- The Olympic Games Website Guide to Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking: A short history
In the 1970s, mountain biking developed as a fringe sport in California. Taking a bike off-road was nothing new but the development of a new bike that relished such terrain was. The bikes had fatter tyres, rapid-shift gears, drum brakes and ground-breaking suspension. They gave thrill-seeking cyclists much more freedom. Mountain biking was born.
The members of the Velo Club Mount Tamalpais in California generally receive the credit for establishing mountain biking as a sport. They invented the Repack Downhill race, held regularly between 1976 and 1979 just across the famous Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. The races attracted riders from near and far, and the media soon started taking an interest.
The first national championships in mountain biking were contested in 1983 in the United States. the sport soon took off in Europe and Australia and the first Mountain Bike World Championships recognised by the UCI were organised in 1990.
Mountain Biking at the Olympic Games
Cross-country Mountain Biking made its Olympic debut at the Atlanta 1996Games.
How the competition runs
Mountain Bike takes place over rough and hilly countryside, over trees, branches, rocks and streams. Races are over 40-50km for men, and 30-40km for women. The riders start together and must complete a set number of laps of the course. The winner is the first past the finish line.
Bunny-hop: To jump the bike, without dismounting, over an obstacle.
Cornering clearance: The amount of lean angle a bicycle can have without digging a pedal; also called pedal clearance or road clearance.
Pushclimb: A section of a mountain biking trail with inadequate traction or too-steep a pitch, that forces cyclists to dismount and carry their bikes.
Snakebite: The most common type of flat tyre, caused by hitting an obstacle so hard that the innertube is pinched against the rim.
Some useful info there. My insight and knowledge of the sport has been greatly expandedPosted 8 years ago
I now know it was a 'pushclimb' I had to resort to on Saturday when I stopped due to exceeding my 'cornering clearance' 😀 😀
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