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Cycling (cycling) - movement on the ground using vehicles (bicycles - French velocipede, from Latin velox - fast and pes - leg), set in motion by the force of human muscles through foot pedals or hand levers.
Cycling, unlike many Olympic sports that have a thousand-year history, emerged not so long ago - at the end of the 19th century. Despite this, this sport was represented in the program of all Olympic Games. The first official cycling competition - the 2000m race - was held on May 31, 1868 in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud. A year later, the first Paris-Rouen road races were organized. To overcome the distance of 120 kilometers, the winner of the competition, Englishman J. Moore, took 10 hours and 45 minutes.
As time went on, the design of bicycles became more and more perfect, and the movement on them became fast and comfortable. Cycling gained wide popularity, in favor of this statement is evidenced by the fact that in 1870 the construction of tracks began in various European countries, and already in 1890 in this sport there was a division of riders into professionals, amateurs and independent. In accordance with the above division, championships were held for various categories of athletes. In 1893, the first world track champion for amateur athletes was organized in Chicago; since 1895, world championships for professional sprinters have been played. Since 1903, the Tour de France has been held for professionals (5000 km).
The first World Amateur Highway Championship was held in 1921. 190 km for professional riders in 1927. 185 km for female athletes in 1958. As a sport, cycling is managed by the International Cycling Union, founded in 1900, with its headquarters in Switzerland.
The main disciplines of cycling:
Races on a track (a closed oval ring road for competitions with a wooden covering, the length of which is from 130 to 500 meters, the width is from 5 to 7 meters, the slope on straight sections is 12.5 degrees, on turns - 42 degrees) - overcoming distances in the shortest possible time. Types of bike track races:
- Git (from a standstill or on the move) at 500 or 1000 meters - an individual cycling discipline that does not require the use of special tactics from the rider. The task of athletes is to quickly overcome the distance (the result is recorded up to a thousandth of a second);
- Individual pursuit race (4000 meters for men, 3000 meters for women), the goal of which is to catch up with the opponent or to show the best time. The race is held according to the elimination system, has been included in the program of the Olympic Games since 1964 for male athletes, since 1992 - for women;
- Team pursuit race;
- Keirin - invented in Japan in 1948. At the same time, 6-9 riders start, in front of whom a motorcyclist is moving (riders have no right to overtake him), gradually increasing the speed from 25 to 50 km / h. When the motorcyclist leaves the track (600-700 meters before the finish line), the riders try to go as fast as possible. This type of competition was first included in the program of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney;
- Madison (first held in Madison Square Garden), 60 km - a team type of cycling track, in which a team of two riders tries to score as many points as possible (credited every 20 laps);
- Race on points (40 km for men, 25 km - for women) - individual race, an Olympic sport. The number of participants is not limited, the goal is to score the maximum number of points (accrual - every 10 laps);
- Sprint - a race on a cycle track with the participation of 2-4 athletes selected in qualifying races. The oldest discipline of cycling has been in the program of the World Championships since 1893 (for women - since 1895), the Olympic Games - since 1896 (for women - since 1988);
- Olympic sprint;
- Scratch - a group race that does not belong to the Olympic disciplines;
- Omnium - all-around.
Road cycling is the most commercially developed and extremely popular cycling discipline in Europe. The most famous cycling races ("Tour de France", "Giro d'Italia", "Vuelta") since 2005 have been combined into an annual series of races with an overall standings - "Pro Tour". Types of road cycling:
- Team time trial with time trial;
- Group race;
- Individual time trial with time trial;
- Criterium - a group circular (ring) race along the city streets. The length of one lap is 1-3 km, the number of laps is up to 50. It differs from the group race in terms of points on the track in that individual and team scoring is possible in the criterion, while only individual results of athletes are taken into account on the track.
Cross-country races - competitions held on a distance teeming with artificial or natural obstacles (ditches, steep climbs and descents, fallen trees, etc.). Most often mountain bikes (from the English mountain bike - "mountain bike") are used for this sport, which differ in a reinforced frame, shock-absorbing rear suspension, thick tires, durable wheels, etc. In these competitions, several types of riding are distinguished:
- Bicycle trial - overcoming artificial or natural obstacles;
- Dirt - jumping on a cascade of trampolines, complicated by the parallel performance of tricks of varying difficulty;
- Cross-country - high-speed driving on rough terrain;
- Cyclocross - riding on rough terrain (the average speed of participants does not exceed 20 km / h). Athletes overcome the circular route 2.5 - 3.5 km long, replete with obstacles of various kinds (fords, mud, ditches, hills, etc.);
- Biker cross, parallel slalom - simultaneous descent of several riders, providing for the possibility of contact wrestling;
- Downhill - downhill.
In addition, we should mention cycling polo - competition in figure riding and cycling ball - a ball game on bicycles.
The first bicycle was invented in Germany. Indeed, the official date of the "birth" of the bicycle is 1814, when the German forester Karl von Dreis from Mannheim built a wooden two-wheeled bicycle (on which a person could ride in any direction, pushing off the ground with his feet). A patent for this invention was issued in 1817. However, there are references to the fact that back in 1800 a serf workman Efim Mikheevich Artamonov created at one of the factories of Nizhny Tagil "an outlandish bicycle", which in 1801 traveled more than 5 thousand kilometers off-road to Moscow. For this invention, the artisan was granted freedom, but the vehicle was not patented.
The invention of tires made cycling much more comfortable. It really is. The first bicycles without tires were called bone shakers. Therefore, in 1885, a veterinarian Denlop from Scotland, wishing to make the vehicle more convenient for his son, adapted a garden rubber sleeve to the wheels of the "bone shaker" used for watering flowers. By filling the hose with water, the inventor kept shaking to a minimum, but the bike's speed was also greatly reduced. Then the resourceful doctor inflated the new tires with air, providing them with a special valve. Modern athletes sometimes use helium to inflate tires, which allows them to develop a slightly higher speed and, accordingly, demonstrate better results in competitions.
In a sprint, it doesn't matter where the rider is. In fact, the best position is considered to be behind the opponent's back. In this case, it will not be easy for the opponent to calculate the maneuvers of the athlete behind. Sometimes the front rider will try to balance the bike for a while, reducing the speed to give the opponent the lead in the race. However, the second rider does the same, anticipating the opponent's mistake. This state of affairs, called "surprise" (from the French surplace - "in place") sometimes dragged on for an hour, but nowadays there is a limitation on the above-mentioned maneuver - no more than 3 minutes.
Any mountain bike is suitable for all types of cross-country racing. This is not entirely true. You should clearly define what exactly you are going to do, inquire about the requirements for the vehicle used by this or that discipline, and only then choose the appropriate vehicle. Indeed, for example, for cross-country the main advantage of a bicycle is its low weight, and in downhill the most important thing is the mechanical strength of the structure and good shock absorbers.
The mountain bike is the most versatile for most people. This vehicle is quite specific and not very efficient for driving on highways or dirt roads. The most versatile is the "cross" type bicycle, which shows itself well both on-road and off-road.
Disc brakes are the main advantage of a good bike. Indeed, disc brakes are better than rim brakes, and they will last longer, and the braking force is dosed more accurately. However, it should be noted that the aforementioned advantages are really only important during the competition, at high speeds. In ordinary life, a person may not even notice the difference. In addition, it should be taken into account that it is quite difficult to install a trunk on a bicycle equipped with a rear disc brake, and such a purchase will not be cheap at all - for a bicycle you will have to pay at least $ 300-400. If you are offered a cheaper model, be careful, the vehicle may not be completely serviceable.
You should definitely buy a bicycle with metal pedals. This myth was born in those days when the products of Soviet bicycle factories were equipped with really very low-quality plastic pedals that quickly deteriorate. The pedals of cheap Chinese bicycles, which literally flooded the market at the end of the last century, were of the same quality. However, you should remember that modern bicycles from well-known manufacturers are equipped with excellent plastic pedals that will serve you faithfully for several years. Therefore, when buying a bicycle, you should pay attention not to the pedals, but to the brand of the manufacturer.
For a good bike you will have to pay quite a large sum - at least $ 300. It all depends on why you are purchasing this vehicle. Let's say you can buy a walking bike for about $ 150-200. A multi-speed walking bike will cost a little more - 250-350 USD. If you want to buy a vehicle for tourism or sports, then you really have to fork out.
Chinese bicycles are not of high quality, so it is best to buy vehicles made in Europe or America. This myth was born thanks to enterprising businessmen who bought bicycles in China (more precisely, bicycle models) at a price of $ 10. and sold on domestic markets at a much higher price (200 - 300 USD). This product, to put it mildly, is not of high quality, gave rise to the misconception that Chinese bicycles are not good. However, it should be noted that Taiwan is one of the world centers of high technologies, and leading bicycle manufacturers have located their production facilities in Asian countries, in particular in China. It is there that about 70% of bicycles are produced, and of very high quality. The remaining 30% are assembled in Europe and America, moreover, most often from components produced, again, in Asian countries.
Use the rear brake, the front brake is dangerous. This is not the case, especially if you want to learn how to navigate steep slopes quickly and safely. It is the front brake that is designed to slow the downward movement of the bike. The rear function is to restrain the rear wheel, thereby improving handling when cornering. The ability to use both the front and rear brakes in downhill is especially important.
Locked wheels cannot drive. Indeed, one cannot go down a rocky or earthen hill. But for descending through deep snow or sand dunes, this technique is quite applicable.
Cycling improves health. Indeed, this sport has a positive effect on human health (for example, it improves metabolism, speeds up metabolism, promotes weight loss), but if you decide to go in for cycling or cycling (especially extreme) seriously, or even professionally, pay attention to some important moments. Firstly, cycling makes increased demands on the musculoskeletal and ligamentous apparatus of the shoulder girdle, spine and legs, since the load during movement is unevenly distributed, and constant vibration and static position of the body after a certain period of time can become a source of rather unpleasant sensations ... Secondly, cycling in itself is an excellent training for the vestibular apparatus. But if you have problems with coordination of movements for any reason, you will have to give up cycling (and even more so freeride or downhill), limiting yourself to only small cycling at a moderate speed. Thirdly, in case of loss of balance (which sometimes even experienced athletes cannot maintain), an unprepared person can get bruises, or even fractures. Therefore, if you are going to master cycling or extreme cycling, you should critically assess your health, be sure to consult a specialist. In addition, it is imperative to pay attention to a set of exercises that strengthen the muscles of the arms, legs, back and shoulder girdle 2-3 months before a hike or competition.
One rear wheel can be driven while sitting in the saddle of a bicycle. No, in order to successfully surf (also known as manual), the rider must stand on the pedals, slightly moving his body to the rear wheel. Ideally, surfing should be done without brakes, but you should still hold your finger on the brake lever at first. In this case, you will have to maintain balance not only immediately after pulling out (i.e. transition to balancing on one wheel), but also throughout the surf, using your legs for this (bending and unbending them at the right time) and the steering wheel. For beginners, it is best to train by going down the hill - in this case, it becomes possible to surf a rather long distance.
It is best to jump (especially from a height of about a meter or more) onto the sand - it absorbs the impact. Yes, but keep in mind that this loses most of the speed. For inexperienced riders, it is best to make jumps (drops) from a great height to the ground - it is softer than asphalt. A wide tire with not too high pressure is quite capable of cushioning the landing. Also, remember that a locked rear wheel is the key to an extremely hard landing.
If, after completing the distance on a bicycle, the athlete's leg is reduced, it is necessary to pinch the muscle, and in the intervals between competitions there are bananas (calcium gluconate, foods rich in potassium, etc.). In fact, not everything is so simple. After all, the cause of seizures can be, for example, thyroid disease, flat feet, metabolic disorders in muscles, heart disease, varicose veins, mineral deficiencies, tired legs, as well as profuse sweating, during which the body loses magnesium, sodium, potassium and calcium.Therefore, first of all, one should find out the cause of the seizures, and only then seek methods of treatment.
If cramps arise simply due to the loss of fluid and nutrients released with sweat, experts advise drinking an isotonic drink or any saline solution (a teaspoon of table salt in a glass of water). Preparations containing potassium and calcium should be taken with caution, since an excess of mineral salts in the body can lead to even more unpleasant consequences than their lack. It is best to eat foods rich in minerals necessary for the body: beans, cereals and cottage cheese contain calcium, potatoes and bananas - potassium, seeds, yoghurts and nuts are rich in magnesium, etc. However, even in this, you need to know when to stop - for example, an excessive amount of bananas can provoke kidney cancer. In the event that the convulsions have already begun, and there is no glass of saline at hand, you need to straighten your leg and pull your toes along with your feet, pinch the sore spot, and then stand on your flattened leg. Then you should massage the sore spot, rubbing it with your palms. Before training (especially if you are going to ride on the street in frosty weather), you should use warming ointments, applying them to the most often reduced places.
To win the competition, you need to train as much as possible. The key to victory can be not just long-term, but, moreover, rationally structured workouts, the main goal of which is to improve those qualities that are necessary for victory in a particular cycling discipline. In any case, training should be regular, the load should be increased gradually, in addition, the coach must take into account the individual characteristics of each athlete, and the athlete himself must monitor his health, accordingly, adjusting the training plans.
It is best to give preference to isotonic drinks from well-known manufacturers during cycling. Sports (isotonic) drinks, sometimes mistakenly called ergotonic drinks, were developed in 1960 at a Florida State University solely for the Gators varsity football team - to keep athletes from becoming dehydrated while playing. After some time, the drink, which allows you to easily replenish the supply of fluids, carbohydrates and salts during prolonged physical exertion, has gained widespread popularity throughout the world. During sports competitions, such drinks are indeed the most optimal means for replenishing the body's water-salt balance, preventing dehydration. However, you should be careful when choosing an isotonic. Read the label carefully, which should indicate the composition of the sports drink. It may contain no more than 4-8% carbohydrates (about 10-19 g per glass), electrolytes (0.1% sodium and 0.03% potassium, as well as magnesium, calcium, etc.) and water. Also, pay attention to the type of sugars used. It should be noted that, for example, fructose can cause stomach upset in some people, and it is absorbed somewhat more slowly. Therefore, it is advisable to prefer isotonic with glucose or sucrose. Professional athletes, especially in hot weather, follow these rules for drinking liquid: 2-3 glasses should be drunk 2 hours before the competition, 1 glass 15 minutes before the race (you can also add a couple of salt crackers if there is no tendency to high blood pressure). During the competition, half a glass of liquid should be consumed every 15 minutes, and finally, at the end of the event, at least 3-6 glasses of liquid should be drunk. This allows cyclists to reliably protect the body from dehydration, heatstroke and other such troubles.
Athletes-cyclists must completely avoid alcohol consumption. Indeed, alcohol is quite capable of having a negative effect on the body, since, firstly, it serves as a source of useless calories that are poorly absorbed by the body, and secondly, it contributes to an increase in the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood (as a result of which the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases significantly ), can cause an increase in blood pressure, heart attack and liver damage. In addition, it must be remembered that alcohol has diuretic properties, therefore, consumed before or after training increases dehydration, reduces energy reserves, and slows down fine motor abilities. However, all of the above applies only to alcohol consumed in large doses. And in moderation, alcohol may well be part of a sports diet for adults. At the same time, it should be remembered that for each conditional portion of alcohol there should be a large glass of water. In addition, it should be borne in mind that the rate of alcohol breakdown depends on the athlete's build. For example, the body of tall men of athletic or dense physique is able to break down about a glass of alcohol in an hour, but men of smaller build and the fair sex will have to spend much more time to neutralize the same amount of intoxicating drinks.