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Cycling vs the world

Contact Just Ride the Bike on twitter @justridethebike

How does riding a bike measure up against different sports, past times and leisure pursuits using some random criteria that are clearly open to scrutiny? Let us know what you think and send in some suggestions to for us to test out. All ratings out of 100 and editor's decision is final.


Cycling vs football 


Equipment/kit – what do you need?

Football: Hardly any equipment needed – Football only needs a ball (any ball with sufficient air in it – beach balls are crap) and one person (think of Bobby Charlton hitting balls relentlessly against walls of houses in Bishop Auckland or wherever), but ideally more than that. You don’t need shoes. You don’t even need jumpers for goalposts – but it helps. Rating: 9/10

Cycling: Well, you need a bike. Shoes are good too as pedals can be nasty on bare feet – but it can be done without. The bike is a deal breaker though. Any bike is good. 7/10


Anyone can play – is that right?

F: That’s right. Despite sexism, racism and people feeling awkward about disability football is, can and should be totally inclusive


C: Yes. Absolutely anyone. There are so many bikes of all shapes, sizes there is always one to fit anyone. It is totally inclusive.


Can you do it anywhere?

F: Pretty much, but the best places are flat. Football is played by children in streets, back alleys and scrub ground. Maybe not on mountains though, and trees and woods don’t work so well 6/10


C: Absolutely. Flat is good, but can be dull (albeit fast) and cycling makes a massive thing of going up and down really steep climbs, dodging in and out of trees and especially descending steep vertiginous slopes. 10/10


Can you play football on the way to the shops?

F: In theory you could, with the right skills dribble a ball to the shops on the pavement or down the road. How easy it would be on the way back with the shopping might be open to question. You’d need a big bag on your back. 5/10

C: Cycling is born to go to the shops. Think of all those bikes with baskets on the front or panniers at the back. Think of the delivery bikes going to and from the sops for you. And if you were doing a massive shop you take panniers, baskets and rucksacks, or hire a cargo bike.


Can football be used as a means of travelling to work?

F: It’s a bit like shopping. The problem would be keeping control of the ball and the distance to work. You can carry what you need on your back – but how far? It would basically be like running to work with the added discipline of ball control. 5/10

C: Cycling is a huge thing for commuters. People think nothing of riding a bike 20-miles a day in all weathers to go to work. Dribbling a football that distance each day might not be so great. 8/10

On holiday: how’s that work then?

F: Tricky one. Obviously, you can take the basic piece of kit – a ball – on holiday. Use it on the beach even in the airport lounge or the odd car park. But it won’t play a part as the central element of the holiday itself. Unless your holiday was a football tour with competitive matches mixed with down time. 6/10

C: Similar this, but cycling has more options. You can take the bike on holiday, even hire one when you get there and use it for all sorts of things. You can even go on a touring holiday. You could take your bike and compete with other riders at races etc. So, the same, but it might be a bit easier to make the bike the central element of the whole trip. 7/10


Is it expensive?

F: It depends on how far you take it. A football can be as cheap as you want. You don’t even need a proper football anyway. Or you can go professional and build a stadium – that can be pricey. Football is inclusive, the world’s most popular sport. It shouldn’t be expensive when you start. 8/10

C: You could get a bike anywhere and cheaply. But it is always going to be more expensive than a football. 6/10

Can you watch it on TV?

F: Yes, almost all of the time on most channels. In fact, to an extent, you struggle to get away from it as it is in the news all the time.


C: Yes – but not all the time. The summer is easier, especially when the Tour de France is on, but by no means is it on every channel.


Is it free to watch as a spectator?

F: Yes and no – you can watch it for free in theory, but if you want to watch football at its highest level then definitely not. Tickets for professional matches are very expensive. 6/10

C: Yes and no – but mostly yes. You can pay for tickets to watch top racing at velodromes and the VIP zones of the major road events, but as a rule, you can watch cycling at the side of a road for free. Just see the crowds at the Tour de France and see what a great time they have waiting and then watching the bike race go past. 8/10


Can you do it all year round?

F: Yes 10/10

C: Yes 10/10

Scores on the doors

Football - 75

Cycling – 82


In summary: Clearly just riding the bike is better than football. Put that ball down. Just ride the damn bike.

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