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The history of the development of Cycling in Turkmenistan

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The history of the development of Cycling in Turkmenistan

These days, all Turkmen Cycling enthusiasts and professional cyclists are looking forward to the festive events within the framework of the world Bicycle day, which is celebrated by the entire world community on June 3 at the 2018 United Nations General Assembly on the proposal of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. This decision perfectly reflected the fact that the development of Cycling in Turkmenistan is given great attention by the state.

This was preceded by many actions: The Decree of the President of Turkmenistan (2013) on the development of Cycling in the country; the approval by the head of state of the project to build an Olympic village in Ashgabat, where a magnificent indoor Cycling track was erected, recognized by the International Cycling Union as the most modern in the Central Asian region, and much more. But let's remember the history of the national Cycling school, where the development of this Olympic sport began in our country.

Bicycle racing was popular even during the formation of the city of Ashgabat as a center of trade, culture and recreation. Appearing in the XIX century as one of the innovations in technology, the Bicycle soon became the most popular form of transport, as it was easy to manage and did not require extra costs for maintenance. People realized that the Bicycle is not only a means of transportation, but also the best form for physical education and sports, as well as recreation. Therefore, all over the world, where this type of transport appeared, societies of Bicycle enthusiasts were created. Such a society was established in Ashgabat (Ashgabat) in the early 90s of the XIX century (the official date is April 5, 1894). The company started its activity with a very limited number of founding members – seven people, of whom only four had their own bicycles.

The first report on the work of such a society in Ashgabat was published by one of the Newspapers established on the territory of the Transcaspian region in its administrative center, the city of Ashgabat. The newspaper "Transcaspian review", published on February 14, 1895, wrote: "on February 8, many of its members gathered in the premises of the Transcaspian society of cyclists, Recalling the history of the small circle of cyclists in Ashgabat, which later grew into the Transcaspian society of cyclists." 

In one year of existence, the society has registered about 370 members, built a track, and trained about 200 men and 40 women to ride a Bicycle. The Bicycle society was also engaged in charity, it had its own club and public library. In addition, the society has opened fencing, gyms, shooting ranges, bowling alleys, etc. in its premises. The club hosted parties, concerts and performances with the participation of famous artists of that time, held cinema sessions, gave lectures on current topics by famous writers and travelers.

However, the main task of the society was to train residents to ride a Bicycle and conduct various events and races with the participation of club members, thereby making the life of citizens more interesting and rich.

The society's first Bicycle race was held on June 25, 1895, on a Sunday. "The Ashgabat stadium of cycles was decorated with flags and illuminated by numerous lanterns. Special care was taken to make the new race track as bright as possible, modeled on the Mikhailovsky Manege race track in St. Petersburg, with raised curves (bends) that allow you to develop very significant speeds. The track itself is greased with clay cement, and the inner space of the race site is carefully leveled and rammed," the newspaper wrote about the preparation for this event.

Of course, bike racing and Cycling as the most convenient form of transport could not fail to interest local Turkmen residents. The newspaper "Transcaspian review" in the issue of September 20, 1896 under the heading "Local chronicle" published a small note under the title "Turkmen cyclist". It reported that the passion for Cycling is also spreading among the local population. 

The second race of cyclists of the Trans Caspian Bicycle society was held on September 29, 1896 with the participation of a local resident of the village of Askhabad, khaldurdy chekir oglu. In addition to him, among the riders were also Yambaev-a peddler of the newspaper "Transcaspian review", Ryabaev-an employee of the Bicycle society and Han Baba-a Persian subject.

After 125 years, we have a developed sports infrastructure, which has reached such heights that Turkmenistan is increasingly becoming the center of major international competitions, including Cycling. Thus, the best cyclists of the Asian part of the continent and Oceania competed for medals at the Ashgabat Cycling Track in the framework of the V Asian indoor and martial arts games in 2017. At present, the Cycling Federation of Turkmenistan, together with the Ministry of sports and youth policy, is actively working to prepare for the world Cup in track Cycling, which is planned to be held in Ashgabat in 2021.

Dovlet Annaev, Chairman of the Cycling Federation of Turkmenistan.

The daily newspaper "Neutral Turkmenistan" №132 (29492).

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