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cycling

cycling. A primitive wheeled cycle was exhibited at Paris in 1791 but had to be pushed with the feet, as were the hobby-horses of the 1810s. In the 1860s a front-wheel-drive machine was manufactured—the bone-shaker—and in subsequent decades the front wheel became larger until the penny-farthing had developed. By 1882 speeds of 20 m.p.h. had been attained. The Rover safety model, built at Coventry from 1885, had a rear-wheel chain drive and from 1888 pneumatic tyres could be fitted. Women were able to ride the new models and the industry was established as a major employer in the midlands, turning out 750 bicycles p.a. by the 1890s. Cycle races began early and special tracks were built in the 1880s. The National Cyclists' Union was founded in 1878 and the Cyclists' Touring Club the same year. Time trials began in 1895 and a national championship was introduced in the 1930s. Road racing in Britain was subject to restrictions and did not develop as on the continent. But a Tour of Britain was started in 1951 and became the annual Milk Race. Meanwhile, ordinary cyclists, driven off the road by aggressive motorists, took to the pavements, leaving pedestrians to fend for themselves.

J. A. Cannon

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cycling

cycling Sport for individuals and teams competing on bicycles. Now a regular event at the Olympic Games, cycle racing first became popular following the invention of the pneumatic tyre (1888). There is a diversity of formats and events, road racing being the best-known form. This takes place outdoors over various distances or time-trials. The most famous cycle race is the Tour de France (inaugurated 1903).

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cycling

cycling: see bicycle racing.

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