Biking (also known as cycling) is a common activity for anyone who has mastered the pedals or is simply a bicycle enthusiast. While bicycles are affordable and easy to handle, the health benefits of biking contribute to the popularity of the activity.
From what looks like an everyday activity, a professional sport emerged. Biking or cycling is one of many sports with lots of contestants showing their skill, endurance, and competence on its wheels.
How did biking ever become a professional sport? Here’s the answer you need.
Origin Of Bicycles
The first bicycle, made of wood and rims, was invented in 1817 by Karl von Drais. It wasn’t first referred to as a bicycle (but was referred to as “swiftwalker”) because of the civilization of that period.
Its construction made it large and heavy. As a result, it could not have been easily used for sporting purposes. In addition, it had no pedals. The lack of pedals meant the speed was dependent on the contact the rider had with the ground. So, it was mainly used for transportation.
Subsequent improvements on the original invention brought about bikes with unequal or uneven tires. This development brought about the trials of cycling sports regardless of the hazards. One tire is bigger than the other affected the balance of the rider and exposed him to dangerous injuries in the event of a fall. With more development on bicycles, it was ready for sports.
History Of Cycling Sports
Cycling sports are competitive because their winners are often highly rewarded. The history of this popular sport might help explain why
Cycling sports began in Paris in 1868, some years after the bicycle was invented. It didn’t take long to spread to other countries. For example, the United States began its cycling races in 1878.
However, the cycling model varies from country to country because of the infrastructure needed to host a race. Some countries, like France, did most of their races on the road, which could last for many hours. England and the United States of America did more track races than road races.
James Moore 1868 won the first official cycling race in Paris. It was a road race spanning over 1,200 meters. Road or inter-city races took longer to complete. For example, James Moore’s first inter-city race took more than 10 hours to finish. In America, some races could last for six days. This stress hampered the progress and development of cycling sports.
Standard bicycle racing began in the late 19th century (the 1890s). Many countries had a lot of infrastructural upgrades and road development in Europe. This made them ready to host or participate in cycling sports. This period saw the inauguration of popular sports races such as the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and so on.
Before World War 2, races were primarily sponsored by bike makers. Things took a different turn in this era as cyclists got paid partnerships from banks, companies, vehicle manufacturing companies, etc. This sponsorship move has grown the cycling sport massively and increased its reach over the years.
This advancement has also enabled spectators and fans to earn money while watching their favorite sports. People who follow events can place their bets on any online sportsbook of their choice. With a good betting strategy, cycling fans can have a good payout.
Types Of Cyclists
Amateur cyclists are those who ride mainly for fun or just as a form of training. Although they aren’t separated from professionals in a racing event, their purpose is quite different. They sometimes consist of teenagers or young adults.
Professionals are skilled, qualified, or adept cyclists who compete in racing events. They are rewarded based on the fastest time, first finisher, and so on. Their difference in purpose from that of the amateurs compels them to go through several drills before a sports racing event.
Benefits Of Cycling
Sports cycling has been advantageous in various areas, which include body fitness, elimination of fats, strengthening of joints and bones, and heart and blood rate control. It also helps in reducing the propensity for anxiety. Other benefits include financial gains for cyclists and organizing fun and recreation for cycling enthusiasts, and more.
The advantages also come with risks. The major risk involved in cycling sports is injuries. These injuries can vary based on the circumstances or the area affected. Some injuries have left the riders with fractured or broken bones, and some are struggling for their lives. With proper guidelines and care, these risks can be prevented or curtailed.
Biking is a fun activity and can be an entertaining sport too, with loads of advantages. Today, biking is a professional sport with millions of followers worldwide.
Cyclists compete in different events for huge prizes. But the sport has not always been this way. With a history spanning several decades, biking has achieved incredible fame and status.