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Cycling

Cycling is a recreation, a sport, and a means of transport across land. It involves riding bicycles, unicycles, tricycles, and other human powered vehicles (HPVs). As a sport it is governed internationally by the Union Cycliste Internationale in Switzerland (for upright bicycles) and by the International Human Powered Vehicle Association (for other HPVs). Cycling for transport and touring is promoted on a European level by the European Cyclists' Federation, and regular conferences are held under the auspices of Velo City, whereas global conferences are coordinated by Velo Mondial

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Getting started

Road bicycles range in price from fifty US dollars to thousands of US dollars depending mostly on weight, and quality. The lightest bikes weigh around 7 kg (15 lb) and are the most expensive. For most, a good starting bike would be in the range of 9-10 kg (20-22 lb)(stripped down weight, no accessories) and would cost just under US$1,000 in the United States; most likely it will have been manufactured in East Asia, although its actual brand name may be European or American. Basic serviceable second-hand bicycles can be bought for US$50-150 or more from classified adverts, or on eBay.

Being sized for a bike and taking it for a test ride are both recommended before making a purchase. Most road bikes include clipless pedals in which special shoes attach to special pedals, which allows for the transfer of power to the bike throughout the entire pedaling motion.

The drivetrain components of the bike should also be considered. A middle grade derailleur is most likely sufficient for a beginner. Also, unless a lot of serious climbing will be done, a double-crank (2 chainrings) front gear system will suffice in place of a triple-crank (3 chainrings) system.

When buying a bicycle, set aside some money for accessories. Accessories that some consider helpful include a lock, mudguards/fenders, lights, luggage racks and pannier bags, pump, cycling shorts (with pad), clips to hold wide trousers/slacks/jeans, cycling shoes, spare inner tubes, CO2 cartridges as a possible replacement for a tyre pump, water bottle and water bottle cage, a puncture repair kit and tyre levers.

Winter cycling also requires lights, cycling gloves, a waterproof jacket and/or overtrousers, and possibly waterproof overshoes.

Items that can be purchased later or omitted include full sized tire pump, multi-tool, bicycle computer, studded tires and degreaser. A bicycle helmet is obligatory in some legislatures, especially for children.

Cycling is a reasonably low maintenance transport form / hobby / sport and the beginner can learn much from online forums and bike shop personnel. Many bike shops even hold complimentary maintenance classes. Inspection and maintenance of brakes is important.

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Organized rides and races

Many cycling clubs hold organized rides and races varying that bicyclists of all types compete in. The typical organized race/ride starts with a large group of riders. This will thin out over the course of the ride. Many riders choose to ride together in groups of the same skill level to take advantage of drafting practices.

Most organized rides include registration requirements and will provide information either through the mail or online concerning start times and other requirements. Rides usually consist of 25, 50 and 100 mile routes, each with a certain number of rest stops that usually include refreshments, first aid and maintenance tools.

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See also

Utility cycling and slow recreation

General

Sports-related cycling and fast-paced recreation

Other

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External links