History of Road Cycling

History of Road Cycling | Bart HaynesThe history of cycling itself, begun with the invention of the bike in 1800s; they started off as a tool for the rich and then became common in transportation and travelling. The first cycling sporting event took place in 1868 in Hendon, Middlesex. An English man named James Moore won this race on a solid rubber tire bike. The race stretched 1200m and took place in the Park of Saint-Cloud, Paris. Moore also rode to victory in another race between Paris and Rouen cities. He took 10 hours and 40 minutes to cover the 23 kilometers.

In the beginning

Although cycling was added to the Olympic Games in 1896, world championship in this sport had started in 1893. Tour de France race begun in 1903 where 60 riders participated in this competition. The race stretched 1553 miles for a period of 19 days. However, the intention of this road cycling event was not to promote sports. Organizers targeted the promotion of the L’Auto newspaper. The event was a success and the paper was able to beat its rival newspaper, Le Velo. Tour de Britain was introduced in 1951.

History of cycling is associated with invention of the Rover Safety bicycle. The earliest bikes were wooden, but with hard rubber tires. Riding these bikes led to the rise of the term “breakneck speed” since the rider would be pitched over the front of the front wheel when a crash took place. A crash came with some very devastating effects.

The evolution to larger wheel diameters was inspired by need for greater speed. At the same time, increasing the diameter of the driving wheel was the only way the speed of the bike could be improved back then. Bicycle racing got better with invention of the pneumatic tire, with the first race using this invention taking place in 1889. Before then, safety concerns had led to the development of a bicycle with equal wheel diameters. Racing on a wooden track with a safer design running on pneumatic tires also became sensational in road cycling.

During the early years of professional road cycling, personalities such as Arthur Zimmerman and “Major” Taylor won accolades in USA. Track races were being done in Europe as early as 1881 and later in America. The Europe version, called Six Day Racing involved riders going around a cider track for six days or until they were overtaken by fatigue. The first venues to host this event in United States included New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Emergence of road cycling

Although track racing was popular in Europe, road cycling involving long distances brought more passion. Races connecting city to city were contested for years. Examples include races between Bordeaux to Paris and Paris to Brest. Some of these competitions remain to date. Individual road cycling racing was abandoned in favor of team racing in 1899.

Formation of associated clubs and societies such as St. Louis Cycling Club in United States took place as early as 1887. The club has been sponsoring races and cycling events ever since. Construction of cycle paths in Netherlands dates about 100 years ago by a “Cycle Path Society”, testifying that organizations in the cycling field are as old as its history. Not only did cycling grow from history as a functional activity, but also as a recreational one.

The evolution of road cycling events

Organization of cycling events in a fair and legal manner has been improved over the years. The Tour de France event was not only characterized by poor behavior but also by cheating. In fact, the 1998 road cycling was also characterized by doping. Other changes that have been occurring over the years are those relating to the racing courses. For instance, the 2010 event was characterized by a racing route with a prologue and 20 stages.

Cycling has been applied for economic activities since 1890s. Riding ones bike to work continued to be popular in United States until 1920s while in Europe, they played this vital role until end of 1950s. Part of their decline in use for this was the rise of suburbs and cars becoming popular. Today, some people living in places like China still ride them to work. Bikes are still employed for convenience, fitness and environmental concerns.


Modern day road racing has competition in mind and Bart Haynes history of road cycling continues to inspire many. Modern sports feature cycling professionals from various countries and regions. Sponsored trade teams are also part of the game. Cycling is also now governed well at the international level, national and collegiate levels.

Races are organized as prologues and major stage races. Innovation of the bike has also transformed the experience of racing. Modern day bikes have suspension forks and frames. As opposed to use of heavier wooden wheels and lightweight butted tubing’s, aluminum rims became a standard as early as 1937. Rides also avoided derailleurs believing that they created excessive drag and were unreliable. Not until 1937 was when they were accepted in the Tour de France. Rules of road cycling have also been changing, especially since the 1980s.

Modern bikes are also made of lightweight material, have multiple gears and are more powerful and fast. They also come with aerodynamic designs. Technical regulations for the sport of cycling came up after a conflict arose then pitting technology against rules of competition. The Lugano Charter established in1996 was a movement towards this direction. It made it possible to ensure that the competition was against riders and not innovation against one another. Modern cycling is also characterized by teams wearing uniforms and protective gear to minimize injuries in case of accidents. In addition, knowledge on how racing results can be improved is being applied in methods such as practicing before competition.

Road cycling has also evolved in functionality. It is employed in supporting and fund raising for charitable work. An example is the Bart Haynes history in road cycling which is aimed at supporting healthcare engagements for needy children in USA and Mexico. As a partnership event between “Raul Alcala Challenge” and Bart Haynes, the race helps raise funds for health equipment to help needy children. There is no doubt that road racing is being applied in many ways in modern society and carries the potential to change the community.