What Is Bicycle Acrobatics (Artistic cycling)?
Bicycle acrobatics, also known as artistic cycling, is an extreme sport that combines elements of gymnastics, acrobatics, and cycling. It involves athletes performing stunts on a bicycle in a specially designed arena. Bicycle acrobatics often involves using specially designed bicycles, such as the ones used in BMX, adding extra components and features that make it suitable for stunts.
What exactly is Artistic Cycling?
Artistic cycling involves athletes performing various tricks and stunts using the bike as a prop. It is a combination of multiple acrobatic and gymnastic elements, including handstands and jumps, while at the same time keeping the bike balanced. It can also involve juggling elements, such as balancing and rolling balls while riding the bike.
The competitive scene for artistic cycling is rapidly growing, with an increasing number of athletes competing in international competitions. While there are still some local events and competitions, most of the competitive scene for artistic cycling takes place at international events, such as the UCI World Cup and the European Championships.
Competitions in artistic cycling are divided into individual and team categories. Individual competitions involve riders performing a choreographed routine with their bikes. In contrast, team competitions involve two riders performing a choreographed routine with two cycles. Competitors are judged on various criteria, including difficulty, execution, originality, degree of difficulty, and control.
Selected Stunts and Maneuvers
The types of stunts, tricks, and manoeuvres performed in artistic cycling vary hugely. They can depend on the skills and preferences of the rider. Some of the most famous stunts and manoeuvres include:
- Sideways coast: The rider rides the bike while leaning to the side, balancing on the seat and handlebars.
- Travelling handstand: The rider stands on the handlebars while the bike moves, controlling the bike using their arms.
- The Maute jump: The rider jumps up in the air and lands back on the bike with both feet and the handlebars.
- Forward planche: The rider balances on the handlebars while the bike moves forward.
Famous Artistic Cyclists
Nicole Frýbortová is a professional acrobatic cyclist from the Czech Republic. She first started practising acrobatics on her bicycle when she was just a child and has since become one of the most renowned artistic cyclists in the world. Her performances are full of daring and grace, and her signature move is the sweetheart trick, which involves balancing on the seat and handlebars of her bicycle simultaneously.
Lea Schaepe is a Belgian acrobatic cyclist performing for over a decade. She is best known for her flamboyant and dynamic performances, which often involve acrobatics, cycling, and improvisation. She is also a master of balance and often performs her stunts on her bicycle while balancing on just one wheel.
Viola Brand is an Austrian acrobatic cyclist performing for the past three decades. She is known for her graceful and daring performances and is considered one of the top artistic cyclists in the world. Her signature move is the “gliding swan” trick, where she balances her entire body on the seat and handlebars of her bicycle while spinning in a slow circle.
Choosing The Right Bike for Artistic Cycling
When it comes to choosing the right bike for artistic cycling, there are a few key factors to consider:
- The bike should be lightweight and easy to manoeuvre. This is important, as the rider will perform various stunts and tricks while riding.
- The bike should have the right components, such as brakes and gearing, to ensure that the rider can perform the tricks safely and effectively.
- The bike should feel comfortable and be the right size for the rider.
My #1 Pick for Beginner’s Best Bike
My pick for the best bike for beginners in artistic cycling is the Speciorks Enalizeddur S-Wo .This bike is lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, making it perfect for performing stunts and tricks. It also has a full-suspension frame, which helps to absorb the shock from jumps and drops. Furthermore, it has the right components for a beginner, such as a single-ring drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, and 26-inch wheels.
Is Artistic Cycling for You?
Artistic cycling is an extreme sport that requires a lot of skill and practice. It is important to ensure that you are comfortable with the stunts and tricks you are attempting and that you are wearing the right safety equipment. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, artistic cycling can be incredibly rewarding.
Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to artistic cycling. You must wear the right protective gear, such as a helmet, knee and elbow pads. Furthermore, you must practice in an open and safe area, with a spotter to support you if you attempt complicated tricks. Finally, ensure you warm up properly before attempting any tricks or stunts.