By E. Max Bonem
Draisienne, laufmaschine, dandy horse, penny-farthing, and velopicede – the bicycle has had many names since first being introduced by the (most epically) German Baron Karl von Drais in the early 1800s. Since then, the bicycle has served as an excellent way to efficiently get from point A to point B. Lighter than a horse (maybe not as important these days, unless you live in Texas), cheaper than a car, faster than walking, cooler than roller blading, and helping out the metabolism and cardiovascular health of its riders, the bike has become a staple of modern day society.
Just another day in Austin, TX.
On top of providing efficient transportation though, the bicycle allows humans to do something that we all (sometimes) secretly fiend for: the ability to go FAST. Just like most other feats of pace, when someone goes fast, there is always someone who thinks they can and wants to go faster. Much like velociraptors and chariots from times gone by, bike racing has etched its place into the global world of sports, with the highlight the Tour de France, the most well-known (and sadly tainted) bike race on Earth (Note: I’m not even going to touch the GINORMOUS YELLOW & BLACK ELEPHANT in the room here, that’s not what this post is about).
However, every four years the world puts aside its differences to celebrate/determine which country can perform certain tasks better than others, i.e. throwing a rock, running in a circle, paddling a boat (Note: I’m not even going to bother mentioning the Winter “Olympics.” Until they allow Curlers to drink tall boys (I’m thinking Molson as a sponsor) during matches or they up the ante for the Skeleton (that’s the head-first luge for you newbs out there) participants by requiring them to complete a Sudoku puzzle on their way down the shoot, I refuse to recognize it with any sort of merit), not to mention the level of fit-on-fit breedingthat occurs during that fateful two week stretch of bright spandex and freakishly defined thighs. Amongst the running and the throwing and the ping-ponging are two events that have had major impacts on casual cyclists everywhere, the road race and more importantly (as you’ll see), indoor Track riding.
Breaking News: The Olympics are Tron.