Artistic cycling

Artistic cycling is a 130-year-old sport. Yes, you have read 130 years. Cycling races began to hit their stride in Paris in 1868. Then, Nick Kaufmman showed audiences a different way to enjoy bicycles. He performed acrobatics on his bike. People were left with their mouth opened when admiring this new sport. Kaufmann expressed so much emotion and people helped by cheering him up, so that he made the connections he needed to organize a competition about artistic cycling. Indeed, he became the world champion of Professional Cycle Trick Riding, as it was known, in 1888.

This sport has been evolving over the years and now is really popular in Europe, and specifically in Germany. Competitors demonstrate several tricks indoors to judges, thus earning points as they perform. Similarly as ballet or gymnastics, participants compete in rounds of five minutes. Multi-person teams also compete by using multiple bikes, switch, ditch…

To perform the balancing tricks and backward motion, these artists use fixed-gear bikes with a gear ratio of 1:1, and tires of proportionate size. To enhance maneuver, the handlebars are similar to those used in racing bicycles, but upside-down in comparison. Moreover, the front wheel should be free to spin 360º.

By combining these outstanding bikes and long hours of practice, riders perform handstands, wheelies, body-surf, and attempt as many other tricks as they can in their allotted time. Hence, innovation is rewarded by judges who also take into account the number of tricks, execution, form and degree of difficulty.

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