The Tour de France begins tomorrow. What started out as a promotion to boost the sales of newspapers in France is now one of the biggest sporting events in the world (and a big business). Here are some resources for learning more about the Tour de France.
Check out this animated video to learn all about the tactics of the race, the logistics of the race, the physiology of riding in the race, and many other interesting facts about the world's most famous bicycle race.
If watching the race (broadcast on NBC Sports in the US) inspires you to get outside and ride a bike, don't forget your helmet. The Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky offers some good resources about brain injury prevention. One of those resources is a short animated video designed to teach students about the need for wearing a helmet and how to wear helmets when biking or skateboarding. In the video students learn how to pick a helmet and how to properly fit a helmet. Watch the two minute video below.
The Science Behind the Bike is a four part video series from The Open University. The series has a total running length of 33 minutes and is a complement to a larger Open Learn course called The Science Behind Wheeled Sports. The videos and the course are designed to help students understand the physics, the physiology, and the technology that influence the outcome of cycling events.
Sticking with the science of bicycling, Global Cycling Network offers a video addressing the question of whether having a light bike or light body makes the bigger difference in speed on a bike. The video is a bit long, but worth watching for the process and outcome. Ask your students for predictions before jumping to the end.
How is the overall winner of the Tour de France determined? It's not as simple as you might think. In addition to the overall winner's Yellow Jersey there are other prizes awarded in the race. Learn all about how the race times and points are calculated by watching the following video from the Global Cycling Network.
Minute Physics offers two videos about the physics of bicycles. In How Do Bikes Stay Up? we learn how bikes stay upright, how design and weight influences balance, and why bicycles are difficult to balance in reverse.
The Counterintuitive Physics of Turning a Bike explains how we turn bicycles.