If you own some wheels, a handle bar and a seat, it seems there’s no stopping you from having great fun as a competitor or a participant in some of the world’s most unorthodox or even ‘’weirdest’’ cycling races. They’re aplenty and can be found from London to St. Louis. Some of these may even compete for the title “Weirdest of them All.” You decide.
Not all cyclists want to compete; many enjoy the fun aspect and relaxation that come with non-competitive activities. So, sit back in your seat, enjoy your surroundings and appreciate the outdoors.
BRING YOUR OWN BIG WHEEL
If you decide a few good chuckles sound just like what you need as opposed to taking yourself too seriously, then great fun is to be had in San Francisco. This event started in the year 2000 with one guy, Jon Brumit, and it has grown into a big annual gathering which charges downhill to loud cheers from the onlookers on Easter Sunday at 20th and Vermont Streets. It is recommended that participants wear protective head gear and gloves, as well as elbow and knee pads.
Rules? Not really, except that you behave and arrive with big PLASTIC wheels. Just like when you were a child, you do not need a fancy bike. This is a fun event, and nothing too serious (within certain limits such as safety in mind). Although the race has grown in popularity, there are no plans to turn it into something huge, since it takes place in an urban area. So, next year grab your big plastic wheels and join in the fun!
A BALLOON BIKE RACE?
Yes, that is exactly what you’ll find when you visit the Warren County Farmers Fair in New Jersey, US. A really novel concept, this unusual event sees participants flying some distance in a hot air balloon. Bikes are attached with bungee cords to the side of the balloon and participants are dropped off at a certain spot and they then have to make their way back to the fair using a GPS. All in the name of fun, this event is probably not meant for everybody – certainly not for those who dislike heights!
A great day of fun is promised if you enter this event, which is held at Woodinville, Washington once every year. The 2016 date has been confirmed: January 25th and the 18-mile mountain bike ride starts and ends with a party at the Redhook Brewery. Emphasis is placed on fun and participants wind their way along the trails. One specific ‘’trying’’ part of the course is known as ‘’Heart Attack Hill!’’ As riders proceed they are given poker cards at various intervals until they hold five in total. Participants bring these with them to the party after the event to see if they are one of the lucky winners. So, if you have a bike and some understanding of poker hand rankings and you know your straights and high cards, you will soon come to discover whether or not you will be awarded one of the great prizes being dished out. Don’t forget to dress warmly for the ride, as January can be quite challenging weather-wise. Bring an extra pair of gloves or invest in a pair of good snow goggles. Above all: Go out and enjoy some time in the open. This is an event for relaxed, laid back people who like some fun!
LONDON’S TWEED RUN
Cycle in style? Come to London and be your British best as you dress up in your ”finest tweeds, flat caps and brogues” for a rather ‘smart’ event that will take you past some of the city’s famous landmarks, allow you some time for tea and a picnic along the way and the opportunity to win one of the several fun prizes on offer. According to the Etiquette Guide prizes include those for ‘Best Dressed Man’ and ‘Best Dressed Woman’, as well as ‘Best Vintage Bicycle.’ The exact route is normally a closely guarded secret, but the lucky 500 entrants line up at Trafalgar Square and finish at Bloomsbury Ballrooms. Apply early – otherwise you may be a mere spectator instead of a participant in London’s most stylish cycling event. It is interesting to note that the Tweed Race has become so popular that other cities such as Tokyo and St Petersburg have started their own versions.
What makes cycling so attractive is the fact that virtually anyone with some balance and legs can get involved. It’s a great activity for those who want to join organized groups and clubs, but it is equally easy to enjoy with your family, or as a solitary activity if you prefer to do things on your own. Being out in nature, hiking, cycling, running or simply relaxing is good for body and soul; that is no secret. It is also, it turns out, a great way to get involved in something…completely different!