Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



How Bike Racing is Gaining Popularity 4

Posted on August 20, 2015 by Martin Banks

Some people are not fond of cyclists. Whether it’s some latent, xenophobic distaste for anything vaguely European or just motorists’ contempt for anything on the road that doesn’t go five over the speed limit, cyclists engender animosity from a vocal portion of the population.

bike racing

And even when cyclists aren’t hated, they’re frequently disrespected. When Kenny Powers said, “I play real sports; not trying to be the best at exercising,” a nation of lacrosse stick-wielding, ball-tossing dude-bros laughed — not because they thought him ignorant, but because they thought him wise.

Yet even in the midst of this hostile environment, bike racing is growing in popularity. Perhaps because Lance Armstrong committed the only capital crime besides murder in the United States — lying to Oprah — mountain biking seems to be catching on more than road racing.

I Want to Ride My Mountain Bicycle

As you might expect of a sport that has an enormous geographic feature in its name, mountain biking has been increasing in popularity more rural than urban areas. The club sport is catching on in Idaho, where the Idaho High School Cycling League has created a four-race season. That league was founded by the National Interscholastic Cycling Association, which has made fifteen leagues in fourteen states.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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