Cycling involves riding bicycles for transport, recreation, exercise, or sport. It stands out for its efficiency in urban environments, providing a sustainable and cost-effective transport alternative. As an exercise, cycling is excellent for cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and joint mobility, with a low-impact nature that reduces strain on the body.
Different styles cater to varied interests: road cycling for speed and endurance, mountain biking for off-road adventures, BMX for stunts and tricks, and casual biking for leisurely rides. Cycling can be enjoyed in city streets, dedicated bike paths, mountain trails, and parks. As a community activity, it fosters social interaction and is celebrated in events like races and group rides. It's inclusive, appealing to all ages and skill levels, promoting a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Cycling began in the early 19th century with the invention of the "running machine," a pedal-less precursor to the modern bicycle. This evolved into the pedal-powered bicycles we know today. In the late 19th century, cycling boomed in popularity, becoming a symbol of freedom and a practical transportation method. It bridged social gaps, with women and men alike embracing the mobility it offered. The 20th century saw cycling's evolution into a competitive sport, with events like the Tour de France gaining global recognition.
Over the years, cycling has impacted urban planning, leading to the development of bike paths and a focus on sustainable transportation. It's been a catalyst for social change, health trends, and environmental awareness.
In the years ahead, cycling is likely to be shaped by technological advancements and growing environmental consciousness. Electric bikes, already gaining popularity, will likely become more prevalent, making cycling accessible to a broader range of people and terrains. Smart bicycles equipped with GPS, fitness tracking, and safety features could enhance the riding experience. Urban planning may increasingly accommodate cyclists, with more bike lanes and cycling-friendly infrastructure.
Virtual reality cycling could merge fitness with entertainment, allowing riders to experience virtual landscapes from home. Community initiatives like bike-sharing programs and cycling clubs might grow, reinforcing cycling's role in promoting health, community engagement, and sustainable living.
The number of calories burned while cycling depends on the speed at which the person is cycling and their body composition. Harvard University predicts that a person weighing 155 pounds who is biking at a moderate pace (12-13.9 miles per hour) will burn 298 calories in 30 minutes. The same person biking at a faster rate (14-15.9 miles per hour), will burn 372 calories in 30 minutes.
The quadriceps and hamstrings in the upper part of the leg do the most of the work when cycling. The gastrocnemius and the soleus in the calves also work to contract in a sequence that creates a pedaling motion in the cyclist.
SoulCycle is an indoor cycling class, also known as a spin class, which combines high-intensity cardio, muscle-sculpting strength training, and rhythm-based choreography. Since founding in 2006, the company, a New York City based fitness company, has opened 88 studios in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. Participants will ride to the beat of the music.