Artistic cycling: when cycling becomes a dance

Bike Culture & Tips

Artistic cycling: when cycling becomes a dance
August 2017

The word “art” has always defined all the activities aimed at expressing and bringing out human talent in all its forms. Painting, sculpture, music, cinema, dance and more have filled our lives since time immemorial, sublimating everyday life through works loaded with beauty and meaning.  

But the human genius, constantly looking for new forms of expression, has soon discovered that any activity can be turned into art, even those that combine intellectual and physical skills. This has led to the creation of sports that turn into real performances, each time different and unrepeatable; little-known but equally fascinating, artistic cycling is one of them.

Created among circus artists back in 1888 as a way to show off their skills, artistic cycling had its first men's world championship in 1956 (the first female championship came only in 1970) and is still very popular among indoor cycling enthusiasts.

Particularly popular in Germany, with more than 10,000 active licenses for practising this sport, artistic cycling can be compared to skating and artistic gymnastics. As in other sports, athletes perform exercises and acrobatics in front of a jury that judges every aspect of their performance; the only difference is that these athletes are riding on a bicycle!

In singles or in pairs, these true two-wheel artists ride on fixed-gear bikes, demonstrating great concentration, balance and courage. Six minutes of stunning routines and exercises of increasing difficulty performed to background music, showing the undisputed skills of athletes, as well as the high potential of bicycles themselves. Not just a way to move faster, not just a lifestyle promoting health and environmental sustainability, not just a sport requiring effort and speed; cycling can also be a beautiful form art that combines the fine movements of dance and the strength of exercise to create spectacular masterpieces.


The next world championship of artistic cycling will be on November 24 to 26 in Dorbnbirn, Austria, at the borders with Switzerland and Germany; the programme is available on the UCI website.





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