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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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month won a Bronze Star in Vietnam before going on to win American League Rookie of the Year honors and playing 14 seasons in the Major Leagues.

      Though only 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, Al Bumbry was a four-year basketball player at Virginia State College (now University). The school restarted its baseball program during his career and Bumbry hit .578 during his senior season to earn notice from the Baltimore Orioles, who picked him in the 11th round of the MLB Draft.

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