And the race begins…

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them……”,Ernest Hemingway

The mentioned quote of Ernest Hemingway forces us to compare a cyclist with a person driving a car. Indeed, the one who travels by cycle has a greater reach towards all the corners of a city than to the latter one. An enthusiast cyclist never stops himself from treading into any course whether plain, sloppy or mountainous.

Cycling and swimming are said to be something once learnt, learnt forever. And of course, many health benefits are also associated with them. However, lets talk about how cycling helps us in growing up healthier. It’s a kind of exercise that involves the whole body. Thus, strengthens our body in a holistic manner:

  • Keeps away from heart diseases

  • Reduces  diabetes

  • Keeps the blood pressure in control

  • Strengthens body muscles, especially, leg muscles

  • You can enjoy your sweetmeats even while riding since it burns calories efficiently

However, people like to enjoy it more as a sport than as an exercise. And, it was the spirit of one’s competitiveness that brought cycling into Olympics in 1896. There are many different cycling categories in which cycle racing takes place. But before introducing these categories to you let me make it very clear that as a sport, this sweet and simple cycling is full of technicalities like track’s width, cyclist’s timing, kind of bikes, bla..bla..bla…Well, I really don’t understand these technicalities, just wanna enjoy cycling the way it is. So, let’s begin the race without dwelling much into these technicalities…

  1. Road bicycle racing – In this category, the competitive riders need to start simultaneously in order to catch up with each other’s speed. The form requires an ability to ride safely in a herd of many riders. The sport is popularly played in France, Belgium, Italy and Spain.

Catch up the speed
Catch up the speed!
  1. Individual time trialling – For the game it is said, “It doesn’t matter what time anyone else got- first and foremost, you are racing against yourself.” It’s all about racing against a competitor called “clock”. In the race, you are left with a bicycle, a thumping heart and, of course, with the tick-tack of a  clock. People from England and Wales are more devoted towards this particular race.

A race against time
A race against the time!
  1. Cyclocross racing – Well, this is the race where your cycle gets a fair chance to ride on you. Baffled! But I actually mean it. As the name suggests, ‘cyclo’ which means something to do with cycles and ‘cross’ means to cross an obstacle. In the race, the riders are provided with a course full of obstacles like steep hills, wooden trails and grass. To pass these obstacles, the cyclists need to shoulder their cycles and run. Therefore, if you are planning to participate in any such race, make sure you have a bike quite light in weight. France, Belgium and Netherlands are the place where this particular race is mostly organized.

Run shouldering it
Run shouldering it!
  1. Track cycling – It’s all about one’s speed, technique, balance and tactics since you need to ride on an oval wooden track with many riders pursuing you. Countries like Belgium, France, Germany and UK are now its main centers.

Careful! It's an oval track.
Careful! It’s an oval track.
  1. Bicycle motocross (BMX) – Here lies another obstacle full track for you, where you need to cross them all without losing your grip from your bike. If the pilled up dirt paves your way for small jumps, we have wooden ramps too where you can enjoy high jumps.

Enjoy jumping
Enjoy jumping!
  1. Mountain bike trials – Another race with too many obstacles but here lies the test of your quickness, alertness, smartness and patience. This one is different from other races since in it you can’t set your foot on ground while crossing the obstacles.

Can't set your foot on ground
Can’t set your foot on ground.
  1. Cycle speedways – The race takes place on small oval tracks with no gears and tracks to operate on. Your ‘pedal power’ works as the required fuel. Countries like England, Scotland, Wales, Poland and Australia are some nations that take special interest in this race.

"Pedal power"
“Pedal power”
  1. Mountain bike racing – As the name suggests, you are not going to have smooth and regular tracks but need to race in the lap of nature. In a single race,  you will have the experience of different tracks. Somewhere you will have slopes, then descents and many such rough natural tracks. Thus, you need to be very good with paddling on any kind of track. Australia, Canada, France are the nations that produces such daring cyclists.

Enjoy different tracks!
Enjoy different tracks!

Since we are talking about cycle racing let me break the news to you that  the tracks have been set for the UCI Track World Championships 2014. The event is going to take place in Cali, Colombia from 26th of February to 2nd of March. So, all you cyclists around get ready with your lucky bikes to win the race with. And you! The sport’s fans, don’t miss the chance to witness the most happening event of the year.

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