Challenging places to ride a bicycle

From the “things I would do if I were in better shape” department, world-class mountain biker Jeremiah Bishop has produced an entertaining look at a beautiful ride in the Appalachians. Love the scenery, but I could feel my legs aching just by looking at it.

From the “things I might considering doing if I were immortal or at least had a support crew for medical and security needs,” British adventurer/filmmaker Dominic Gill toured Egypt with a tandem bike during the country’s upheaval of 2011. Universal Sports will show us the results.

2012 cycling: The wheels on the bike go round and round

Cycling should be a relatively straightforward sport, like track. Three things ensure that it’s not:

1. Drafting. Cyclists conserve so much energy riding behind someone else that they’ll do just about anything to avoid being in the lead until the end.

2. Doping. The modern-day scandals are merely a vestige of the old days of cyclists sacrificing themselves by putting anything and everything in their blood streams. It’s ironic and sad that half-witted cultural commentators pronounce mixed martial arts as some civilization-ending return to the days of the mortal gladiatorial combat when the reality is that sports of a few generations ago were far more brutal.

3. Oddities. Also brutal and yet colorfully amusing were the old six-day races, full of all-night pedaling and the occasional serenade. This tradition lives on in track cycling’s complex Madison race.

British athletes fare well in events that involve sitting (cycling, rowing, sailing), so they’ll be looking for a few medals on home roads and tracks.

Predictions are fraught with difficulty. Road cycling is one of those sports in which the Olympics aren’t necessarily the grand prize. The track cycling program has been reshuffled like a poker deck. Mountain bike and BMX racing circuits have their own idiosyncrasies as well.

So here we go …

Continue reading 2012 cycling: The wheels on the bike go round and round