The Roaring 20’s; Cycling in the New Decade

By Bill Plock

In 1920 Velodrome racing was a very popular sport ranking up there with horse racing, boxing, baseball and rowing as one of America’s top spectator sports. The Tour De France was almost 20 years old and bikes had evolved into a shape that hasn’t really changed that much since.

1920 Iver Johnson Special

What will 2020 bring to the cycling, triathlon and endurance community here in Colorado? What will you be doing different, or more of, or less of? Will you be getting a new bike, a new coach, picking out some new races or events? What will happen in the advocacy world? Will we be safer this year, will new laws like last year’s vulnerable user bill, be passed to help make us safer. Or does that make us safer? What infrastructure will be installed to offer more access, safer roads, maybe less access? Who knows.

What we do know is there will be changes, as there always is. My hunch is we will see exponentially more e-bikes. I say that simply from a hike I did yesterday on Shanahan ridge in Boulder and I saw a few dozen cyclists riding about town and about half were on an e-bike, it just feels like a tipping point is inevitably closer to when half the bikes we see will be e-bikes.

We can count on new events attracting our unending thirst for new and different. We see events like the Triple Bypass bringing back the Double Triple (sign up HERE) and offering five different ride options when just a few years ago there was one ride. We see the upcoming Old Man Winter Rally on February 9th with ride and run options and a new title sponsor in Sufferfest Beer (sign up HERE). We see the long standing Karen Hornbostel time trial series partnering with USA Triathlon, BRAC and offering an incredible opportunity for triathletes to try the series for $199 which includes BRAC fees and a USAT membership (details HERE). We see events like the Leadville 100 and SBT GRVL partnering up for an incredible weekend of mountain biking called the Leadboat (details HERE). Without Limits has added the first ever gravel triathlon in Steamboat on August 2nd (details HERE). The long standing monthly ride in Boulder, Super Training (details HERE) will be adding some new categories and all fees are poured back into the community. These are a small sampling of things to consider in the new year.

But be on the lookout for more advocacy and more passion about keeping our sports and endeavors safe and relevant and growing. Look for Triny Willerton to keep pushing her award winning effort with her ITCOULDBEME campaign (https://www.itcouldbeme.org). Last year Megan Hottman (the Cyclist Lawyer) led a team to bring awareness (and money) to People for Bikes by breaking the world record for the longest ever static indoor cycling class–28 hours and change (story HERE). What will she be up to this year?

Bicycle Colorado will kick off the new year with their annual Moving People Forward conference which looks at all things about cycling and transportation (details HERE). Moving People Forward is an annual event that brings together thought leaders, innovators, decision makers, business leaders and stakeholders to explore the trends, topics, and technology at the forefront of the mobility revolution. The conference is Monday, February 10, 2020 at the Embassy Suites Downtown Denver. Part of this event will include a live podcast recording of the War on Cars podcast (details HERE).

That is a good way to introduce a link to a recent article by Peter Flax of Bicycling Magazine that breaks out five major reasons why cycling deaths have increased dramatically since 2011; bigger vehicles, smart phones, increased vehicular miles, more cyclists, and Vision Zero has stalled in many cities. Here is a link to the full article: (details HERE) What will we do in the 20’s to address these issues?

Will the 20’s be roaring and notorious like a century ago? Is CBD and THC the new alcohol and who will be Al Capone. Will we fight off a depression with all this rampant economic development similar to a 100 years ago? Will global warming be our dust bowl and who will be our Babe Ruth?

What endurance achievements will we see happen. Speaking of, look for a podcast coming up with Anders Hoffman who will be attempting to become the first person to ever do a full distance triathlon (IRONMAN) in Antarctica!

Happy Roaring 20’s

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