Road bicycle racing

Road bicycle racing is the cycle sport discipline of road cycling, held on paved roads. Road racing is the most popular professional form of bicycle racing, in terms of numbers of competitors and spectators; the two most common competition formats are mass start events, where riders start and race to set finish point. Stage races or "tours" take multiple days, consist of several mass-start or time-trial stages ridden consecutively. Professional racing has been most popular in Western Europe, centered on France, Spain and the Low Countries. Since the mid-1980s the sport has diversified with professional races now held on all continents of the globe. Semi-professional and amateur races are held in many countries; the sport is governed by the Union Cycliste Internationale. As well as the UCI's annual World Championships for men and women, the biggest event is the Tour de France, a three-week race that can attract over 500,000 roadside supporters a day. Road racing in its modern form originated in the late 19th century.

It began as an organized sport in 1868. The sport was popular in the western European countries of France, Spain and Italy, some of those earliest road bicycle races remain among the sport's biggest events; these early races include Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Paris–Roubaix, the Tour de France, the Milan–San Remo and Giro di Lombardia, the Giro d'Italia, the Volta a Catalunya, the Tour of Flanders. They provided a template for other races around the world. Cycling has been part of the Summer Olympic Games since the modern sequence started in Athens in 1896; the most competitive and devoted countries since the beginning of 20th century were Belgium and Italy road cycling spread in Colombia, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland after World War II. However nowadays as the sport grows in popularity through globalization, countries such as Kazakhstan, Russia, South Africa, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States continue to produce world-class cyclists. Professional single-day race distances may be as long as 180 miles.

Courses may run from place to comprise one or more laps of a circuit. Races over short circuits in town or city centres, are known as criteriums; some races, known as handicaps, ages. Individual time trial is an event in which cyclists race alone against the clock on flat or rolling terrain, or up a mountain road. A team time trial, including two-man team time trial, is a road-based bicycle race in which teams of cyclists race against the clock. In both team and individual time trials, the cyclists start the race at different times so that each start is fair and equal. Unlike individual time trials where competitors are not permitted to'draft' behind each other, in team time trials, riders in each team employ this as their main tactic, each member taking a turn at the front while teammates'sit in' behind. Race distances vary from a few km to between 20 miles and 60 miles. Stage races consist of stages, ridden consecutively; the competitor with the lowest cumulative time to complete all stages is declared the overall, or general classification, winner.

Stage races may have other classifications and awards, such as individual stage winners, the points classification winner, the "King of the Mountains" winner. A stage race can be a series of road races and individual time trials; the stage winner is the first person to cross the finish line that day or the time trial rider with the lowest time on the course. The overall winner of a stage race is the rider who takes the lowest aggregate time to complete all stages. Three-week stage races are called Grand Tours; the professional road bicycle racing calendar includes three Grand Tours - the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France, the Vuelta a Espana. Ultra-distance cycling races are long single stage events where the race clock continuously runs from start to finish, they last several days and the riders take breaks on their own schedules, with the winner being the first one to cross the finish line. Among the best-known ultramarathons is the Race Across America, a coast-to-coast non-stop, single-stage race in which riders cover 3,000 miles in about a week.

The race is sanctioned by the UltraMarathon Cycling Association. RAAM and similar events allow racers to be supported by a team of staff. A number of tactics are employed to reach the objective of a race; this objective is being the first to cross the finish line in the case of a single-stage race, clocking t

George Hugh Niederauer

George Hugh Niederauer was an American bishop of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the Archbishop Emeritus of San Francisco. Before that, Niederauer served as Bishop of Salt Lake City from 1994 to 2005. George Niederauer was born in Los Angeles, the only child of George and Elaine Niederauer, he attended St. Catherine's Military School and St. Anthony High School. After graduating in 1954, he attended Stanford University. During his freshman year Niederauer changed course and decided to enter St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, from where in 1959 he earned a Bachelor of Philosophy degree, he further completed his studies with a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D. C. and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from Loyola University, Los Angeles in 1962. Niederauer earned a Ph. D. in English Literature at USC. Niederauer was ordained to the priesthood on April 30, 1962, he was raised to the rank of Honorary Prelate of His Holiness in 1984.

Niederauer served as Rector of St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo from 1987 to 1992, he was appointed the eighth Bishop of Salt Lake City by Pope John Paul II on November 3, 1994. Niederauer received his episcopal consecration on January 25, 1995 from Cardinal Roger Mahony, with Archbishop William Levada and Bishop Tod David Brown serving as co-consecrators; as bishop he was seen as "the most approachable of persons and one whose homilies were magical in their ability to make difficult Scripture passages and theological concepts comprehensible and applicable – inspiring – in our daily lives."On December 15, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI named him to succeed William Levada as the eighth Metropolitan Archbishop of San Francisco, following Levada's appointment to Pope Benedict's former post of Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in the Roman Curia. Archbishop Niederauer was the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Communication, a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

On August 29, 2011, Niederauer underwent emergency double by-pass heart surgery. On July 27, 2012, the apostolic nuncio to the United States announced that the Holy See had accepted Niederauer's letter of resignation, Salvatore J. Cordileone was appointed the Archbishop-elect of San Francisco. On that day, the see of San Francisco became vacant, Niederauer attained the title Archbishop Emeritus. In 2008, Archbishop Niederauer campaigned in favor of California's Proposition 8, a ballot measure to recognize heterosexual marriage as the only valid marriage within California. Niederauer claims to have been instrumental in forging alliances between Catholics and Mormons to support the measure. Wrote the San Francisco Chronicle, "Niederauer drew in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and proved to be a critical move in building a multi-religious coalition—the backbone of the fundraising and voting support for the successful ballot measure. By bringing together Mormons and Catholics, Niederauer would align the two most powerful religious institutions in the Prop. 8 battle."

The archbishop said that he had seen Brokeback Mountain, making him the first senior American cleric to state that he has viewed the film. When asked for his reaction he said that "I thought it was powerful, I had a different take on it than a lot of people did.... It was a story not only about the relationship between the two principal characters, but much a cluster of relationships... And I think in all of that one of the lessons is the destructiveness of not being honest with yourself, not being honest with other people – and not being faithful, trying to live a double life, what that does to each of the lives you try to live." "Our belief is that we have to hold up the standard of abstinence, we do that in all of our teaching about sexuality by saying that sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong. Now that's a high bar to set and I understand that, and I don't regret that I teach it. I understand why people disagree with it. I understand. I don't agree with them.... What I would say is that people who disagree with us can disagree without being disagreeable."

"Authentic moral teaching is based on objective truth, not polling." "George Hugh Niederauer". David M. Cheney. Salt Lake Diocese press release of Niederauer's appointment as archbishop Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco Official Site

Bathtub curve

The bathtub curve is used in reliability engineering. It describes a particular form of the hazard function which comprises three parts: The first part is a decreasing failure rate, known as early failures; the second part is a constant failure rate, known as random failures. The third part is an increasing failure rate, known as wear-out failures; the name is derived from the cross-sectional shape of a bathtub: a flat bottom. The bathtub curve is generated by mapping the rate of early "infant mortality" failures when first introduced, the rate of random failures with constant failure rate during its "useful life", the rate of "wear out" failures as the product exceeds its design lifetime. In less technical terms, in the early life of a product adhering to the bathtub curve, the failure rate is high but decreasing as defective products are identified and discarded, early sources of potential failure such as handling and installation error are surmounted. In the mid-life of a product—generally speaking for consumer products—the failure rate is low and constant.

In the late life of the product, the failure rate increases, as age and wear take their toll on the product. Many electronic consumer product life cycles exhibit the bathtub curve. While the bathtub curve is useful, not every product or system follows a bathtub curve hazard function, for example if units are retired or have decreased use during or before the onset of the wear-out period, they will show fewer failures per unit calendar time than the bathtub curve. In reliability engineering, the cumulative distribution function corresponding to a bathtub curve may be analysed using a Weibull chart. Gompertz–Makeham law of mortality Klutke, G.. C.. A.. "A critical look at the bathtub curve". IEEE Transactions on Reliability. 52: 125–129. Doi:10.1109/TR.2002.804492. ISSN 0018-9529