Portal:Cycling

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The Cycling Portal

Cappiello Jacquelin Le Rire 1903.jpg

Cycling is a means of transport, a form of recreation, and a sport. It involves riding bicycles, unicycles, tricycles and other human powered vehicles. A bicycle, the most notable instrument of cycling, is a pedal-driven land vehicle with two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. As a sport, cycling is governed internationally by the Union Cycliste Internationale, headquartered in Switzerland.

Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century and now number about one billion worldwide. They are the principal means of transportation in many parts of the world.

Cycling is widely regarded as a very effective and efficient mode of transportation optimal for short to moderate distances. Bicycles provide numerous benefits by comparison with motor vehicles, including the sustained physical exercise necessarily involved in cycling, that cycling involves a reduced consumption of fossil fuels, less air or noise pollution, much reduced traffic congestion, easier parking, greater maneuverability, and access to both roads and paths.

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McDonald's Cycle Center (formerly Millennium Park Bike Station) is an indoor bike station in the northeast corner of Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago, in the U.S. state of Illinois. The city of Chicago built the center at the intersection of East Randolph Street and Columbus Drive, and opened it July 2004. Since June 2006, it has been sponsored by McDonald's and several other partners, including city departments and bicycle advocacy organizations. The bike station, which serves bicycle commuters and utility cyclists, provides lockers, showers, a snack bar with outdoor summer seating, bike repair, bike rental and 300 bicycle parking spaces. The Cycle Center is accessible by membership and day pass. It also accommodates runners and in-line skaters, and provides space for a Chicago Police Department Bike Patrol Group.

Planning for the Cycle Center was part of the larger "Bike 2010 Plan", in which the city aimed to make itself more accommodating to bicycle commuters. This plan (now replaced by the "Bike 2015 Plan") included provisions for front-mounted two-bike carriers on Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses, permitting bikes to be carried on Chicago 'L' trains, installing numerous bike racks and creating bicycle lanes in streets throughout the city. Additionally, the Chicago metropolitan area's other mass transit providers, Metra and Pace, have developed increased bike accessibility. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was an advocate of the plan, noting it is also an environmentally friendly effort to cut down on traffic. Suburban Chicago-based McDonald's sponsorship of the Cycle Center fitted in well with their efforts to help their customers become more healthy by encouraging "balanced, active lifestyles".

Environmentalists, urban planners and cycling enthusiasts around the world have expressed interest in the Cycle Center, and want to emulate what they see as a success story in urban planning and transit-oriented development. Pro-cycling and environmentalist journalists in publications well beyond the Chicago metropolitan area have described the Cycle Center as exemplary, impressive, unique and ground-breaking.

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Handlebars of the Peugeot Onyx concept.
Photo credit: Clément Bucco-Lechat

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Tom Simpson
Thomas "Tom" or "Tommy" Simpson (30 November 1937 – 13 July 1967) was one of Britain's most successful professional cyclists. He was born in Haswell, County Durham and later moved to Harworth, Nottinghamshire. Simpson began road cycling as a teenager before taking up track cycling, specialising in pursuit races. He won a bronze medal for track cycling at the 1956 Summer Olympics and a silver at the 1958 Commonwealth Games.

In 1959 at age 21, Simpson was signed by the French professional road-racing team St. Raphaël-Géminiani. He advanced to their first team (Rapha-Gitane-Dunlop) the following year, and won the 1961 Tour of Flanders. Simpson then joined Gitane-Leroux-Dunlop; in the 1962 Tour de France he became the first British rider to wear the yellow jersey, finishing sixth overall.

In 1963 Simpson moved to Peugeot-BP-Englebert, winning Bordeaux–Paris that year and Milan–San Remo in 1964. In 1965 he became Britain's first world road race champion and won the Giro di Lombardia; this made him the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, the first cyclist to win the award. Injuries hampered much of Simpson's 1966 season. He won two stages of the 1967 Vuelta a España before taking the general classification of Paris–Nice that year.

During the 13th stage of the 1967 Tour de France, Simpson collapsed and died during the ascent of Mont Ventoux. He was 29 years old. The post-mortem examination found that he had mixed amphetamines and alcohol; this diuretic combination proved fatal when combined with the heat, the hard climb of the Ventoux and a stomach complaint. A memorial near where he died has become a place of pilgrimage for many cyclists. Simpson was known to have taken performance-enhancing drugs during his career, when no doping controls existed. Despite this, he is held in high esteem by many cyclists for his character and will to win.

In the news

  • July 22: Chris Froome wins Tour de France
  • June 12: Australian Paralympians cycling around Fiji for people with disabilities
  • April 2: Cyclists Jason English and Liz Smith win 24 Solo in Australia
  • March 17: Andy Blair wins Capital Punishment 2013 mountain bike race
  • December 4: Australian Paralympian Janet Shaw dies aged 46
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