History and Cycling and Cycle Sport
Cycling is a term that describes the various uses of bicycles in daily life, covering everything from recreational driving in its many forms, professional
drivers that train and perform in sporting events, and transport & utility cycling that is used by many people for both personal and business
transportation of goods. The central reason why cycling became so commonplace all around the world with over 1 billion bicycles being used today on regular
basis are health reasons, ease of use, very inexpressive price that goes to as low as $50 (the most expensive sport designs go up to $20 thousand, while
hand-made models that use expensive materials sometimes go beyond $100 thousand), cheap upkeep, easy maintenance, reduction of pollution of burning fossil
oils, air pollution, noise pollution, traffic & parking congestion, and less need for perfectly maintained road surfaces.
The early history of cycling was marked with very quick technological jumps that enabled larger and larger group of people to achieve not only better
comfort and safety, but also lowering of costs as the bicycles became more and more commoditized. The most important inventions in the history of bicycles
were introduction of first Dandy Horse velocipede, addition of pedals on front wheels, popularization of the Penny Farthing designs, chain drive system,
pneumatic rubber tires and standardization of the diamond frame design that was popularized with the introduction of the first Safety Bicycle by the
English company Rover. However, even though the early bicycle models lacked the comfort and safety aspects of modern bicycles, they immediately gathered
around them the people who wanted to infuse them into their daily lives not only for daily commute but also for sporting, recreation and organized cycling.
First organizations intended to provide structure to the cyclist all around the world were formed between 1860s and 1880s, with large international
organizations such as UCI being formed to regulate rules for many influential races, including the most important Tour de France. Today, bicycles are used
in dozens and dozens of sport activities, including regular appearance on the Olympic Games.
During long history of bicycles, another interesting cycling type was formed – the war cycling. This type of transportation was used by military units that
were trained to use bicycle as the main transport device for both soldiers and cargo. After more than 100 years of use all around the world, the last
bicycle infantry unit was disbanded in 2003 in Switzerland. Today, the closest cycling area that mimics war cycling was recreational driving of mountain
bicycles which was born relatively recently during 1970s.