Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, exercise or sport. People engaged in cycling are referred to as "cyclists", "bikers", or less commonly, as "bicyclists". Apart from two-wheeled bicycles, "cycling" also includes the riding of unicycles, tricycles, quadracycles, recumbent and similar human-powered vehicles (HPVs).
Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century and now number approximately one billion worldwide. They are the principal means of transportation in many parts of the world.
Cycling is widely regarded as a very effective and efficient mode of transportation optimal for short to moderate distances.
Bicycles provide numerous benefits in comparison with motor vehicles, including the sustained physical exercise involved in cycling, easier parking, increased maneuverability, and access to roads, bike paths and rural trails. Cycling also offers a reduced consumption of fossil fuels, less air or noise pollution, and much reduced traffic congestion. These lead to less financial cost to the user as well as to society at large (negligible damage to roads, less road area required). By fitting bicycle racks on the front of buses, transit agencies can significantly increase the areas they can serve.
Among the disadvantages of cycling are the requirement of bicycles (excepting tricycles or quadracycles) to be balanced by the rider in order to remain upright, the reduced protection in crashes in comparison to motor vehicles, often longer travel time (except in densely populated areas), vulnerability to weather conditions, difficulty in transporting passengers, and the fact that a basic level of fitness is required for cycling moderate to long distances.
McDonald's Cycle Center
(formerly Millennium Park Bike Station
) is an indoor bike station
in the northeast corner of Millennium Park
in the Loop community area
, in the U.S. state of Illinois
. The city of Chicago built the center at the intersection of East Randolph Street
and Columbus Drive
, and opened it July 2004. Since June 2006, it has been sponsored by McDonald's
and several other partners, including city departments and bicycle advocacy organizations. The bike station, which serves bicycle commuters
and utility cyclists
, provides lockers, showers, a snack bar with outdoor summer seating, bike repair, bike rental and 300 bicycle parking spaces. The Cycle Center is accessible by membership and day pass. It also accommodates runners and in-line skaters
, and provides space for a Chicago Police Department Bike Patrol
Planning for the Cycle Center was part of the larger "Bike 2010 Plan", in which the city aimed to make itself more accommodating to bicycle commuters. This plan (now replaced by the "Bike 2015 Plan") included provisions for front-mounted two-bike carriers on Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses, permitting bikes to be carried on Chicago 'L' trains, installing numerous bike racks and creating bicycle lanes in streets throughout the city. Additionally, the Chicago metropolitan area's other mass transit providers, Metra and Pace, have developed increased bike accessibility. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was an advocate of the plan, noting it is also an environmentally friendly effort to cut down on traffic. Suburban Chicago-based McDonald's sponsorship of the Cycle Center fitted in well with their efforts to help their customers become more healthy by encouraging "balanced, active lifestyles".
Environmentalists, urban planners and cycling enthusiasts around the world have expressed interest in the Cycle Center, and want to emulate what they see as a success story in urban planning and transit-oriented development. Pro-cycling and environmentalist journalists in publications well beyond the Chicago metropolitan area have described the Cycle Center as exemplary, impressive, unique and ground-breaking.
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(born 18 March 1981), nicknamed "Spartacus
", is a Swiss
professional road bicycle racer
for UCI ProTeam Trek–Segafredo
. Cancellara has achieved great success in the sport of cycling since becoming a professional cyclist. He is known for being a quality time trialist
, a classics
specialist, and being a workhorse
for his teammates that have general classification aspirations.
Cancellara began cycling after falling in love with an old bike at the age of thirteen. After that, he then began to take the sport more seriously and he won two consecutive World Junior Time Trial Championships in 1998 and 1999. At age nineteen he turned professional and signed with the Mapei–Quick-Step team, where he rode as a stagiaire.
Since turning professional, Cancellara has ridden for four professional teams. He has achieved great success in the classics; he has won Paris–Roubaix three times, the Milan–San Remo once, and the Tour of Flanders twice. Cancellara has won the opening stage of the Tour de France five times and has led the race for 28 days total, which is the most of any rider who has not won the Tour. His success has not been limited to just time trials and classics, as he has won general classification of the Tirreno–Adriatico, Tour de Suisse, and the Tour of Oman. In 2008, he won gold in the individual time trial and silver in the men's road race at the Summer Olympics. In addition that, Cancellara has been the time trial world champion four times in his career.
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