I was eating dinner with some friends the other day, talking about how much I loved cycling and coaching. When they asked why, I began to explain with increasing vigor and emotion. I said “Cycling is the most beautiful sport in the world!” Here are many of the aspects of cycling that I love:
Cycling is colorful! If there is one thing I love in the world it is a good bright color. The peloton is a moving kaleidoscope.
Cycling is free to watch. There is no other sport in the world with millions fans watching live, in person, at theÂ biggestÂ championships, without buying a ticket. This was the original freemium model: give people something of great value for free and they will gladly check out your sponsors.
Cycling combines high tech with art.Â Bicycle racing has theÂ technologyÂ ofÂ NASCAR: high end composites, weather dependent tire choices, enhanced nutrition, and high performance clothing. Bicycles are also art in and of themselves. Check out a handmade bicycle sometime, for example Mosaic Cycles. TheÂ aestheticsÂ of the bicycle in its functionality and simplicity speaks to me.
Cycling is the most strategic and mentally challenging sport. Consider this: there are 20 teams racing for a win at once, instead of just two. One must keep track of the physical tragectories and fatigue levels of 200 riders, all at once. The playing field is constantly changing, and riders must make split second, race deciding decisions when at their most oxygen deprived. With these factors in mind, the picture of the metal toughness and strategy required to be a succesful road racer begin to be illuminated.
Cycling requires the pursuit of physical perfection. Training the body tears it down. The goal is to recover and be stronger. Â Simple idea, but in execution, it is exceedingly difficult. Constant monitoring is required over days, months, and years, to walk the fine line between progress and injury.
Cycling createsÂ heroes.Â The races are long and we follow cyclists year round, and begin to see their trials and tribulations as individuals. This creates for us the classicÂ heroesÂ tale known in all cultures: of triumph overÂ adversityÂ and sharing of success to the joy of the rest of us. Â As evidence: loveÂ him or hate him, Lance’s comeback story is the most compelling in recent sports history.
Cycling is a lifetime investment. To beÂ a top cyclist requires years, and tens of thousands of miles. Think Warren Buffet-style and go long term. Â Cyclists dream big and pour themselves into their occupation.
Cycling is freedom. The most efficient mode of transportation gives an individual unlimited freedom of movement, expression, andÂ adventure. Â It frees the mind to think important thoughts. Â It frees the spirit from confinement. Â Cycling places a person out in the sun where we belong.