Do You Think Cycling Can Be As Popular As The Other Major Sports In The U.s.?

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by thepieeatingjay, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay New Member

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    Most of us tht live in the United States know of four sports that seem to dominate all others. Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Hockey. All the other sports are sort of put behind the other four.

    But if a fifth sport can be made at least as popular as the main four, do you think it's possible to make Cycling that fifth sport?
     
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  2. classic1

    classic1 Well-Known Member

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    No
     
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  3. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Member

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    I don't think that it can be as popular, cycling is way more entertaining for those riding than for those watching, that is the main reason.
     
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  4. blur92

    blur92 New Member

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    That's exactly right. Cycling lacks the entertaining appeal that basketball, football, tennis, etc. has. There is little interaction amongst competitors.
     
  5. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Member

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    I think we have all watched it on TV and I mean, the guys are just ridding and there is really not much entertainment. It's not that they don't interact, the whole sport was not conceived to be entertaining I think.
     
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  6. blur92

    blur92 New Member

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    Well, I do not believe any sport was particularly conceived to entertain an audience; they were developed as a means to entertain those who played. People watching from the sidelines naturally resulted.
     
  7. BrockJohn

    BrockJohn New Member

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    I think cycling can become as popular, but the nature of the bicycle sport seems to differ from that of the major sports in the U.S. (the biggest sporting events such as the tour de france, lack the same degree of action, and are more slow paced) where I live, in Denmark, cycling is a pretty popular sport, but I think that has to do with how many people have been biking as part of their upbringing, and bicycle daily. Without that cultural background, I think it's hard to make it a popular sport..
     
  8. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    No.

    I've been at it since 1972 and l cycled through the big 'bike boom' of 1970-1973...all the Earth Day Crap...the Eco movement...hippies...drugaholics...Hands Across America...hipsters...yada yada.

    At its very apogee cycling was still such a niche sport and activity that it barely was a blip on the radar of Ohioans. It didn't play in Peoria.

    Bicycle racing? Until Greggy Lemond won that that biker race in France there wasn't one American in 10 even aware bicycles were raced. Yeah, there was plenty of USCF action for a couple decades, but it was the same old cast performing the same old passion play weekend after weekend and it died a painful death.

    What are we left with in my area? Old farts doing sparsely attended cyclocross and mostly clueless yout's doing something bizarre and all weirdness they refer to as 'gravel grinders'. See also: Hilly Billy Roubaix or Amish Roubaix.

    And when it comes to the pros...the only people that turn out to watch are...the old guys that 'used to race' bikes. Sally Soccer Mom could not possibly care less about bicycle racing unless her son or daughter are one of the one tenth of one percent of America's kids that line up for the local crit. Larry The Welder? No beer sponsors...no sexy cheerleaders (I shed a tear for the former Rock & Republic Racing podium gurlz!)...no time outs to go take a whizz and grab another PBR...sorry. After Lance's 'comeback story' there's nothing much left in the 'made for TV' zone we call bike racing.

    These days even NASCAR is a waning 'sport'.

    Now, if we were to organize a keirin league of supermodels and porn queens in see-thru lingerie...there might be a chance of some level of interest from 46% of our population. I'm always up for that!

    Seriously. Nope. Nope. And Nope.

    I guess that leaves it up to us to enjoy the Hell out of it and carry the torch for the few youngsters that will come after us.
     
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  9. johnderman

    johnderman New Member

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    As far as cycling, I don't think so. It will never be as huge as soccer, aka futbol, or some of the other popular sports. I'm actually surprised you left soccer out. Yes, cyclists are celebrities to a point but not as huge as sports players in other sports.
     
  10. BrockJohn

    BrockJohn New Member

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    Hahaha, I'm certain that would capture the interest of more people, wish we had people like you working for major sports organisations :D
     
  11. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Member

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    haha, that reminds me of that lingerie american football, if something of the kind was made regarding cycling, the interest in watching it would raise to never seen levels. :)
     
  12. BrockJohn

    BrockJohn New Member

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    Those bumps in the roads would suddenly be a whole lot more interesting :D
     
  13. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Member

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    Yes, I do. Here's how:

    Imagine the Tour De France meets a Monster Truck rally. There are fire rings to jump through & electric fences to crash into at turns. Everyone is in Mad Max style attire. The prize is a date with *hot chick here* & a money stuffed bottle of Dom. Now, tell me you wouldn't watch that?
     
  14. blur92

    blur92 New Member

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    Gladly, that doesn't exist albeit it would be insane to watch nor do I think it would ever exist :D
     
  15. gavinfree

    gavinfree Member

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    As a regular rider, absolutely not. It's not even plausible to suggest that cycling could become the next big sport. It lacks all of the appeal of football, baseball, hockey, basketball, and even golf. The competitive element to it is relatively lackluster because the races don't occur at Nascar speeds. People don't want to see bicyclists crash either, they want to see cars light on fire. That's just how it is, as much as I like cycling myself.
     
  16. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Member

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    Yep, even if it's a great sport to do, it lacks the spectacular element. Just figure, some dozen guys riding a bike for four hours? Who sees that really?
     
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  17. stevegreer

    stevegreer Member

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    I think there are some elements at play that will keep cycling from ever being as popular in the US as it is in Europe. One of the main things is the average person is VERY hateful towards cyclists and see us as a nuisance when we are out on a ride. Unless there is a cycling lane in your town, I'm sure most of us have had the evil looks, drive-by cuss out, or even the occasional bottle thrown at us. Anytime there is an article in my local paper about a cyclist being hit by a car, the majority of the comments in the comment section are along the lines of "he deserved it" or "too bad I wasn't the one who ran him over" or "well he should have stayed his a$$ off the road." It is really sickening. Then again, in many cases, cyclists tend to have a certain "I own the road" mentality that drives commuters crazy. So, as long as there is a widespread endemic of hatred toward cyclists, I think the sport will not catch on.

    Next, Americans are by far a rather lazy sort of people who tend to enjoy watching sports on the TV rather than actually participating in them. And, as stated in previous posts, cycling is overall a slow paced sport. I think it's safe to say that the majority of people who watch cycling are cyclists. This is the complete opposite of other sports. There are plenty of football (American football) fans who watch games but rarely, if ever, play it. The same can be said for basketball, baseball, hockey, etc.

    Lastly, cycling is an expensive sport/hobby. The bikes are expensive. Tires, saddles, pedals are expensive. High quality clothing, shoes, helmets are expensive. If you don't know how to maintain your bike, taking it to a shop for maintenance or repair is expensive. It's not like going to Dick's sporting goods and plopping down $20 for a basketball and going to a court for a pickup game. The price alone is a turn-off for many people. I mean seriously, there are road bikes that cost more than a motorcycle or even a good used car! Madness, I tell you!
     
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  18. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Right, you are, Steve.

    Americans watch sports. Sure, there is 'some' measure of participation, but going by the numbers we weekend warriors are in a very slim minority.

    And really, who the hell can sit on their ass for two hours and WATCH golf? Just shoot me! Watching paint dry evokes more drama.

    You are correct about the expense. And I would add the knowledge factor. Cycling isn't just an activity a guy can be good at in a few weeks. Or months. It takes patience, perseverance and dedication. Three qualities not often found in abundance in the humanoid blobs found in my locale.

    And your mention of the attitude of motorists towards cyclists is spot on the money. America is a nation on wheels...as long as those wheels are attached to a large-displacement internal combustion engine and has a seat directly derived from a La-Z-Boy showroom. All we do is piss off drivers. We inspire so few as to be statistically insignificant.
     
  19. ZXD22

    ZXD22 Member

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    Compared to basketball, football, soccer, hockey, etc... Nope probably not. It's just one of those sports where it is way more fun to do than to watch. I mean who would really want to watch a guy bike 100 miles and sit in their chairs all day? Sure the decents and stuff would be pretty cool to watch, but why not just going out there and experience the wind in your face going 30 mph+?
     
  20. Tech72

    Tech72 New Member

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    Never will cycling amount to a major spectator sport in NA. It's a fantastic sport to participate in, but is slow and boring as a spectator sport on TV. Even watching early flat stages of the Tour or the first few hours of a Classic can put the most ardent cycling fan to sleep. The average NA sport fan just does not have the patience or attention span to take in the pace of a world class cycling race like Milan-San Remo or other Classics, which can take upwards of 7-8 hours to complete. Especially when the "action" really only happens during the last hour of these races. Nor do most NA have the interest to follow a race that spans three weeks.
     
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