The Afghan Women's National Cycling Team trains six mornings a week in the quiet predawn streets of Kabul to futher their dream of one day qualifying for and participating in the Olympics. "In a country where girls have faced acid attacks just for going to school, the dangers of doing sport in public go beyond insults or the momentary impact of a well-aimed stone." [more inside]
On Sunday 27 July, history will be made when a group of professional cyclists rides the Champs-Elysées. Among the riders who have never before been allowed in the Tour de France, is an athlete The Guardian has called "the finest cyclist of their generation" and who Bicycling Magazine recently touted as one "who could be the most naturally gifted, hardest-working cyclist who ever lived", Marianne Vos. Also riding will be writer, filmmaker, former figure skater and triathlete Kathryn Bertine. Triathlete and marathoner Emma Pooley described her expectation for the event: "On a scale of one to 10, I'd say that La Course is 11 on the excitement levels." Along with the athlete who holds/held all three Ironman world and championship records (including the overall world record), Chrissie Wellington, they created the campaign Le Tour Entier, whose motto is Liberté, Égalité, Cyclisme, a play on the French national motto. [more inside]
The NFL's Modern Man: How Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin — a bike-riding, socially conscious, Animal Collective–loving hipster — is redefining what it means to be a football player.
"Bicycle helmets do an outstanding job of keeping our skulls intact in a major crash. But they do almost nothing to prevent concussions and other significant brain injuries—and the very government agency created to protect us is part of the problem. The time has come to demand something safer."
Bicycle racing requires strategy and skill as well as strength and endurance to keep up pace with the peloton. This article from Cycling Tips breaks down basic techniques to gain and keep position in the pack.
It's autumn, which means for some nerdy bike racers, it's cyclocross season. Cyclocross is an off-road cycling discipline characterized by short, hard, intense racing that requires skilled bike handling, running through mud or sand, and quickly dismounting, carrying, and remounting your bike to navigate obstacles. After all, sometimes, carrying your bike is just faster than riding it. In Europe, cyclocross draws huge crowds despite terrible weather, but it remains a niche sport in the United States, though with increasing popularity - perhaps it's because it's one of the few sports where rank amateurs can closely mingle with (and race the same courses as) top professionals. With the 2013 UCI Cyclocross World Championships to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, its popularity and domestic appeal is expected to continue rising. Previously.
"This is the best day of my life. I want a cold beer and a shotgun. I’m definitely losing my mind." The third annual NW Rapha Gentleman’s (Bicycle) Race took place this past weekend. Featuring a punishing route that follows the northern base of Oregon's Mt. Hood from Forest Grove to Portland, six-person teams traverse 125 miles over a 6400 foot elevation gain. It's 20% dirt and many miles of gravel climbs. Route Map. Another Recap. Photos. Background. A Saturday in Hell. (Via mathowie)
Marshall ("Major") Taylor was the first black American to be crowned World Champion in any sport, ever. Care to guess the sport? In 1899, he set the world one-mile track record in cycling (and repeated his win in 1900 and 1901. His legacy continues today with an association, a society, a foundation, cycling clubs, and a velodrome. [more inside]
Wales and sports. I'd not put the two together, being from across the Atlantic. But, as we approach next weekend's Mountain Bike Bog Snorkeling Championship, I'm amazed the sport isn't better known in the States. Though, after reading about it from the 2000 Woman's champion, I think I'd rather participate in their horse racing marathon (there's a big bonus for crossing the finish before the horse) or bikeless bog snorkeling events. What sporting events are there where you're from that haven't yet gotten the world wide audience they deserve?
Armstrong Among Best Ever. Mike Celizic at MSNBC states his case for Lance, counteracting an earlier Ron Borges column questioning if Lance was an athlete at all. I'd like to think Mike went into Ron's office and maybe cuffed him once or twice... Score one for the cyclists (earlier discussion here).
Odyssey 2000 has finally ended but many of the riders had complaints (and one person even lost a leg in Sweden).