Oh to be on two wheels zooming through nature without the trappings of the world buzzing around your ears. Cycling is a real passion of mine and one that I look forward to like a kid at Christmas every time I know I can pump up my tires, grease up my gears and strap on my lid. I have explored just about every square inch of my local area, including the mountains and have a cycling holiday in South Africa booked for next year.
The only thing I like as much as actually cycling, is watching cycling on television. I’m not fussy; any kind of cycling gets my blood pumping, be it the mad rush of watching those ‘downhill’ nutcases hurl themselves at every tree in the forest or the tension of watching the steely grit and determination of the road cyclists churning out eye watering mile after knee curdling mile. Simply bliss.
This made me think though; who are my all-time favourite cyclists? Here’s what I came up with, let me know what you think.
“Not Lance Armstrong!?” I hear some of you gasp. Eddy Merckx for those who don’t know (his full name is Edouard Louis Joseph Baron Merckx – how cool is that?) is a whole lot more successful. He won the Tour De France 5 times and every other classic cycle race at least twice. Plus he broke the world hour record. And a metro station is named after him in his homeland, Belgium.
His is probably one of the most recognized names in BMX, not just because he has a couple of video games to his name or because he hangs out with the Jackass crew or because he tore his spleen at the X Games in 1993, but because he has been actively building the sport for years and made ‘vert’ riding what it is today.
You probably saw him first on YouTube as his trials talents around Edinburgh made him shared extensively around the net. Since then he has been in adverts, music videos and television programs; hopping around, defying death and generally doing cool things on a bike for our pleasure.
I watch downhill races from behind the sofa. It’s such an exciting sport to watch and over the last decade Steve Peat has done it better than most. He has more wins in downhill than any other racer.
So who are your favorite cyclists of all time?