It has been well documented how cycling is a unique sport. We fans can, for example, buy the same bikes as the pros and pretend that they make us faster. We can also ride the same roads as they do, by either stalking them on Strava, or picking a famous col or two for some street cred. But it just hit me yesterday (yep, a little slow on the uptake, I agree) that the sport is different in another way in relation to its fans – they are fitter. I give you some typical cycling fans.
And then there’s hockey.
It’s true that plenty of hockey fans actually play the sport, especially in Canada, but I would guess that the percentage is really, really low when compared to cycling. I can’t think of one pro cycling fan that I personally know who doesn’t ride.
I think one reason is that hockey is exciting and fast paced, whereas watching a pro cycling race can probably feel like getting your wisdom teeth pulled, all four, one by one, without anesthetic, in slow motion, if you don’t ride yourself. Cycling rules (written and unwritten) are also pretty esoteric, which can’t help matters.
Just a little Saturday morning rumination and to give myself another reason to get on the bike today.
5 thoughts on “Cycling Fans Aren’t (too) Fat”
Good point. A lot of team sports are the same way. Cycling is an individual niche sport (at least in comparison). I’ll have to pay more attention next time I watch tennis or swimming, but I think a lot of individual sports have relatively fit fans.
Very interesting observation, Aaron. Getting ready for a good Spring group ride here in Chicago:)
Or perhaps fat cyclists don’t go to the races that you watch. I seem to remember some pretty lumpy fans staggering up hills watching the TdF.
Admittedly, it wasn’t a very scientific observation on my part.