Australia & NZ
An activity involving use of a bicycle for sport, recreation, or transportation. The sport of cycling consists of professional and amateur races, which are held mostly in continental Europe, the United States, and Asia. The recreational use of the bicycle is widespread in Europe and the United States. Use of the bicycle as a mode of transportation is particularly important in non-Western nations and in flatter countries, some of which, like the Netherlands, have a widespread system of bicycle paths.
The development of racing as a popular sport in Europe began in the 1890s with the improvement in road conditions and the introduction of some of the one-day classics that continue to this day (for example, the Paris-Roubaix race). After France and Belgium, races were introduced in Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. In 1903, the 21-day-long Tour de France was inaugurated and has continued every year since except during World Wars I and II. Ranking just behind this premier race are the grand three-week tours of Italy (the Giro d’Italia) and Spain (the Vuelta a España). Usually, the Giro is held in May and June, the Tour de France in July, the Vuelta in September, and the World Championships in October. Prizes in these races are substantial, amounting to $2.5 million in the Tour de France alone.
European road racing was under the sponsorship of bicycle manufacturers until the late 1920s, when national and regional teams were introduced. Trade sponsors returned after World War II but with the waning of bicycle manufacturers, teams began turning to various sponsors, including automobile manufacturers, insurance companies, and banks. The professional road-racing season now begins in January with races in Australia and Malaysia, continues from February through October in Europe and the United States, and closes, again in Asia, in November and December. For most riders, the season includes about 120 days of competition spread over eight months.
Walking is Free!
Walking is 100% free while all other forms of exercise tend to cost money. Gyms or Swimming pools charge per-use fees. Team sports tend to require costly equipment that tends to get lost or worn out. Also, more intense sports tend to cause injuries which are costly via medical bills. Running is perhaps the only other exercise type which is equally free. So, from the health perspective, Walking and Running are two activities that suit people of all age-groups, and is also highly beneficial to maintaining active body metabolism and all-round health.
Types of Hiking
For something as simple as hiking there seems to be quite a number of different types of hiking with all sorts of different names to it. The differences between the types of walking or hiking are sometimes subtle. Let’s dig a little bit to remove any doubt or confusion one might have-
- Walking – relaxed, leisurely paced, usually in the city, and typically not over 5 miles at a time
- Hiking – usually in a bigger park or somewhere outside the city, along a trail. Hikes tend to be longer in length than simple walking, and they tend to sometimes have significant elevation change, although obviously that is not a pre-requisite.
- Backpacking – backpacking makes hiking seem like child’s play. The backpacks are not ones that you typically see kids take to school. The backpacks that backpackers use are gigantic bags that must fit all your food, water and other items to help you survive for days in the outdoors.
- Trekking – similar to backpacking but different in that it is walking out in the country somewhere, but usually for longer distances and periods of time.
- Urban Hiking – city hikes, usually with some theme like seeing a historic or artistic structure, or simply a social event
Some hikers who prefer one type of hiking than others can make it seem like one type is superior to another. In reality, they can all be fun, healthy, social, and often educational. You should just go out there and enjoy yourself.
Different Places to Hike
There are many types of parks:
National Parks and Forests
Cities and Urban Areas