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

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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