Portal:Cycling

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The Cycling Portal

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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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A sleeping cyclist in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Photo credit: Roman Bonnefoy

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Greg LeMond
Gregory James "Greg" LeMond (born June 26, 1961) is a former professional road racing cyclist, entrepreneur, and anti-doping advocate.

LeMond was World Champion in 1983 and 1989, and is a three-time winner of the Tour de France. LeMond was born in Lakewood, California, and raised in ranch country on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, near Carson City, NV. He is married and has three children with his wife Kathy, with whom he supports a variety of charitable causes and organizations.

In 1986, LeMond became the first non-European professional cyclist to win the Tour (and to this day, the only American, following Lance Armstrong's and Floyd Landis' disqualifications). He was accidentally shot while hunting in 1987 and missed the next two Tours. LeMond returned to the Tour de France in 1989, completing an improbable comeback by winning in dramatic fashion on the race's final stage. He successfully defended his title the following year, claiming his third and final Tour victory in 1990, which made LeMond one of only seven riders who have won three or more Tours. LeMond retired from competition in December 1994. He was inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1996.

During his career, LeMond championed several technological advancements in pro cycling, including the introduction of aerodynamic "triathlon" handlebars and carbon fiber bicycle frames, which he later marketed through his company LeMond Bicycles. His other business interests have included restaurants, real estate, and consumer fitness equipment.

LeMond is a vocal opponent of performance-enhancing drug use, and at times his commercial ventures have suffered for his anti-doping stance—as in 2001, when he first accused Lance Armstrong of doping and sparked a conflict that led eventually to the dissolution of his partnership with Armstrong's primary sponsor, Trek Bicycles, who licensed the LeMond brand. As recently as December 2012, LeMond even articulated a willingness to replace the UCI president on an interim basis if called to do so.

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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