Urban Cycling World Champs
The Urban Cycling World Championship is a relatively new format that blends a selection of biking and cycling events into one ‘festival of urban biking’ showcase. The UCWC is in held in major cities around the world so more people can get to see, and experience, the new and unique skills and thrills of urban biking.
The 2017 Urban Cycling World Championship was held this week in Chengdu, China.
This year the event included Mountain Bike Eliminator (XCE), Trials and BMX Free Style Park – each of which is sure to inspire even the most unimpressed general public be more interested in bikes!!
What are ‘Trials’?
Trials is the event where you see bikers hopping and jumping across, between and over boulders, planks and other obstacles. Bikes are 20″ and 26″ and riders need mad balancing, agility, strength, timing and track standing skills to be competitive. Essentially it is a time-based routine where riders are allowed a maximum of five dabs allowed in any section.
Why is Trials so interesting this year?
Trial events have been a UCI World Champs event since 2001. However 2017 is the first year that Trials is being run as part of the Urban Cycling World Champs, whereas previously Trials has been run in conjunction with other mountain-biking disciplines as part of the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships.
Most importantly because J-Mean (Janine Jungfels), who is a local Brisbane rider and Australia’s Women’s Elite Trials entrant – is hoping to kick ass!
Go Janine, Go!
Janine was the 2015 UCI BIU World Champion and she is a great ambassador for the sport. If you don’t know much about J-Mean, check out her Facebook page.
No matter what the final results are for this event, I think Janine is already a champ, given her dedication to training and promoting the sport.
She is a great role model to encourage more women and girls to see and experience a wider range of biking styles outside of the ‘mainstream’ road riding and MTBing.
I was super pumped after I saw this interview (see below) with her earlier this month at the Trials Park at Underwood Park, Brisbane.
I wanted to post on Janine and Trials to acknowledge and promote the hard work and dedication of many unknown riders in less popular cycling disciplines.
There are a handful of cycling styles that when someone saying ‘cycling’ immediately spring to mind (like the Tour de France). As I have argued elsewhere, the hyperfocus on such events is parochial and highlights the inaccurate, limited and inadequate representation within society of what cycling is – and this kind of view that negates an appreciate and support for the diversity and range of other types of riders, styles, skills and bikes that make up our amazing cycling communities.
So regardless of who actually wins the event – Viva La Femme Trails!
I hope events like the Urban Champs will help more people who would otherwise not have seen events like trails have a greater appreciation of the unique skills needed – and hopefully get more people interested in bikes!
Best of luck to all the 2017 Urban Champ riders – it will be a great event!
Here is the event list for this year’s Urban Cycling World Champs.