People engage in cycling for exercise and leisure. Others join races… but there are people who just aren’t content with the norm. Check out these weirdest biking events around the world, ranked from kind-of-acceptable to downright odd!
10. Strider Cup World Championships
Number 10 on our list of weirdest biking events is for your little angel!
The Strider World Championship race is more cute than weird: it’s considered as the Tour de France for toddlers. This is a rare opportunity to witness kids up to six years old show off their biking skills!
Strider, a leading manufacturer of balance bikes, holds this event along with other races annually in different places to help kids develop confidence and sportsmanship.
The next World Cup will be on October 4-5, 2019 in Charlotte, NC. If you have kids and are interested in signing them up, you can refer to this link.
9. Bring Your Own Big Wheel
Where: Vermont St., San Francisco, California
In 2000, Jon Brumit found a big wheel and rode it down Lombard Street, a curvy street in San Francisco. He handed out fliers as an invitation for people to join him on Easter Sunday. This became a tradition, gathering around thirty like-minded people until the residents of Lombard St. called it off in 2006.
Jon Brumit was not one to quit, however. He and his crew took the BYOBW event to its current home, Vermont St. Fortunately, this street is even curvier! They still hold the race every Easter Sunday and accommodates both kid and adult groups. You can register for next year’s event here.
8. Marymoor Crawl
Where: Redmond, Washington
Velodromes are the skill hubs of cycling. Every summer, the Marymoor Grand prix hosts the Crawl where cyclists take part in a race that is half-slow and half-sprint in the Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome.
The starting point is at turn four, doing a standstill to avoid reaching the start/finish line before the bell rings. Participants can’t touch the floor with their feet or fall, grab the rails, veer off the track surface, ride backward, or touch other cyclists.
When the bell rings, participants have to sprint 400 meters (437 yards) to determine the winner. They held the Grand Prix on July 20 and 21 this year. So you better watch out for the schedule of next year’s race.
7. Brompton World Championships
Ten years in the making, the Brompton World Championship features well-dressed ladies and gents on Brompton bicycles. They hold the qualifiers in 15 countries around the world while championships are in the UK. Participants follow a dress code comprising a suit jacket, collared shirt, and tie. They may wear skirts, shorts, or cropped trousers, if that’s their preference. Shoes can come in all shapes and sizes as long as they’re comfortable.
The race starts with a dash to the starting line then four laps around the Goodwood Motor Circuit (16 km or 10 mi). Aside from first prize, participants can also win the Best Dressed award. Now that’s worth racing for!
6. World Mountain Bike Chariot Racing Championships
Where: Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales
Saturnalia is the Romans’ annual festival for Saturn which they celebrated during the winter. Green Events hosts this race for Saturnalia, hence the bike-driven chariots.
Teams of three, with two people riding bikes and one on the chariot, race another team until four teams remain in the grand finals. Like the Brompton World Championships, there are prizes for best Roman costume as well!
The course on the Abernant Lake Hotel property is half a mile long, built on tarmac and rough track.
5. Junkyard Cross
Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Beside the respected Bilenky Cycle Works workshop is a scrapyard that hosts a race that daredevils love to take on. The Junkyard Cross is an annual cyclo-cross race where cyclists have to challenge a track full of scrap metal, batteries, glass shards, tire barriers, and eroding vehicles. Rumor has it, slime oozes out of some gaps.
They redesign the junkyard course every year to keep all two hundred participants on their toes. Joining costs only $20.
4. Artistic Cycling World Championships
Have you ever wondered how gymnastics and cycling look like together? Artistic cycling is an indoor sport that requires participants to perform five-minute routines in front of judges. They can join alone or in teams of two, four, or six.
Cyclists use fixed gear bicycles with specific geometries to perform tricks. Although not everyone can join this Olympics-level competition, you can always be a spectator.
This competition deserves a good spot in our list of weirdest biking events.
3. Balloon Bike Race
Where: Warren, New Jersey
Here’s a race that’s sure to sweep you off your feet! The Balloon Bike Race of Warren County Farmers’ Fair assigns a balloon pilot to each participant. The pilot flies the cyclist and his bike, attached to the balloon basket via bungee cords, fifteen miles away. Once the balloon trip is over, the cyclist lands and has to find his/her way back to the fair using GPS.
Though it costs $200 to join, most of the proceeds go to charity. You can find more information here.
2. World Naked Bike Ride
Where: London, England
Undoubtedly, Londoners are progressive. Clothing is optional—most don’t wear anything but confidence! The event promotes a healthy body image, with the tagline, “bare as you dare”. Bikes aren’t the only form of human-powered transport; people can cruise on skateboards and inline skates too.
Stay tuned for announcements of next year’s Naked Bike Ride.
1. Discovery Diving Underwater Bike Race
Where: Beaufort, North Carolina
“Weird” is subjective but here at BikeHint, the Discovery Diving Underwater Bike Race tops our list!
Every year on July 4, cyclists gather for an underwater adventure on the Crystal Coast to explore the shipwrecks of Graveyard of the Atlantic.
The course runs from the Indra shipwreck then to the World War II U-boat where participants have to bike a 100-ft distance. That’s a lot of cardio!
Hope you had fun reading this list of weirdest biking events! Which one would you like to visit the most? Hit us up in the comments!
*feature image courtesy of Carlos Felipe Pardo [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)