Cycling – The Basics
When you were a toddler, have you ever experienced the joy of sitting on a brand new bicycle and trotting around your entire house on those two wheels and feeling the wind gush into your face? Yeah, I guess we all have. And this childhood pursuit is the inspiration of the present struggle in every cycling race.
Cycling for years has been used as a means of transport and as a recreational activity. But as the years progress, cycling has become an international sport practiced in almost all countries of the world and played in almost all major sporting events across the globe. The first ever bicycle race was held in Paris on the ancient bicycles of that time. Since then, bicycles have evolved in terms of their structure and look. Even the races have changed completely in terms of basic rules, distances, and other rules.
The main objective of a bicycle race is to cover the entire course in the minimum amount of time. For this purpose, a number of strategically developed tactics are employed. One of the most common tactics used is that of drafting which basically involves following the rider in front of you very closely. This helps, knowing that you do not need to pedal as much as you have to, and to take the advantage of being in the slipstream of the person in front of you. Riding in Peloton or the main field can positively save as much as half of the energy employed in moving forward as compared to riding on your own. A rider can either remain consistent from the beginning or start slowly and then gain speed at a critical time in the race.
If they work together in a very smooth and efficient manner, then a greater speed can be ensured in comparison to even a pelothon. Mostly a rider or group of riders will try to break from the peloton by riding ahead to make the number of contenders for the win gradually very small. If the going away is not fruitful and the cyclists come together, a sprinter can often manage to win the race by going ahead in the final lap as against the various competitors. Teamwork between riders, whether planned or spontaneous, is of utmost importance.
To add a slightly adventurous aspect to the races, a lot of exciting additions are made to this regular concept of a bicycle race. Races are organized in both plain and rocky terrains at both the amateur or learning level and the extremely professional level. Mountain biking has now come to be known as one of the most exciting sports in biking. There can also be combinations of two kinds of races to make things tougher. There can be an introduction of various kinds of obstacles that the rider needs to cross in addition to riding. All of this is done to make the race seem more interesting and inviting.
If Cycling is done with the right kind of training, skill and professionalism and if the rules are carefully abided by, then it is a very fruitful and interesting sport to get into. But it is also important to be wary of the dangers involved.