How long have you been a cyclist? In your time on the bike, perhaps you’ve veered off the beaten track to try some Mountain Biking or possibly experimented with Cyclocross. However, once you’ve exhausted these disciplines, what others could you conceivably try?
With tongue planted firmly in cheek, we investigate some of the more unusual ways to use a bike…
Mowing the lawn:
Fed up of the roller and want to do something constructive while you train? How about strapping a rusty old lawnmower to the front of your bike? The wife will be happy, considering the fact that you’ll keep the lawn in fine condition. Plus, you’ll also be able to enjoy the great outdoors without ever having to stray more than a few yards from your doorstep! In reality, you’ll probably want to buy a relatively cheap bike before transforming it into a monstrosity such as this. Furthermore, there’s probably a good reason this has never really taken off.
Transport your dog:
Evidently, it’s bound to be you that will receive the vast majority of the benefit from said exercise, but you could always swap halfway through and let your faithful friend take the strain, as this Dalmatian from Japan demonstrates so aptly.
Towing with your bicycle.
Ok, so obviously you’re all thinking the same thing – “But I don’t have a dog!” Well, there’s plenty of other unusual ways you can use your bike. For instance, towing various objects and other vehicles can be a great way to save fuel and protect the environment while also building those leg muscles!
Many people enjoy the daily commute into work on their bikes. On the other hand, how about taking your work with you… to work? To explain a little more clearly; one inventive individual has decided to take his window cleaning business to the masses by transporting his equipment around on the back of his bike.
Merely attach your jet ski to the back of your bike, placed precariously atop a small DIY cart, like this adrenaline seeking gentleman and meander down to your nearest lake or beach front location.
Hang on a minute though, before you rush out you might need to spend a few extra hours on the turbo as a precursor to attempting long distances with this on the back of your bike. You have been warned!
The top of the caravan can even shelter you from the rain. Just pray the winds don’t pick up because it might not be too stable. Bear this is mind when choosing a suitable camp site.
Regular commuters are perhaps beginning to tire of the same old monotonous route into work. Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood is one such cyclist who has attempted to inject some variety back into her commute by always trying to go a different way home. Ultimately, this tactic is bound to work for a time, but when you’re doing 50 mile detours after a long day at work you might want to rethink your strategy.
Well, you could always take a leaf out of Danny MacAskill’s book and look into street trials! With some of these moves there’s bound to be one or two new shortcuts you can take. Probably best not to attempt stunts like these on your road bike though.
Dancing with bikes:
We’re all guilty of some embarrassing dance moves that we’d rather not share ever again. Under any circumstances. Ever. However, we can all appreciate that others can teach us a thing or two on the dance floor. This groovy gentleman from Senegal in Western Africa demonstrates exactly how it’s done on his bike, with some native drum beats spurring him on.
Taking this blog one step further into the unusual are these scuba divers from the Grand Caymans. Whatever possessed them to drop a bike to the seabed before proceeding to cycle it underwater is beyond us. As the video below reveals, several modifications may be required before ‘scuba cycling’ can really take off.
Getting on the bike doesn’t appear to be a problem. However, without wanting to burst their bubble, so to speak, trying to keep the front end down appears to be a much more troublesome prospect. Undoubtedly not the most efficient method of transport we’ve ever seen.
Unfavourable weather getting you down? Stuck inside on the roller? Particularly in the UK as of late, relentless snow has made cycling increasingly difficult.
Team Sky rider Russel Downing made the risky venture out onto the roads before the new year, but what if you aren’t as comfortable doing the same? You could always replace your wheels with ski’s as demonstrated below. We’re not sure if the climbs would be as exhilarating as the descents though. Even the best climbers in the business could struggle up hills on this. Perhaps some kind of snowy Cyclocross type discipline could emerge on the back of this innovative design. Or perhaps not.
We’ve already touched on this to some extent, but there’s so many modifications you can make to your bike, it undoubtedly deserves its own section.
Perhaps you need a project for the weekend. Something to keep you busy while the weather improves? How about making use of some old shoes while simultaneously replacing that buckled wheel you’ve never got round to replacing on your old bike? I present the ‘walking bike’!
On the other hand, perhaps you’ve got a lack of spare shoes but plenty of spare bikes. If so, how about converting your old bikes into a single outdoor conference centre! An excellent way to impress the boss and even find a new love interest if this video is anything to go by!
Perhaps this is too big a project for a single weekend though. For something more manageable, how about adding a nifty storage solution in the form of a shopping trolley? You won’t find this kind of storage space in a pannier bag! The chap pictured here certainly knows this and looks thoroughly pleased with himself. Rightly so!
Finally, for those planning a North American camping trip this year, but simply can’t bare to part with their bikes, take this ‘bison bike’ and instantly blend in with the native bison and become one of the herd! Please note that unfortunately we will be unable to accept responsibility for any subsequent wolf/bear attacks that result through use of this bike.
Haven’t seen anything that might take your fancy just yet? Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you’re more interested in some team sports. There’s plenty of options for you, with bicycle polo being one of the most popular. It’s been around for over a century, and in 2001, even became officially recognised by the UCI.
Since 2007, there has been a surge of interest in ‘Hardcourt Bike Polo’, also known as ‘Urban Bike Polo’. This is a much faster version of the game with much more informal rules. The perfect excuse to hit your friends with a mallet.
For the more artistic among us, bicycle ballet is an extremely skilful discipline. Although a little less flamboyant than the gymnasts in the next section, bicycle ballet dancers have some incredible balance and control. In addition, for all those worried about their masculinity, or just general embarrassment, the tutu doesn’t appear to have made the transition into bicycle ballet. On the other hand, having been clad from head to toe in skin tight Lycra, its debatable which of the two outfits could be more disconcerting. All joking aside, the extremely impressive bike ballet team below really are something to behold.
If you want something a little more exciting than bike ballet, then maybe bike gymnastics will float your boat. Similar to bike polo, bike gymnastics is also now recognised by the UCI as a legitimate sport.
We doubt Cipollini would approve of such a sport given his outburst in the cycling media late last year. He decried modern cycling’s lack of ‘machismo’, suggesting the competitive spirit of the modern cyclist has begun to diminish. He cited Schleck and Contador’s affection over the past few years as evidence of this dwindling masculinity.
Cipollini admitted to being far more expressive when he was defeated and he believes that the riches now on offer to top cyclists mean that the edges have softened on many traditional rivalries. As a solution, perhaps Cipollini would have Schleck, Contador and others competing in one of the more stereotypically feminine sports depicted in this blog, leaving professional road cycling to the ‘real men’?
Finally, maybe they’re onto something in this clip from the 1990 film ‘Quick Change’, starring Bill Murray and Randy Quaid among others. What better way to settle your differences than with a bicycle joust?
Bicycle jousting is apparently gaining popularity, with many residents of New Orleans deciding to combine abnormally tall bikes with bicycle jousting to create the ultimate fusion of weirdness. These events are still fairly infrequent, since the competitors are presumably working feverishly on spreading word of their newly created sport. However, these jousts appear to be pretty intense affairs and not something we’re planning on partaking in any time soon. Well, we’ll perhaps nominate PBK John, considering his rugby background and therefore his enjoyment of contact sports, and merely soak up the spectacle from a distance.
Do you know of any more unusual uses for a bike that we haven’t covered in this blog? Have any taken your fancy? Let us know your thoughts!