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Cycle sport Shortly after the introduction of bicycles, competitions developed independently in many parts of the world.

Early races involving boneshaker style bicycles were predictably fraught with injuries. Large races became popular during the s "Golden Age of Cycling", with events across Europe, and in the U.

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At one point, almost every major city in the US had a velodrome or two for track racing events, however since the middle of the 20th century cycling has become a minority sport in the US whilst in Continental Europe it continues to be a major sport, particularly in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Italy and Spain.

The most famous of all bicycle races is the Tour de France. This began inand continues to capture the attention of the sporting world.

InCharles Minthorn Murphy became the first man to ride his bicycle a mile in under a minute hence his nickname, Mile-a-Minute Murphywhich he did by drafting a locomotive at New York 's Long Island. As the bicycle evolved its various forms, different racing formats developed.

Road races may involve both team and individual competition, and are contested in various ways. They range from the one-day road race, criteriumand time trial to multi-stage events like the Tour de France and its sister events which make up cycling's Grand Tours.

Recumbent bicycles were banned from bike races in after Marcel Berthet set a new hour record in his Velodyne streamliner Track bicycles are Dirt bikes u s a company s goals and for track cycling in Velodromeswhile cyclo-cross races are held on outdoor terrain, including pavement, grass, and mud.

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Cyclocross races feature man-made features such as small barriers which riders either bunny hop over or dismount and walk over. Time trial races, another form of road racing require a rider to ride against the clock. Time trials can be performed as a team or as a single rider.

Bikes are changed for time trial races, using aero bars. In the past decade, mountain bike racing has also reached international popularity and is even an Olympic sport.

Professional racing organizations place limitations on the bicycles that can be used in the races that they sanction. For example, the Union Cycliste Internationale, the governing body of international cycle sport which sanctions races such as the Tour de Francedecided in the late s to create additional rules which prohibit racing bicycles weighing less than 6.

The UCI rules also effectively ban some bicycle frame innovations such as the recumbent bicycle by requiring a double triangle structure. Bicycle infantry The bicycle has been used as a method of reconnaissance as well as transporting soldiers and supplies to combat zones.

In this it has taken over many of the functions of horses in warfare. In the Second Boer Warboth sides used bicycles for scouting.

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In its invasion of China, Japan employed some 50, bicycle troops, and similar forces were instrumental in Japan's march or "roll" through Malaya in World War II. Germany used bicycles again in World War II, while the British employed airborne "Cycle-commandos" with folding bikes.

The last country known to maintain a regiment of bicycle troops was Switzerland, which disbanded its last unit in Activism[ edit ] Two broad and correlated themes run in bicycle activism: San Francisco Critical MassApril 29, It is generally agreed that improved local and inter-city rail services and other methods of mass transportation including greater provision for cycle carriage on such services create conditions to encourage bicycle use.

However, there are different opinions on the role of various types of cycling infrastructure in building bicycle-friendly cities and roads. Some bicycle activists including some traffic management advisers seek the construction of bike pathscycle tracks and bike lanes for journeys of all lengths and point to their success in promoting safety and encouraging more people to cycle.

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Some activists, especially those from the vehicular cycling tradition, view the safety, practicality, and intent of such facilities with suspicion. They favor a more holistic approach based on the 4 'E's ; education of everyone involvedencouragement to apply the educationenforcement to protect the rights of othersand engineering to facilitate travel while respecting every person's equal right to do so.

Some groups offer training courses to help cyclists integrate themselves with other traffic. Critical Mass is an event typically held on the last Friday of every month in cities around the world where bicyclists take to the streets en masse.

While the ride was founded with the idea of drawing attention to how unfriendly the city was to bicyclists, the leaderless structure of Critical Mass makes it impossible to assign it any one specific goal.

In fact, the purpose of Critical Mass is not formalized beyond the direct action of meeting at a set location and time and traveling as a group through city streets.

There is a long-running cycle helmet debate among activists. The most heated controversy surrounds the topic of compulsory helmet use. Headquarters of the Union Cycliste Internationale in Switzerland Cyclists form associations, both for specific interests trails development, road maintenance, bike maintenance, urban design, racing clubs, touring clubs, etc.

Some bicycle clubs and national associations became prominent advocates for improvements to roads and highways. In the United States, the League of American Wheelmen lobbied for the improvement of roads in the last part of the 19th century, founding and leading the national Good Roads Movement.

Their model for political organization, as well as the paved roads for which they argued, facilitated the growth of the automobile. Cycling for transport and touring is promoted on a European level by the European Cyclists' Federationwith associated members from Great Britain, Japan and elsewhere.Maine.

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