. It develops the cardiovascular system of practitioners, and is also indicated by specialist doctors as a great exercise for burning body fat and developing leg muscle strength resistance in training.
The modern world has also invented static cycling, that is, the practice of cycling on stationary bikes and indoors, at home, gym, club, etc., an alternative and safe aerobic exercise ideal for individuals who want greater safety, support and ease. handling than road or track cycling, and is suitable for people who have certain types of injuries to the knees, hips, spine and who cannot walk.
Cycling started in 1890.
Between 1890 and 1900, great events were born, which over the years have become classics, some still exist today such as the Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
In 1891, the first great Audax race, or "Randonneurs", took place between Paris and Brest (in France), round trip, for a total of 1200 km. The race is the most traditional of world cycling and has no competitive character. Participants race against time, with different rules, to reach the end in a long test of logistics and overcoming. Currently, in order to participate in the 1200 km, the cyclist must be able to complete the 200, 300, 400 and 600 km events in the same year, earning the so-called "brevet" to complete the 1200 km. In Brazil, this test has been held since 2003 with authorization from the Audax Club Parisien.
In 1893, the first World Championship (CM) was held, with sprints and middle distance events, exclusively for amateur runners in the world.
Cycling has been part of the Olympic program since the first modern edition of the Athens Games in 1896, when events were held on tracks only, with extremely aerodynamic bicycles.
Until the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, there was only male participation. Women began participating in road events at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the modality of mountain biking (cross-country) was added, practiced in Mountain Bikes.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, another modality of this discipline was added, "BMX SX" (BMX Supercross), which incorporates new difficulties such as a steeper slope and larger jumps, with considerable speed.
Paracycling is a sport that derives from cycling, aimed at people with disabilities. Its practice is carried out with the use of a handbike, which is a kind of tricycle pedaled with the hands.
At the velodrome, the bikes do not have gears and the competition takes place on an oval track that varies between 250 and 325 meters.