Bicycles were invented in the mid-1700s, and have been popular ever since. The gear and chain design was invented in 1885 by J. K. Starley.

Cycling and the Olympics

Bicycles were invented in the mid-1700s, and have been popular ever since. The gear and chain design was invented in 1885 by J. K. Starley and served as a vast improvement on previous versions of bicycles. Technology now takes bikes further than ever. According to the official Olympic website, cycling has been a featured sport since the inception of the modern Olympic Games, but it was not featured in Paris (1900), St. Louis (1904) or London (1908). The 1896 Games saw a road race on the marathon route (Athens towards Marathon and back). Team time trials were a part of the Olympics from 1912 to 1992. In 1996 the individual time trial was introduced. Women’s cycling was added to the Olympics in Los Angeles (1984).

There are now several cycling events, including BMX (men and women), road cycling (men’s and women’s individual road race and individual time trial), track cycling (men’s and women’s keirin, omnium, individual sprint, team sprint and team pursuit), and mountain bike (men’s and women’s cross country).

In the 2012 Olympic Games, cycling events are held on July 28-29, August 1-7 and August 10-12. A total of twenty gold medals are up for grabs.

MSU Bikes Office

Cycling at Michigan State

Cycling is not a collegiate sport, so there is no varsity team. MSU does have an MSU Cycling Club on campus, dedicated to promoting cycling for competition and recreation. You can check out the club’s website for more information.

Cycling club jersey

MSU was named a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists. In the last ten years over 13 lane miles of bike lanes have been added to campus, bringing the total bike lane coverage to 55% of campus roadways. MSU is continuing to expand this system of bike paths and bike lanes on campus.

Bike path expansion project in progress near Jenison Field House

MSU Bikes Program

MSU Bikes ( serves the MSU campus community in many ways, promoting bicycling as “a safe, fun, economical, efficient, environmentally friendly and healthy transportation alternative.” The services they offer include refurbishing old bicycles (both abandoned and donated) for purchase or rental, bicycle repair and tune-up, bicycle safety and maintenance workshops, and short and long term storage of bicycles. The MSU Bikes program serves faculty, staff, students, departments, visitors and alumni. This is a great option for community residents looking for inexpensive repair options or bicycles for purchase. You can make a gift in support of the MSU Bikes Program on the MSU Giving website.

Bike mechanics work to repair bicycles
Bike repairs and tire inflation are available at MSU Bikes

Photo Credits: Bike Lane Expansion photo by Katie Kelly, Communications Manager, University Scholarships & Fellowships; All other photos provided by MSU Communications & Brand Strategy.

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