Videos: Bicycle curling, racing on ice - a way into the Winter Olympics for bikes?
Just a bit of fun... but unlike cyclo-cross, could these meet IOC's "snow and ice" requirement?
Every four years, there are calls for cyclo-cross to become part of the Winter Olympic programme. But since the sport doesn’t take place only on snow or ice, they’ve failed. Here are some videos showing how bicycles could get in. They're inspired by two existing sports; curling and short track speed skating.
The first video is from Toronto’s annual Icycle event. Races take place on an outdoor ice rink. Unlike many short-track speed-skating races, all the riders manage to stay upright.
There's also a bit of fancy dress on show - so maybe it could go the figure-skating route, sequinned costumes and all?
There’s more background on the event at Toronto cycling website, Dandyhorse. You'll also find some cracking photos of the evening’s racing there.
You'll notice they're taking it easy around the corners. Mind you, check out some of the sliding action from this video shot in Poland.
Its title - Cycle Speedway on a Frozen Lake - does suggest that despite similarities to short track speed skating, it would fall foul of the IOC's "snow and ice" requirement.
The next video shows a rudimentary attempt to adapt curling to two wheels.
Okay, there’s not so much as a flake of snow or even an ice cube in shot. Nor is there any hint of a scoring system.
But as YouTube member Cyclocrossable, who uploaded the video, says, "I think I may have found the way in that cyclocross has been looking for ..."
We put our thinking caps on in the road.cc office to think about how bicycle curling could comply with the "snow and ice" rule. Here’s what we’ve come up with.
Take one curling rink. Strew it with the stuff you’d find in your average urban cycle lane - broken glass, gravel, a half-eaten kebab, discarded carrier bags. You get the idea.
Have the two sweepers use their brooms to get rid of all that debris, while the skip – sorry, rider – tries to make it from one end of the rink to the other without coming a cropper.
Fastest cyclist wins, and given the state of some of the cycle lanes in the UK, Team GB would be well up for a medal chance. We think we're onto a winner here.
Which other Winter Olympic sports could get the two-wheeled treatment? Let us know in the comments below and if you can find a video of someone actually attempting it on a bike, even better.