Cycling from A to Z

Cycling has evolved significantly since its introduction in the 19th century, transforming from a new mode of transportation to a globally popular sport and outdoor activity. The popularity of this sport is due to its simplicity, usefulness and practicality. The history of cycling is full of surprises and turning points, which we are about to introduce you to!

Historical Background of Cycling

The history of cycling dates back to the early 1800s. The first bicycle-like invention, known as the “dandy horse,” was developed by Baron Karl von Drais in 1817. This wooden, pedal-less machine was propelled by pushing one’s feet against the ground. The evolution of the bicycle accelerated in the 1860s with the invention of the velocipede, featuring pedals attached to the front wheel.

The late 19th century saw significant advancements with the introduction of the safety bicycle, which had two equal-sized wheels and a chain drive. This design, closely resembling modern bicycles, made cycling more accessible and safer, leading to a boom in its popularity. By the 1890s, cycling had become a mainstream activity, enjoyed by men and women alike.

The Rapid Growth of Two-Wheeled Sport

Cycling’s popularity continued to grow throughout the 20th century. In Europe, particularly in countries like France, Italy, and Belgium, cycling quickly became a beloved sport. The first Tour de France was held in 1903, establishing a legacy that continues to this day. In the United States, cycling enjoyed periods of popularity, especially in urban areas where bicycles became a common mode of transportation.

The late 20th and early 21st centuries saw a resurgence in cycling’s popularity, driven by a combination of environmental concerns, health awareness, and advancements in bicycle technology. Cities worldwide began to invest in cycling infrastructure, including bike lanes and bike-sharing programs, making cycling more accessible and safer for commuters and recreational riders.

Types of Cycling Races

Cycling races come in various forms, each with its unique challenges and appeal. These are  three main types of cycling races:

  • Road Racing: This is the most well-known form of cycling competition, with events ranging from single-day races to multi-stage tours. Road races test endurance, speed, and strategy, with cyclists covering distances that can exceed 3,000 kilometers.
  • Track Racing: Held on velodromes, track racing features shorter, more intense races on a circular track. Events include sprints, time trials, and pursuits, with cyclists reaching speeds of up to 70 km/h.
  • Mountain Biking: This off-road discipline involves racing on rugged terrains, including steep climbs and descents, rocky trails, and forest paths. This form of cycling emphasizes technical skill, agility, and physical endurance.

Modern Widespread and Influence


Today, cycling is a versatile sport, used by millions of people for both sport and recreation. The bicycle industry continues to innovate, creating lighter, stronger and more efficient bicycles. Electric bicycles (e-bikes) have become a popular option, especially for urban commuting, offering an eco-friendly alternative to cars.

The impact of the bicycle goes beyond competitive sport and personal fitness. It plays a critical role in sustainable urban mobility, reducing traffic congestion and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Cities such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Portland are renowned for their bicycle-friendly infrastructure and serve as examples for urban planners around the world.

Pedaling into the Future

The future of cycling looks promising, as continued advances in technology and infrastructure will make it even more accessible and enjoyable for people around the world. In addition, cycling races of various formats are constantly attracting millions of spectators around the world. Be a part of the exciting world of cycling and enjoy its simplicity and beauty.