Olympics
Isn't it a thrilling experience to ride a bicycle over a rough terrain or rocky lanes? This article provides you the rules and regulations of cycling-mountain bike and its relevance in Olympics.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking, which started with low profile in northern California during the 1970s, has today become a sensational sport for youngsters all over the globe! The expeditious sport of mountain biking requires real guts and stamina, as the riders need to embark through gigantic mountain areas, bumpy roads and coarse tracks. There are many forms of mountain biking such as Cross-Country, All-mountain, Downhill, Free ride, etc. out of which Cross-country mountain biking is the most popular and was introduced in Olympics programme in Atlanta Olympics 1996. At London Olympics 2012, the cycling - Mountain Bike competitions will be held from 11 August till 12 August, 2012 at newly constructed Hadleigh Farm in Essex (instead of Weald Country Park, which was dropped for not being hard enough). There will be two medal events involving 80 athletes (50 men, 30 women). The duration of races is around one hour and forty-five minutes for both men and women. There are no heats: for both the men's and women's events, all riders begin together, and the first one to cross the finish line wins the gold!

Mountain Biking Rules And Regulations
In the exhilarating sport of Cycling - Mountain Bike, the riders will race through the 1.8km start loop before crossing the start-finish line for the first time. Then they will follow the main course. The first rider, who reaches the finishing line, wins the gold. There are certain rules and regulations set for Cycling - Mountain Bike which is mentioned as follows:
  • As this sport involves two hours, 15 minutes race for men and two hours race for women, the judges will decide upon the number of laps required to complete the race, the night before. This decision could also be altered next morning, taking the weather conditions into consideration.
  • Mountain bikers are not allowed get any aid from outsiders or other riders, otherwise they will be disqualified.
  • The race authorities can penalize the athletes if they pull the jerseys of other competitors or push or lean on them. The penalty is decided based on its severity and its adversary effect on the race. However, the race is not halted in the middle when the offence is committed. Instead, the transgressor is informed of the penalty at the end of the race.
  • Even the athletes can complaint if they believe they have been blocked during the race. They need to give this in writing within 10 minutes of the end of the race.
  • Just like any other cycling related sports, helmets are mandatory.
  • The athletes are allowed to change their sunglasses and feed themselves with food and drink at feed stations along the course.
  • The athletes have to adhere to the official course that is set for the race. This course is equipped with markers that show which directions the athletes should follow. The course also indicates the severity of the forthcoming dangers and what distance they have covered on each lap.
  • Cyclists with faster speed should be allowed to overtake without any obstacles.
  • As mountain bikes are more powerful than road and track bikes with frames built to endure strong treatment over coarse terrain, the riders are forbidden to design any attachments in order to accelerate the aerodynamic performance of the bikes.
Mountain Biking History
The sport originated in California during the 1970s. The Repack Downhill races invented by the members of Velo Club Mount Tamalpais in California were the first official mountain bike races. Mountain biking originally consisted of peddling the cruiser bicycles down the fire roads and trails. The first national mountain bike championship was held in 1983 in USA. However, the sport quickly became famous in Europe and Australia too. The first mountain bike World Championships, recognized by the International Cycling Union (UCI), were organized in 1990. And finally, mountain biking featured in Olympic programme at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, with a cross-country event for men and women. The format of the sport has been the same since then. With technological advancement, road bicycle companies started manufacturing bicycles using high-tech lightweight materials, fatter tyres, rapid-shift gears, drum brakes and groundbreaking suspension. The first major mountain bike was the "Stumpjumper" manufactured in 1981.