So yesterday I introduced the player in the game of cycling, this time let me introduce the banes and boons of this harsh, harsh sports.
To accompany the 3 types of racers I mentioned the day before, there are 3 types of victory.
The green jerseys are awarded to sprinters for being the firsts to get past checkpoints or stage finishes. These are mostly on flats. Team will go in full formation or an breakaway group of 2-4 riders to try to aim for the checkpoints. This is where a sprinter’s mad dash comes in handy, when they no longer have to pull their team in a breakaway, they are at their fastest.
The red polka-dots on white are the King of the Mountains. These are given to the first to reach the top of peaks such as grueling hills or mountains. For the most part, only teams with confident climbers will put a member forth to compete for this as anyone trying to win this will end up finishing last. For them the prize is the conquering the wind and gravity be be the first going down the slope on the other side. The only requirement is that they finish before the eliminating bell.
Finally comes the Yellow Jersey. This is the ones to end all awards, for some teams this is the only jersey worth fighting for, everything else is pretty window dressing. The Yellow Jersey is the mantle of the winner, the overall winner of all the legs of the race and the first to cross the finish line. The only one who stands at the podium center with a bottle of champagne and 2 half naked announcer kissing you on either side of your cheeks. Every first time win for a team is their Crowning, they ascension to the throne, to defend it against challengers.
o Graveyard Crown o
Picture source: Montage image including Major Taylor (in the center) found in an online historic newspaper, an issue of The Daily World, from December 1908.
Well, now that we’ve gotten the boring part out of the way, let’s move on to the real content of this blog. So allow me the pleasure of introducing you to the beautiful sport of road-racing.
Most races last from one day without rest to a whole week with daily or periodic rests. This is also the main criteria for classifying races, either a one-day race or a multiple day race.
As for riders, there are 3 basic roles. The climber, sprinter and then the glorious seat of team ace. The sprinter excels on flats, either with sustained high speed or mad, all-consuming dashes that can reach ridiculous speeds, pulling the rest of the team through long straight roads which usually last for the majority of a race. The climber is the master of hills and mountains, unlike sprinters, they usually are lighter, smaller frame and lesser built. All of these features allow them to go at the highest stable speed uphill. And finally we have the ace. In cycling, more often than not, the game is a war of attrition. Every attack is a gamble, because you put more pressure on you ace to not fall too far behind. The ace is the sleeper agent, the javelin of the ballista. The sprinters and climber pull the team through the majority of the race. In the last legs, its the ace’s turn to show out, and put the team on the podium. The ace usually is a sprinter with very high sustainable top speed, he is able to do this because during the other part of the race, his team blocks wind and other rider from draining him. Ace’s last mad dash for the finish line are either the lonely solo ride if the ace is the only rider to make it through the trials, leaving his team behind or accompanied by one babysitter, usually a sprinter that still has enough strength to ensure his victory.
o Graveyard Crown o
Picture’s source: Twenty-four-year-old Jacob Schwoob of Cody on his one-gear racing bike, 1898. In the 1890s there were at least two bicycle clubs in Cheyenne and one each in Laramie and Rawlins, putting on races, advocating for bike paths and organizing social events. American Heritage Center.
The last blog was about what a road bike essentially is, this time lets talk a bit about ancient history.
In the beginning people raced with whatever they have, the first races was between the upper class men with enough money to buy a bicycle. Which at the time looked a lot different from what we know as a road bike today.
Actually they aren’t even called that, the term was velocipede, “veloci”- was Latin for fast and -“pede” was for feet. Now have have a guess at what centipede means.
As times progressed so did technology. Eventually had transmission and breaks, something we take as granted on current bikes. Bikes grow to look a bunch of different ways, the velocipedes range from resembling the unicycle, the tricycle, the quad-cycle to the current mamachari. Yeah, the mamachari we all love to hate was amongst the first bicycles. As for the rest, only the unicycle survives to be used for commercial purposes, the tricycle was delegated to teaching children how to ride and the quad-cycle was agreed to be a mistake and pretended to have never happened
o Graveyard Crown o
Picture link: https://www.classicdriver.com/…/a…/Penny-farthing%201_0.jpg…