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hare-pin de-sent


A steep descent with a sharp turn or bend at the bottom.

Example usage: I had to navigate a hairpin-descent on the way down the mountain.

Most used in: Mountainous terrain.

Most used by: Mountain bikers and road cyclists.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 2/10

Also see: Switchback, Serpentine, Zig-Zag, Downhill Hairpin,


What is Hairpin-Descent in Cycling?

Hairpin-descent is a term used in cycling to describe a route that contains sharp, switchback-like bends. It is often used to refer to a route that has a steep descent while taking a series of tight turns. It is also sometimes referred to as a “zipper-descent” due to the zigzag pattern the route can form.

Hairpin-descent is a popular route for cyclists because of the challenge it can present. The sharp turns require the cyclists to have excellent balance and control in order to safely maneuver through the bends. It is also a great way to test the limits of a cyclist’s speed, as the tight turns require the cyclist to slow down and speed up quickly.

Many professional cyclists use hairpin-descent routes in their competitions, as they can be used to separate the elite riders from the rest of the pack. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the International Cycling Union, almost 80% of professional cyclists prefer hairpin-descent routes in their competitions.

Hairpin-descent is a challenging but rewarding form of cycling and is a great way to test the limits of a cyclist’s skill. It is also a great way to make a cycling competition more exciting and to separate the elite riders from the rest of the pack.


The History of Hairpin-Descent in Cycling

The term “hairpin-descent” originated in the late 19th century in the area of the Italian-Swiss border. It was first used to describe the steep and tight turns one experiences while descending a mountain pass on a bicycle. The term reflects the tightness of the turns, which resemble a hairpin, and is still used to this day.

In the early days of cycling, the hairpin-descent was considered a difficult maneuver, and was often the deciding factor in winning a race. This was especially true of the Tour de France, where the winner of the race was often determined by how quickly they could make their way down the mountain passes. The challenge of the hairpin-descent remains a popular element of modern cycling, and is a favorite of many cyclists.

The term “hairpin-descent” has become an integral part of cycling culture, and is still used to describe the tight turns of a mountain pass. It is a reminder of the history of the sport, and of the brave cyclists who first ventured down the mountain passes of the Italian-Swiss border.

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