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?

by Simon_MacMichael   February 26, 2014  

Olympic Rings and Velodrome 3x2 (c) Simon MacMichael

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 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.

9 user comments

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Dual slalom on snow looks the biz.

Or biking bobsleigh, done on an actual Olympic track (okay it's not winter and there's no snow).

posted by Ghostie [93 posts]
26th February 2014 - 20:23


Apparently 'skibiking' is a thing.

Not convinced by the use of 'bike' seeing as there are no wheels, but...

Claud And I's picture

posted by Claud And I [20 posts]
27th February 2014 - 0:00


I was thinking about the whole 'snow and ice' thing the other day.

In Ski Jumping, nothing that actually gets scored happens 'on' snow or ice.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [1251 posts]
27th February 2014 - 0:19


The most obvious suggestion is a cross between cycling and luge/skeleton.

Take one rider and one bike (or two riders and a tandem for the two man event) and send them down the bobsled/skelton course.

Thrills and spills guaranteed.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
27th February 2014 - 10:52


How about nordic skiing on bikes? Thing is you'd need bike manufacturers to develop special bikes with wider rims and really fat tyres run at really low pressures. So it's a mad niche idea which would never take off, surely? I mean, you'd need a whole new bottom bracket standard, for a start.

posted by Malaconotus [80 posts]
27th February 2014 - 13:18


Loving the curling. Might have a go tonite...

We're all entitled to a reasonable opinion!

posted by Guyz2010 [298 posts]
27th February 2014 - 15:17


Winter Olympics here cyclists come!!!!

posted by jarredscycling [457 posts]
27th February 2014 - 15:43


for that ice speedway to work, the cycles would require studded tires so that the cyclists could keep the power on during the turns...

posted by Paul_C [341 posts]
27th February 2014 - 15:54


Paul_C wrote:
for that ice speedway to work, the cycles would require studded tires so that the cyclists could keep the power on during the turns...

Plenty of pics of studded tyres on that Dandyhorse article linked in the article... not sure the Polish guys in the other vid got the memo, though...

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9519 posts]
27th February 2014 - 16:44