Cycling

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Posted by motoman 03/18/2009 @ 13:07

Tags : cycling, sports

News headlines
Don't Be Duped by E-Cycling Scams - U.S. News & World Report
When you turn your old technology over to an e-cycling drive, are you sure that it's in good hands? That's what Pittsburghers may be asking themselves after a recent controversy over an e-cycling drive to benefit the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society...
Cycling Notebook: Watching road rules helps riders - Houston Chronicle
I'll spend the first 15 minutes listening to somebody complain about cyclists disregarding traffic signals and it's uphill from there. “Bad behavior by cyclists hurts what we're trying to get accomplished. When drivers see us blowing through red lights...
U. hospital CEO critically hurt in cycling accident - Salt Lake Tribune
While participating in a triathlon Saturday, David Entwistle collided with another cyclist and went down hard on his left side, according to Kim Wirthlin, the university's vice president for governmental relations. While he was wearing a helmet,...
Cycling: Teams announced for Tour of Utah event - Salt Lake Tribune
Of the sixteen teams that have thus far committed to compete in the 2009 Tour of Utah, eight are professional: BMC Racing, Team Garmin, OUCH Pro Cycling, Bissell, Team Type 1, Land Rover-ORBEA, Fly V Australia and Colavita/Sutter Home....
CBS Cycling Trio Completes Memorial Ride - CBS News
Two of them are smokers and two of them had to buy bikes to do this ride — they are not (or were not, at least) seasoned cyclists. All of us here in the London bureau new they were taking on a significant challenge, and some of us even harbored our...
Ghost Bike Memorial Created for Eagle Cyclist - Fox12Idaho
Boise, Idaho -- Flower pots, signs, bouquets and a white bicycle now mark the spot where Eagle cyclist Jim Chu was killed last week. He was riding down Gowen Road, just past the Humane Society, when he was struck by a van Tuesday....
Men on bikes set to cycle length of country - Wetherby Today
By Staff Copy AN ambitious cycling duo from Thorp Arch are preparing to cycle nearly 1000 miles in just 14 days to raise vital funds for charity. Retired businessmen John Richardson and David Johnson will set off from Land's End on June 22 and cycle...
Inside Cycling - Smart tactics can win this Giro - VeloNews
By John Wilcockson In order to challenge Denis Menchov and Danilo Di Luca for victory in this centennial Giro, Levi Leipheimer, Franco Pellizotti, Carlos Sastre, Ivan Basso and Michael Rogers have to go on the attack in the final week....
First Edition Cycling News - Cyclingnews.com
Cycling's highest level teams, protour, account for the 11 other stage wins. By Gregor Brown in Benevento, Italy Danny Pate battled to bring Garmin-Slipstream its first win in the 2009 Giro d'Italia on Thursday. The American joined a key escape move...
Meet the High Performance Cycling Team - Seattle Post Intelligencer
After a discussion and Q & A about the team we'll go for a ride. The route will depend on turnout, but plan on mostly flat terrain and about 22 – 30 miles at approximately 18 mph. If there is interest some team members may be available to meet for a...

Cycling

Cycling with a backpack in London.

Cycling is the use of bicycles, or - less commonly - unicycles, tricycles, quadricycles and other similar wheeled human powered vehicles (HPVs) as a means of transport, a form of recreation or a sport. It is done on roads and paths, across open country or even over snow and ice (icebiking).

Bicycles, the most common form of cycle, were introduced in the 19th century and now number about one billion worldwide. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions.

As a sport, cycling is governed internationally by the Union Cycliste Internationale in Switzerland (for upright bicycles) and by the International Human Powered Vehicle Association (for other HPVs, or human-powered vehicles). Cycling for transport and touring is promoted on a European level by the European Cyclists' Federation, with associated members from Great Britain, Japan and elsewhere. Regular conferences on cycling for transport are held under the auspices of Velo City; global conferences are coordinated by Velo Mondial.

In many countries, the most commonly used vehicle for road transport is a utility bicycle. These have frames with relaxed geometry, protecting the rider from shocks from the road, and easing steering at low speeds.

Road bikes tend to have a more upright shape and a shorter wheelbase, which make the bike more mobile but harder to ride slowly. The design, coupled with low or dropped handlebars, requires the rider to bend forward more, utilizing stronger muscles and reducing air resistance at high speed.

The price of a new bicycle can range from US$50 to more than US$20,000, depending on quality, type and weight (the most exotic road bicycles can weigh as little as 3.2kg (7 lb)). Being measured for a bike and taking it for a test ride are recommended before buying.

The drivetrain components of the bike should also be considered. A middle grade dérailleur is sufficient for a beginner, although many utility bikes come equipped with hub gears. If the rider plans a significant amount of hillclimbing, a triple-crank (three chainrings) front gear system may be preferred. Otherwise, the relatively lighter and less expensive two chainrings may be better.

Many road bikes include clipless pedals to which special shoes attach via a cleat, permitting the rider to pull on the pedals as well as push. Other possible accessories for the bicycle include locks, fenders , baggage carriers and pannier bags, water bottles and bottle cages.

For basic maintenance and repairs, cyclists can choose to carry a pump (or a CO2 cartridge), a puncture repair kit, a spare inner tube, and tire levers. Cycling can be more efficient and comfortable with special shoes, gloves, and shorts. In wet weather, riding can be more tolerable with waterproof clothes, such as cape, jacket, pants and overshoes.

Items legally required in some jurisdictions, or voluntarily adopted for safety reasons, include bicycle helmets, generator or battery operated lights, and audible signaling devices such as a bell or horn. Extras include studded tires and a bicycle computer.

Learning to ride efficiently and safely in traffic is important. In the United Kingdom, many primary school children took the Cycling Proficiency Test, to help them travel more safely. However, the Cycling Proficiency Test has now been superseded, for children, by 'Bikeability' and the National Standards for Cycle Training. In countries such as the Netherlands, where cycling is popular, cyclists sometimes ride in bike lanes at the side of, or separate from, the main highway. Many primary schools participate in the national road test in which children individually complete a circuit on roads near the school while being observed by testers.

Cyclists, pedestrians and motorists make different demands on road design which may lead to conflicts. Some jurisdictions give priority to motorized traffic, for example setting up one-way street systems, free-right turns, high capacity roundabouts, and slip roads. Others may apply traffic restraint measures to limit the impact of motorized transport. In the former cases, cycling has tended to decline while in the latter it has tended to be maintained. Occasionally, extreme measures against cycling may occur. In Shanghai, where bicycles were once the dominant mode of transport, bicycle travel on a few city roads was banned temporarily in December 2003.

In areas in which cycling is popular and encouraged, cycle-parking facilities using bicycle stands, lockable mini-garages, and patrolled cycle parks are used to reduce theft. Local governments promote cycling by permitting the carriage of bicycles on public transport or by providing external attachment devices on public transport vehicles. Conversely, an absence of secure cycle-parking is a recurring complaint by cyclists from cities with low modal share of cycling.

Extensive bicycle path systems may be found in some cities. Such dedicated paths often have to be shared with in-line skaters, scooters, skateboarders, and pedestrians. Segregating bicycle and automobile traffic in cities has met with mixed success, both in terms of safety and bicycle promotion. At some point the two streams of traffic inevitably intersect, often in a haphazard and congested fashion. Studies have demonstrated that, due to the high incidence of accidents at these sites, some such segregated schemes can actually increase the number of car-bike collisions.

Bicycles are considered a sustainable mode of transport, especially suited for urban use and relatively shorter distances when used for transport (compared to recreation). Case studies and good practices (from European cities and some worldwide examples) that promote and stimulate this kind of functional cycling in cities can be found at Eltis, Europe's portal for local transport.

Utility cycling refers both to cycling as a mode of daily commuting transport as well as the use of a bicycle in a commercial activity, mainly to transport goods.

The postal services of many countries have long relied on bicycles. The British Royal Mail first started using bicycles in 1880; now bicycle delivery fleets include 37,000 in the UK, 25,700 in Germany, 10,500 in Hungary and 7000 in Sweden. The London Ambulance Service has recently introduced bicycling paramedics, who can often get to the scene of an incident in Central London more quickly than a motorized ambulance.

Late in the 20th century, urban police bicycles became more common, as the mobility of car-borne officers was increasingly limited by traffic congestion and pedestrianisation.

Bicycles enjoy substantial use as general delivery vehicles in many countries. In the UK and North America, generations of teenagers have got their first jobs delivering newspapers by bicycle. London has many delivery companies that use bicycles with trailers. Most cities in the West, and many outside it, support a sizeable and visible industry of cycle couriers who deliver documents and small packages. In India, many of Mumbai's Dabbawalas use bicycles to deliver home cooked lunches to the city’s workers. In Bogotá, Colombia the city’s largest bakery recently replaced most of its delivery trucks with bicycles. Even the car industry uses bicycles. At the huge Mercedes-Benz factory in Sindelfingen, Germany workers use bicycles, color-coded by department, to move around the factory.

Bicycles are used for recreation at all ages. Bicycle touring, also known as cyclotourism, involves touring and exploration or sightseeing by bicycle for leisure. A brevet or randonnée is an organized long-distance ride.

One popular Dutch pleasure is the enjoyment of relaxed cycling in the countryside of the Netherlands. The land is very flat and full of public bicycle trails where cyclists aren't bothered by cars and other traffic, which makes it ideal for cycling recreation. Many Dutch people subscribe every year to an event called fietsvierdaagse — four days of organised cycling through the local environment. Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP), which began in 1891, is the oldest bicycling event still run on a regular basis on the open road, covers over 1200 km and imposes a 90-hour time limit. Similar if smaller institutions exist in many countries.

Many cycling clubs hold organized rides in which bicyclists of all levels participate. The typical organized ride starts with a large group of riders, called the mass, bunch or even peloton. This will thin out over the course of the ride. Many riders choose to ride together in groups of the same skill level to take advantage of drafting.

Most organized rides, for example Cyclosportives, Challenge Rides or reliability trials, and hill climbs include registration requirements and will provide information either through the mail or online concerning start times and other requirements. Rides usually consist of 25, 50 and 100 mile routes, each with a certain number of rest stops that usually include refreshments, first aid and maintenance tools.

Mountain biking grew in the late 20th century, including recreation and racing. Most mountain biking takes place on dirt roads, trails and in purpose-built parks.

Shortly after the introduction of bicycles, competitions developed independently in many parts of the world. Early races involving boneshaker style bicycles were predictably fraught with injuries. Large races became popular during the 1890s "Golden Age of Cycling", with events across Europe, and in the U.S. and Japan as well. At one point, almost every major city in the US had a velodrome or two for track racing events. However since the middle of the 20th century cycling has become a minority sport in the US whilst in Continental Europe it continues to be a major sport, particularly in France, Belgium, Italy and Spain. The most famous of all bicycle races is the Tour de France. This began in 1903, and continues to capture the attention of the sporting world.

In 1899, Mile-a-Minute Murphy became the first man to ride his bicycle a mile in under a minute, which he did by drafting a locomotive at New York's Long Island.

As the bicycle evolved its various forms, different racing formats developed. Road races may involve both team and individual competition, and are contested in various ways. They range from the one-day road race, criterium, and time trial to multi-stage events like the Tour de France and its sister events which make up cycling's Grand Tours. Recumbent bicycles were banned from bike races in 1934 after Marcel Berthet set a new hour record in his Velodyne streamliner (49.992 km on November 18, 1933). Track bicycles are used for track cycling in Velodromes , while cyclo-cross races are held on rugged outdoor terrain. In the past decade, mountain bike racing has also reached international popularity and is even an Olympic sport.

Professional racing organizations place limitations on the bicycles that can be used in the races that they sanction. For example, the Union Cycliste Internationale, the governing body of international cycle sport (which sanctions races such as the Tour de France), decided in the late 1990s to create additional rules which prohibit racing bicycles weighing less than 6.8 kilograms (14.96 pounds). The UCI rules also effectively ban some bicycle frame innovations (such as the recumbent bicycle) by requiring a double triangle structure.

The bicycle is not suited for combat, but it has been used as a method of reconnaissance as well as transporting soldiers and supplies to combat zones. In this it has taken over many of the functions of horses in warfare. Bicycles were used in the Second Boer War, where both sides used them for scouting. In World War I, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand used bicycles to move troops. In its 1937 invasion of China, Japan employed some 50,000 bicycle troops, and similar forces were instrumental in Japan's march or "roll" through Malaysia in World War II. Germany used bicycles again in World War II, while the British employed airborne "Cycle-commandos" with folding bikes.

In the Vietnam War, communist forces used bicycles extensively as cargo carriers along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

The last country known to maintain a regiment of bicycle troops was Switzerland, who disbanded their final unit in 2003.

Two broad and correlated themes run in bicycle activism: one is about advocating the bicycle as an alternative mode of transport, and the other is about the creation of conditions to permit and/or encourage bicycle use, both for utility and recreative cycling. Although the first, which emphasizes the potential for energy and resource conservation and health benefits gained from cycling versus automobile use, is relatively undisputed, the second is the subject of much debate.

It is generally agreed that improved local and inter-city rail services and other methods of mass transportation (including greater provision for cycle carriage on such services) create conditions to encourage bicycle use. However, there are different opinions on the role of the use of segregated cycle facilities and other items of the cycling infrastructure in building bicycle-friendly cities and roads.

Some bicycle activists (including some traffic management advisers) seek the construction of segregated cycle facilities for journeys of all lengths. Other activists, especially those from the more established tradition, view the safety, practicality, and intent of many segregated cycle facilities with suspicion. They favour a more holistic approach based on the 4 'E's; education (of everyone involved), encouragement (to apply the education), enforcement (to protect the rights of others), and engineering (to facilitate travel while respecting every person's equal right to do so). In some cases this opposition has a more ideological basis: some members of the Vehicular Cycling movement oppose segregated public facilities, such as on-street bike lanes, on principle. Some groups offer training courses to help cyclists integrate themselves with other traffic. This is part of the ongoing cycle path debate.

Critical Mass is an event typically held on the last Friday of every month in cities around the world where bicyclists take to the streets en masse. While the ride was originally founded with the idea of drawing attention to how unfriendly the city was to bicyclists, the leaderless structure of Critical Mass makes it impossible to assign it any one specific goal. In fact, the purpose of Critical Mass is not formalized beyond the direct action of meeting at a set location and time and traveling as a group through city streets.

There is a long-running cycle helmet debate among activists. The most heated controversy surrounds the topic of compulsory helmet use.

Cyclists form associations, both for specific interests (trails development, road maintenance, urban design, racing clubs, touring clubs, etc.) and for more global goals (energy conservation, pollution reduction, promotion of fitness). Some bicycle clubs and national associations became prominent advocates for improvements to roads and highways. In the United States, the League of American Wheelmen lobbied for the improvement of roads in the last part of the 19th century, founding and leading the national Good Roads Movement. Their model for political organization, as well as the paved roads for which they argued, facilitated the growth of the automobile.

The physical exercise gained from cycling is generally linked with increased health and well-being. According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is second only to tobacco smoking as a health risk in developed countries, and this is associated with many tens of billions of dollars of healthcare costs. The WHO's report suggests that increasing physical activity is a public health 'best buy', and that cycling is a 'highly suitable activity' for this purpose. The charity Sustrans reports that investment in cycling provision can give a 20:1 return from health and other benefits. It has been estimated that, on average, approximately 20 life-years are gained from the health benefits of road bicycling for every life-year lost through injury.

Bicycles are often used by people seeking to improve their fitness and cardiovascular health. In this regard, cycling is especially helpful for those with arthritis of the lower limbs who are unable to pursue sports that cause impact to the knees and other joints. Since cycling can be used for the practical purpose of transportation, there can be less need for self-discipline to exercise. Interestingly, it has been found that despite toning the leg muscles, cycling also tones the buttocks.

Cycling while seated is a relatively non-weight bearing exercise that, like swimming, does little to promote bone density. Cycling up and out of the saddle, on the other hand, does a better job by transferring more of the rider's body weight to the legs. However, excessive cycling while standing can cause knee damage. It used to be thought that cycling while standing was less energy efficient, but recent research has proven this not to be true. Other than air resistance, there is no wasted energy from cycling while standing if it is done correctly.

Cycling on a stationary cycle is frequently advocated as a suitable exercise for rehabilitation, particularly for lower limb injury due to the low impact that it has on the joints. In particular cycling is commonly used within knee rehabilitation programs.

Cycling is seen by some to be an inherently high-risk, dangerous activity although use of appropriate safety equipment and obediance of road rules can reduce risk of serious injury. In the UK, fatality rates per mile or kilometre are slightly less than those for walking. In the US, bicycling fatality rates are less than 2/3 of those walking the same distance. For a child cyclist the rate per mile or kilometre travelled is around 55 times that for a child occupant of a car, while the fatality and serious injury rates per hour of travel are just over double for cycling than for walking (due to the reduced travel time), in the UK. It should be noted that calculated fatality rates based on distance for bicycling (as well as for walking) can have an exceptionally large margin of error, since there are generally no annual registrations or odometers required for bicycles (as there are with motor vehicles), and this means the distance traveled must be estimated.

Most cycle deaths result from a collision with a car or heavy goods vehicle, both motorist and cyclist have been found responsible for collisions However, a very high proportion of non-fatal injuries to cyclists do not involve any other person or vehicle.

A Danish study in 2000 concluded that "bicycling to work decreased risk of mortality in approximately 40% after multivariate adjustment, including leisure time physical activity". This conclusion is open to various interpretations.

Acute physical trauma includes injuries to the head and extremities resulting from falls and collisions. Since a large percentage of the collisions between motor and pedal vehicles occur at night, bicycle lighting is required for safety when bicycling at night.

Excessive saddle height can cause posterior knee pain, while setting the saddle too low can cause pain in the anterior of the knee. An incorrectly fitted saddle may eventually lead to muscle imbalance. A 25 to 35 degree knee angle is recommended to avoid an overuse injury.

Overuse injuries, including chronic nerve damage at weight bearing locations, can occur as a result of repeatedly riding a bicycle for extended periods of time. Damage to the ulnar nerve in the palm, carpal tunnel in the wrist, the genitourinary tract or bicycle seat neuropathy may result from overuse. Recumbent bicycles are designed on different ergonomic principles and eliminate pressure from the saddle and handlebars, due to the relaxed riding position.

Note that overuse is a relative term, and capacity varies greatly between individuals. Someone starting out in cycling must be careful to increase length and frequency of cycling sessions slowly, starting for example at an hour or two per day, or a hundred miles or kilometers per week. Muscular pain is a normal by-product of the training process, but joint pain and numbness are early signs of overuse injury.

Cycling has been linked to sexual impotence due to pressure on the perineum from the seat, but fitting a proper sized seat prevents this effect. In extreme cases, Pudendal Nerve Entrapment can be a source of intractable perineal pain. Some cyclists with induced pudendal nerve pressure neuropathy gained relief from improvements in saddle position and riding techniques.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has investigated the potential health effects of prolonged bicycling in police bicycle patrol units, including the possibility that some bicycle saddles exert excessive pressure on the urogenital area of cyclists, restricting blood flow to the genitals. NIOSH is investigating whether saddles developed without protruding noses (which remove the pressure from the urogenital area) will alleviate any potential health problems.

Despite rumors to the contrary, there is no scientific evidence linking cycling with testicular cancer in men.

One concern often expressed (both by non-cyclists and some cyclists) is the thought that riding in traffic exposes the cyclist to higher levels of air pollution, especially if he travels on or along busy roads. This has been shown to be untrue, as the pollutant and irritant count within cars is consistently higher, (presumably because of limited circulation of air within the car and due to the air intake being directly in the stream of other traffic).

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Cycling at the 1956 Summer Olympics

The cycling competition at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne consisted of two road cycling events and four track cycling events, all for men only.

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Cycling at the 2008 Summer Olympics

Pictogram used to identify cycling at the 2008 Games

Cycling competitions at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics were held from August 9 to August 23 at the Laoshan Velodrome (track events), Laoshan Mountain Bike Course, Laoshan BMX Field and the Beijing Cycling Road Course.

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Utility cycling

Ugandan bicycle taxi or bodaboda

Utility cycling encompasses any cycling not done primarily for fitness, recreation such as cycle touring, or sport such as cycle racing, but simply as a means of transport. It is the most common type of cycling in the world. In the Chinese city of Beijing alone, there are an estimated four million bicycles in use (it has been estimated that in the early-1980s there were approximately 500 million cyclists in China). As of 2000, there were an estimated 80 million bicycles in Japan, accounting for 17% of commuter trips, and in the Netherlands, 27% of all trips are made by bicycle. Utility or "transportational" cycling generally involves travelling short and medium distances (several kilometres, not uncommonly 3-15 kilometers one way, or somewhat longer). It includes commuting, going to school, high school or college, running errands, and delivering goods or services. In cities, the bicycle courier is often a familiar feature, and freight bicycles are capable of competing with trucks and vans particularly where many small deliveries are required, especially in congested areas. Velotaxis can also provide a public transport service like buses and taxicabs.

Utility cycling is believed to have several social and economic benefits. Policies that encourage utility cycling have been proposed and implemented for reasons including: improved public health , individual health and employers' profits a reduction in traffic congestion and air pollution, improvements in road-traffic safety, improved quality of life, improved mobility and social inclusiveness, and benefits to child development.

Utility bicycles have many standard features to enhance their usefulness and comfort. Chain-guards and mudguards, or fenders, protect clothes and moving parts from oil and spray. Kick stands help with parking. Front-mounted wicker or steel baskets for carrying goods are often used. Rear luggage carriers can be used to carry items such as school satchels. Panniers or special luggage carriers (including waterproof packing bags) enable the transport of goods and are useful for shopping. Parents sometimes add rear-mounted child seats and/or an auxiliary saddle fitted to the crossbar to transport children. Trailers of various types and load capacities may be towed to greatly increase cargo capacity. In many jurisdictions bicycles must be fitted with a bell; reflectors; and, after dark, front and rear lights.

The use by cyclists of vests or armbands fluorescent in daylight or reflective at night can increase a cyclist's conspicuity, although these are not an alternative to a legally compliant lighting system. A report on the promotion of walking and cycling (Hydén, et al., 1999) discussed safety clothing and equipment and stated that "there is no doubt that both pedestrian reflectors and bicycle helmets are reducing the injury risk of their users quite considerably." Protective rain gear is often an essential part of the utility cyclist's wardrobe, especially in countries with high rainfall levels.

Many different factors combine to influence levels of utility cycling. In developing economies, a large amount of utility cycling may be seen simply because the bicycle is the most affordable form of vehicular transport available to many people. In richer countries, where people can have the choice of a mixture of transport types, a complex interplay of other factors influences the level of bicycle use. Factors affecting cycling levels may include: town planning (including quality of infrastructure: cyclist "friendly" vs. cyclist "hostile"), trip-end facilities (particularly secure parking), retail policy, marketing the public image of cycling, integration with other transport modes, cycle training, terrain (hilly vs. flat), and climate. In developed countries cycling has to compete with, and work with, alternative transport modes such as private cars, public transport and walking. Thus cycling levels are not influenced just by the attractiveness of cycling alone, but also by what makes the competing modes more or less attractive.

In developed countries with high utility cycling levels, utility cyclists tend to undertake relatively short journeys. According to Irish 1996 Census data, over 55% of cycling workers travelled 3 miles (4.8 km) or less, 27% 5 miles (8 km) or less and only 17% travelled more than 5 miles in their daily commute. It can be argued that factors that directly influence trip length or journey time are among the most important in making cycling a competitive transport mode. Car ownership rates can also be influential. In New York City, more than half of all households do not own a car (the figure is even higher in Manhattan, over 75%), and walk/bicycle modes of travel account for 21% of all modes for trips in the city.

Decisions taken by various levels of government, as well as local groups, residents' organisations and public- and private-sector employers, can all have an impact on the so-called "modal choice" or "modal split" in daily transport. In some cases various factors may be manipulated in a manner that deliberately seeks to encourage or discourage various transport modes, including cycling.

The League of American Bicyclists has designated a set of five criteria for evaluating the friendliness of a town or city to bicycles. These criteria are classified under the headings of: Engineering, Encouragement, Evaluation and Planning, Education, Enforcement.

Trip length and journey times are key factors affecting cycle use. Town planning may have a key impact in deciding whether key destinations, schools, shops, colleges, health clinics, public transport interchanges remain within a reasonable cycling distance of the areas where people live. The urban form can influence these issues, compact and circular settlement patterns tending to promote cycling. Alternatively, the low-density, non-circular (i.e., linear) settlement patterns characteristic of urban sprawl tends to discourage cycling. In 1990, the Dutch adopted the "ABC" guidelines, specifically limiting developments that are major attractants to locations that are readily accessible by non-car users.

Settlements that provide a dense road network consisting of interconnected streets will tend to be viable utility cycling environments. In contrast, other communities may use a cul-de-sac based, housing estate/housing subdivision model where minor roads are disconnected and only feed into a street hierarchy of progressively more "arterial" type roads. Such communities may discourage cycling by imposing unnecessary detours and forcing all cyclists onto arterial roads, which may be perceived as busy and dangerous, for all trips regardless of destination or purpose. There is evidence that people who live in such estates are heavier than people who live in places where walking and cycling are more convenient. It is also reported that the extra motor-traffic such communities generate tends to increase overall per-capita traffic casualty rates. Designs that propose to resolve the contradiction between the cul-de-sac and the traditional interconnected network, such as the Fused Grid, have been proposed and built with varying levels of success. Particular issues have arisen with personal security and public order problems in some housing schemes using "back alley" type links.

The cycling infrastructure comprises all the public ways that are available to cyclists travelling from one destination to another. This includes the same network of public roads that is available for other road vehicle users, minus those roads from which cyclists have been banned (most freeways), plus additional routes that are not available to other types of vehicle, such as cycle tracks and (in some jurisdictions) sidewalks.

The manner in which the public roads network is designed, built and managed can have a significant effect on the utility and safety of cycling as a form of transport. The key issue is whether the cycling network provides the users with direct, convenient routes minimising unnecessary delay and effort in reaching key destinations. Settlements that provide a dense roads network consisting of interconnected streets will tend to be viable utility cycling environments.

Summaries of the actions that have been successful in the Netherlands are available in English. Guided tours are available to demonstrate good practice.

Removing traffic can be achieved by straightforward diversion or alternatively reduction. Diversion involves routing through-traffic away from roads used by high numbers of cyclists and pedestrians. Examples of diversion include the construction of arterial bypasses and ring roads around urban centres.

Traffic reduction can involve direct or indirect methods. A highly effective indirect method of reducing motor traffic, and facilitating cyclist and pedestrian use, is to adopt the shared space system. This system, by giving equal priority to all road users, and by removing conventional road markings, road signs and road conventions, capitalises on the tendency for all road users to respect and trust each other when they are interacting on an equal basis. No explicit, or even implicit priority is given to traffic travelling along the road, so with no assumptions of priority being possible, all road users need to be aware of all other road users at all times. New Road in Brighton was remodelled using this philosophy, and the results were a 93% reduction in motor traffic and a 22% increase in cycling traffic. Other indirect methods involve reducing the infrastructural capacity dedicated to moving or storing road vehicles. This can involve reducing the number of road lanes, closing bridges to certain vehicle types and creating vehicle restricted zones or environmental traffic cells. In the 1970s the Dutch city of Delft began restricting private car traffic from crossing the city centre. Similarly, Groningen is divided in to four zones that cannot be crossed by private motor-traffic, (private cars must use the ring road instead). Cyclists and other traffic can pass between the zones and cycling accounts for 50%+ of trips in Groningen (which reputedly has the third highest proportion of cycle traffic of any city). The Swedish city of Gothenburg uses a similar system of traffic cells. Starting in the 1970s, the city of Copenhagen, which is now noted for high cycling levels, adopted a policy of reducing available car parking capacity by several per cent a year. The city of Amsterdam, where around 40% of all trips are by bicycle, adopted similar parking reduction policies in the 80s and 90s.

Direct traffic reduction methods can involve straightforward bans or more subtle methods like road pricing schemes or road diets. The London congestion charge reportedly resulted in a significant increase in cycle use within the affected area.

Reduction of the speed of motor traffic has traditionally been attempted by the introduction of statutory speed limits. In the late 20th century more comprehensive programs of education, enforcement and engineering have been undertaken.

Some campaigners view one-way street systems as a product of traffic management that focuses on trying to keep motorised vehicles moving regardless of the social and other impacts. On the other hand, some UK traffic planners state that one-way streets are a useful tool for traffic calming, and for eliminating rat runs. CFI states that one-way streets can seriously disadvantage cyclists on the grounds that they introduce additional trip-length, delay and hazards associated with weaving manoeuvres at junctions. CFI refers to other research indicating that in almost every case it is possible to exempt cyclists from one-way restrictions. In northern Europe, cyclists are frequently granted exemptions from one-way street restrictions. German research indicates that making one-way streets two-way for cyclists results in a reduction in the total number of collisions. It is also argued that contraflow cyclists may be at reduced risk of certain types of accident - particularly so called "dooring" type incidents. In Belgium road authorities can in principle allow any one-way streets in 50 km/h zones to be two-way for cyclists if the available lane is at least 3 m wide (area free from parking) and no specific local circumstances prevent it. Denmark, a country with high cycling levels, does not use one-way systems to improve traffic flow. Some commentators argue that the initial goal should be to dismantle large one-way street systems as a traffic calming/traffic reduction measure, followed by the provision of two-way cyclist access on any one-way streets that remain.

In general, junction designs that favour higher-speed turning, weaving and merging movements by motorists tend to be hostile for cyclists. CFI states that free-flowing arrangements are hazardous for cyclists and should be avoided. Features such as large entry curvature, slip-roads and high flow roundabouts are associated with increased risk of car–cyclist collisions. On large roundabouts of the design typically used in the UK and Ireland, cyclists have an injury accident rate that is 14-16 times that of motorists. Research indicates that excessive sightlines at uncontrolled intersections compound these effects. In the UK, a survey of over 8,000 highly experienced and mainly adult male Cyclists Touring Club members found that 28% avoided roundabouts on their regular journey if at all possible. Cycling advocates argue for modifications and alternative junction types that resolve these issues such as reducing kerb radii on street corners, eliminating slip roads and replacing large roundabouts with signalised intersections.

How traffic signals are designed and implemented directly impacts cyclists. For instance, poorly adjusted vehicle detector systems, used to trigger signal changes, may not correctly detect cyclists. This can leave cyclists in the position of having to "run" red lights if no motorised vehicle arrives to trigger a signal change. Some cities use urban adaptive traffic control systems (UTC's), which use linked traffic signals to manage traffic in response to changes in demand. There is an argument that using a UTC system merely to provide for increased capacity for motor traffic will simply drive growth in such traffic. However, there are more direct negative impacts. For instance, where signals are arranged to provide motor traffic with so called green waves, this can create "red waves" for other road users such as cyclists and public transport services. Traffic managers in Copenhagen have now turned this approach on its head and are linking cyclist-specific traffic signals on a major arterial bike lane to provide green waves for rush hour cycle-traffic. Cycling-specific measures that can be applied at traffic signals include the use of advanced stop lines and/or bypasses. In some cases cyclists might be given a free-turn or a signal bypass if turning into a road on the nearside.

One method for reducing potential friction between cyclists and motorised vehicles is to provide Wide Kerb (nearside) lanes (UK) or Wide outside through lanes (USA). These extra wide lanes increase the probability that motorists will be able to pass cyclists at a safe distance without having to change lanes. This is held to be particularly important on routes with a high proportion of wide vehicles such as buses or HGVs. They also provide more room for cyclists to filter past queues of cars in congested conditions.

Shared space schemes extend this principle further by removing the reliance on lane markings altogether, and also removing road signs and signals, allowing all road users to use any part of the road, and giving all road users equal priority and equal responsibility for each others safety. Experiences where these schemes are in use show that road users, particularly motorists, undirected by signs, kerbs or road markings, reduce their speed and establish eye contact with other users. Results from the thousands of such implementations worldwide all show casualty reductions and most also show reduced journey times. Following the partial conversion of London's Kensington High Street to shared space, accidents were reduced there by 44% (the London average was 17%).

CFI argues for a marked lane width of 4.25 m. It is argued that, on undivided roads, this width provides cyclists with adequate clearance from passing HGVs while being sufficiently narrow to deter car users from attempting to “double up” and form two lanes. This “doubling up” effect may be related to junctions. At non-junction locations, greater width might be preferable if this effect can be avoided. The use of such wide lanes is specifically endorsed by Cycling: the way ahead for towns and cities, the European Commission policy document on cycle promotion.

Shared Bus and Cycle lanes are also a widely endorsed method for providing for cyclists. Research carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory describes shared bus cycle lanes as "generally very popular" with cyclists Guidance produced for Cycling England endorses bus lanes as providing cyclists with a direct and barrier free route into town centres and as avoiding the difficulties associated with other provisions such as shared-use footways. According to a French survey 42% of cyclists described themselves as "enthusiasts" for shared bus bike lanes versus 33% who were of mixed opinion and 27% who were opposed. Many cycling activists view these as being more attractive than cycle paths, while others object to being in close proximity to bus exhausts.

As of 2003, mixed bus/cycle lanes accounted for 118 km of the 260 km of cycling facilities in Paris. The French city of Bordeaux has 40 km of shared bus cycle lanes. It is reported that that in the city of Bristol, a showcase bus priority corridor, where road space was re-allocated along a 14 km stretch also resulted in more space for cyclists and had the effect of increasing cycling. The reverse effect has also been suggested, a review carried out in London reports that cycling levels fell across Kew bridge following the removal of a bus lane - this was despite a general increase in cycling level in the city generally. In addition, it is arguably easier, politically speaking, to argue for funding of joint facilities rather than the additional expense of both segregated cycling facilities and bus-only lanes. In some instances. bus lane proposals have run into vehement opposition from cyclists reps - a typical theme is the perceived generation of conflict due to the narrowing of other lanes already shared by cars/cyclists so as to create space for the bus lanes The TRL reports that cyclists and bus drivers tend to have low opinions of each other There have been reports in Dublin of conflict as cyclists choose to cycle in the bus lanes and a bus driver apparently expected them to use adjacent cycle tracks instead. In other cities the arrangements seem to work successfully with bus companies and cyclists' groups taking active steps to ensure that understanding is improved between the two groups of road users.

The use of segregated cycle facilities such as cycle lanes and cycle tracks is often advocated as a means of promoting utility cycling. A pro-cycling paper, stated to have been accepted for publication in the Transport Reviews journal, states that "the provision of separate cycling facilities" appears to be one of the keys to the achieving of high levels of cycling in the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. Roads or paths that are open to cyclists but not motorists can benefit cyclists where they provide links that are more convenient than the main road network, or help resolve obstacles. Examples include routes through pedestrian precincts etc. However, the use of such devices alongside, or within, existing roads is highly controversial both in terms of safety and cycling promotion. In terms of safety, separate cycle lanes or cycle tracks can seriously undermine safety if inappropriately designed or if used at inappropriate locations. Similarly, while it is possible to use separate facilities to promote cycling, it is also possible to use them for the opposite purpose: for removing priority from cyclists and giving it to motorists. Thus it is argued that the use and potential effects of segregated facilities for cyclists cannot be viewed in isolation from the underlying design, management and legal philosophies that govern the overall transportation infrastructure.

Secure parking is argued to be a key factor influencing the decision to cycle. To be considered secure the parking must be of a suitable design allowing the bicycle to be locked via the frame. In addition the bike parking must be located in a readily observable location permitting so-called passive security from passers-by. Weather protection is also desirable. As a rule, where cycling is being encouraged as an alternative to motoring, efforts are made to make bicycle parking more convenient and attractive to use than the equivalent car parking arrangements. This usually means providing a wide distribution of visible, well-signed parking as close as possible to the entrances of the destinations being served. Storage rooms or bicycle lockers may also be provided. In some cases large concentrations of bike parking may be more appropriate. These storage facilities can sometimes be supervised and sometimes charge a fee. Examples include large bike parks at public transport interchanges such as railway, subway, tram or bus stations.

Some people need to wear special clothes such as business suits or uniforms in their daily work. In some cases the nature of the cycling infrastructure and the prevailing weather conditions may make it very hard to both cycle and maintain the work clothes in a presentable condition. It is argued that such workers can be encouraged to cycle by providing lockers, changing rooms and shower facilities where they can change before starting work.

The theft of bicycles is one of the major problems that slow the development of urban cycling. Bicycle theft discourages regular cyclists from buying new bicycles, as well as putting off people who might want to invest in a bicycle.

Certain European countries apply such measures with success, such as the Netherlands or certain German cities using registration and recovery. Since mid-2004, France has instituted a system of registration, in some places allowing stolen bicycles to be put on file in partnership with the urban cyclists' associations. This approach has reputedly increased the stolen bicycle recovery rate to more than 40%. By comparison, before the commencement of registration, the recovery rate in France was about 2%.

In some areas of the United Kingdom, bicycles fitted with location tracking devices are left poorly secured in theft hot-spots. When the bike is stolen, the police can locate it and arrest the thieves. This sometimes leads to the dismantling of organised bicycle theft rings.

It has been argued in relation to this aspect of Dutch or Danish policy that ongoing investment in rail services is vital to maintaining their levels of cycle use.

An often forgotten major success story is the integration of cycling and public transport is Japan. Starting in 1978, Japan expanded bicycle parking supply at railway stations from 598,000 spaces in 1977 to 2,382,000 spaces in 1987. As of 1987, Japanese provisions included 516 multi-story garages for bicycle parking.

In January 2007, the European parliament adopted a motion decreeing that all international trains must carry bicycles. In some cities, bicycles may also be carried on local trains, trams and buses so that they may be used at either end of the trip. The Rheinbahn transit company in Düsseldorf permits bicycle carriage on all its bus, tram and train services at any time of the day. In France, the prestigious TGV high-speed trains are even having some of their first class capacity converted to store bicycles. There have also been schemes, such as in Victoria, British Columbia, Acadia, and Canberra, Australia to provide bicycle carriage on buses using externally mounted bike carriers.

In Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, three bus routes have externally mounted carriers for bicycles. All public transit buses in Chicago and suburbs allow up to two bikes at all times. Trains allow bikes with some restrictions. Where such services are not available, some cyclists get around this restriction by using folding bikes that can be brought onto the train or bus like a piece of luggage.

However, there are strong cultural variations in how cycling is treated in such situations. For instance in the Irish university city of Galway the secure parking of bikes is forbidden within the grounds of the central train station. However, cut-price car parking is available for motorists holding a valid train ticket.

An individual's perception of cycling and their expectations of how they might be perceived if they are seen cycling can affect their decision to cycle or not. Thus cycling might be marketed positively by interests that wish to promote it. Alternatively, other interests might seek to market cycling negatively for their own purposes. Thus interests from the car lobby may seek to belittle cyclists in an attempt to enhance their own status as motorists. As with other areas of competition a marketing or propaganda conflict takes place between both sides.

Various interests may wish to portray a negative image of utility cycling on public roads for various reasons. Some governments, wishing to promote private car use, have organized and funded publicity designed to discourage road cycling. Official road safety organisations have been accused of distributing literature that emphasizes the danger of cycling on roads while failing to address attitudinal issues among the drivers of motor vehicles who are the main source of road danger. Some road safety authorities have been accused of having a deliberate policy of discouraging cycling as a means of reducing bicyclist casualty statistics. In 2003, Shanghai police officials released statements blaming cyclists as the cause of "gridlock" in the city and promoting plans to ban cyclists from the city streets. Starting in the 1970s, the authorities in the city of Jakarta declared "war" on the "becak" or Indonesian cycle rickshaw blaming them for traffic congestion among other things.

The car industry's marketing efforts frequently try to associate car use with a perception of increased social status. The flip side of this tactic implies efforts to portray alternative transport modes, such as cycling, as indicators of reduced social status and/or poverty. Observers in some car-focused cultures have noted a tendency to perceive or portray people who use bicycles as members of a social "out-group" with attributed negative connotations. The attitudes displayed have been characterised as resembling racist attitudes to ethnic minorities. In such cultures, such attitudes are displayed in attacks on cyclists in the media. Common themes include blanket descriptions of cyclists as a group who do not pay taxes, who break the law and who have no, or reduced, "right" to use public roads.

Most controversially, negative images may also be promoted by people who claim to be representing the interests of cyclists. Promoters of bicycle helmets may seem to ridicule cyclists who choose not to use them, and are accused of significantly overstating and exaggerating both the risks posed to cyclists and the protective benefits of helmets.

Similar accusations have been made against some proponents of segregated cycle facilities. Once again, the risks experienced by cyclists are alleged to have been overstated and deliberately exaggerated. Simultaneously it may be alleged that the safety impacts of cycle facilities have been overstated and/or misrepresented. The accusation has been made that the object is to impose on the public mind a perception that cycling by the public on public roads is too "dangerous" or "impossible" to do unless cycle facilities are provided first.

If significant use of bicycles for shopping trips is to be achieved, sufficient retail services must be maintained within reasonable cycling distances of residential areas. In countries like Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany the high levels of utility cycling also includes shopping trips e.g. 9% of all shopping trips in Germany are by bicycle. It is arguable that this is related to policies that favour access to retail services by non-motorised modes. The Danish 1997 Planning Act requires that planning shall encourage a diverse mix of retail shops in small and medium-sized towns and in individual districts of large cities and ensure that retail trade uses will be placed in locations to which people have good access by walking, bicycling and public transport. From the mid-1970s the Netherlands has had policies in place to severely restrict the growth of large out-of-town retail developments. Germany has had federal planning regulations in place to restrict retail uses to designated areas since the 1960s. In addition, since the 1970s federal regulations have been in place specifying that developments above a certain size (1,200 m²) be assessed regarding potential adverse impacts. These federal regulations are further strengthened by regionally adopted regulations. This includes regulations specifying that new retail centres be limited to selling products not readily provided by shops at inner city/town centre locations. In Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany, this approach not restricted to planning guidelines and is also supported by a ban on below cost selling. This supports smaller shops by preventing large multiples from engaging in predatory pricing practices by aggressively discounting key goods to use as so called loss leaders.

From the 1980s to mid-1990s the UK operated a system of laissez-faire with regard to retail policy. The "great car economy" philosophy of the Thatcher government directly favoured the growth of out-of-town retail centres at the expense of established retail services in British towns and cities. The UK Town and Country Planning Association cites research by the New Economics Foundation that notes a continuing process of change in retail provision.

It is arguable that in such a retail/planning policy environment use of bicycles ceases to be a viable option for many shoppers and access to a private motor-car or public transport becomes a necessary prerequisite for access to basic services.

Cycle training is another measure that is advocated as a means of maintaining or increasing levels of cycle use. The training involves teaching existing or potential cyclists bike handling, various roadcraft or "cyclecraft" skills and educating them on the safe, lawful use of the roads. Bicycle training schemes can be differentiated according to whether they are aimed at children or adults.

In the UK, the now superseded National Cycle Proficiency scheme was focused on primary schoolchildren aged 8 and above. In this, children would start by gaining an off-road certificate working up to their on-road certificate by the age of ten. Initial training and examination took place on simulated road layouts within school playgrounds. This approach has now been supplemented by the new National Standard for cycle training which is more focussed on practical on-road training. This is part of Cycling England's portfolio of practical assistance to local authorities and other bodies, aimed at achieving their aim of "More cycling, more safely, more often".

In the United States, the League of American Bicyclists Road 1/2 courses, based on the Effective Cycling program, has modules aimed at all ages from children to adult beginners to more experienced adults. It is argued that such schemes do not just build confidence in the students but also make it more likely that parents will let their children cycle to school. Cycle training may also be offered in an attempt to overcome cultural unfamiliarity with cycling or perceived cultural obstacles to bicycle use. In the Netherlands, some cycle training courses are targeted at women from immigrant communities, as a means of overcoming such obstacles to cycling by women from developing countries.

As with other walks of life, utility cyclists may form associations in order to promote and develop cycling as an everyday form of transport. The European Cyclists' Federation is the umbrella body for such groups in Europe. These associations may lobby various institutions to encourage political support or to oppose measures that they judge counter-productive, such as to oppose the introduction of compulsory bicycle helmet legislation.

Copenhagen has a free bike scheme called City Bikes, paid by advertising on the bikes.

The advertising company JCDecaux has launched its "Cyclocity" programs in Paris, Lyon, Córdoba and Vienna. Here hundreds of bikes are made available for hire from special, widely-dispersed bicycle stands. Payment for using the bikes is done with special smart cards.

Competitor Clear Channel then operating as Adshel opened the first example of this in Rennes in 1997, and has several other sites including Oslo, Stockholm, Sandnes & Trondheim, most generally similar to that offered by their competitor. A different financial model called bicing is used in Barcelona, which is paid for by car owners parking on public streets and not by advertising - which rather ironically is contracted to JC Decaux in some places.

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Cycling at the 1992 Summer Olympics

Final results for the Cycling competition at the 1992 Summer Olympics. There were two categories of events – road cycling and track cycling.

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Cycling at the 1988 Summer Olympics

Final results for the Cycling competition at the 1988 Summer Olympics. There were two categories of events – road cycling and track cycling.

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Cycling at the 2006 Commonwealth Games

The track cycling was held at the Vodafone Arena, the (road cycling) Time Trial took place on a course on the St Kilda Foreshore and Beach Road, and the State Mountain Bike Course, Lysterfield Park hosted the mountain bike event. The road race was contested on a circuit through the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The women's Time Trial was held on 21 March 2006 on a 29km course on the St Kilda Foreshore and Beach Road.

The men's Time Trial was held on 21 March 2006 on a 40km course on the St Kilda Foreshore and Beach Road.

The women's road race took place on 26 March 2006.

The mountain biking events took place on 23 March 2006 at Lysterfield Park.

The mountain biking events took place on 23 March 2006 at Lysterfield Park.

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Source : Wikipedia