Are you a hardcore freerider, a cross-country grafter or a downhill shredder? Well we’ve got news for you – you’re not using your bike properly.
The world of the bicycle spans way beyond roads and mountains. In fact, your two-wheeler not only grants you access to an endless variety of cycling disciplines, it also lets you into a world of sporting madness you never knew existed.
From football and gymnastics to shooting hoops and (sort of) surfing, your bike opens up a world of sporting wonder. Have a read on to discover just some of these life changing options…
Bike Football (Cycle Ball)
If you’re going to get involved in cycle ball then you better have your game face on. This is some serious shit.
Also known as ‘radball’ – which is totally, like, rad – the sport features two teams of two facing off on fixed gear bikes without any brakes.
If your feet touch the ground, it’s a free kick to the other team, and predictably the team with the most goals at the end of the game takes the victory.
Bike polo just replaces horses with bikes. It’s pretty much polo for people who don’t own a country estate
Weirdly, this game has been going since 1893, and UCI, the same lot that run the mountain bike world cup, also sponsor a world cup for cycle ball. The standard is pretty unbelievable.
Take a peak at the video and you’ll see the power they get behind a shot. It’s ridiculous.
You wouldn’t catch us getting in the way of one of those strikes, but if you do fancy getting involved, you may want to move to Germany –315 of the 439 clubs worldwide are German. Strange.
Bike Gymnastics (Artistic Cycling)
Bicycle gymnastics isn’t just a strange name for freestyle MTB or BMX, it’s actually a sport that goes by the name of ‘artistic cycling’ – and it looks freakin’ difficult.
The sport sees athletes perform tricks on a special fixed-gear bike in a restricted time period, in a similar style to conventional gymnastics or figure skating. The categories allow for single or doubles riders or four or six man teams, with each contender given five minutes to impress.
Key attributes Required include balance, strength and the ability to dedicate your life to a ridiculous sport
The first unofficial world championships were held in 1888 by Nicholas Edward Kaufmann, mostly as a publicity stunt to showcase his riding. And no doubt show off to some beautiful dames.
Since then, the worlds of cycle ball and artistic cycling have become closely linked (apparently), and UCI sponsor the world championships for this lot as well.
Key attributes required include balance, strength and the ability to dedicate your life to a ridiculous sport.
Bike Polo (Cycle Polo)
Out of all the makeshift sports on this list, it’s probably least surprising that this one exists. It just replacing horses with bikes – so pretty much polo for those who don’t own a country estate.
The sport began on grass in Ireland in 1891, but as players have been getting more steezy, the hard court cycle polo has seen a massive boost.
The rules are pretty much just the same as the horse version of polo and as well as a European Championship there is also an international cup which is normally won by either India or Canada. Apparently they’re pretty good at their bike polo!
So, next time you fancy acting upper class but can’t afford a horse, you know what to do.
OK. So all the other sports on this list are borderline legitimate. This one is not.
You can’t really call someone standing on their bike seat a surfer, but you’ve got to give some credit to the guy in the video above. He’s pretty crazy.
As the wonderful voiceover narrates, this guy “surfs his bike with the precision and grace of riding a wave.” Hmm.
Anyway, he’s as close to surfing on a bike as you’re going to get, and he’s chosen a pretty gnarly setting to ride his imaginary waves.
Maybe don’t try this one at home though kids. Or at least not on top of a building with holes in it.
Of all the weird bike sports out there, bicycle basketball simply must be the most impractical.
The basic rules are the same as the ground-based, more socially acceptable version of the sport, but there are four riders on each team each riding a fixie and you don’t have to bounce the ball.
This sport was popular in France in the early 20th century – seriously, check out the crowd in the photograph – and while it may have fallen off the mainstream radar, we remain confident there will be a massive resurgence in the not so distant future.
Why wouldn’t there be?
When we claimed earlier that all of the sports on this list were legitimate except bike surfing, we might have been slightly stretching the truth.
The bad boy pictured here is a ‘cyclomer’, a bike invented in Paris in 1932 and hailed as ‘the bike to cross oceans’. All we can say is we wouldn’t fancy being in the middle of the Atlantic on it when a nasty storm kicks in.
Still, line up four or five of these things and you’ve got a pretty crazy race on your hands. We’d watch that. Or maybe we wouldn’t. But someone would.
It’d probably make a better watch than the Oxbridge boat race anyway.