Artistic cycling

When you think of bike stunts, this may not be exactly what comes to mind. But the amazing stunts performed by these two young German girls in leotards seem to effortlessly defy the laws of physics. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

The video was taken at the 2009 Junior European Championships of Kunstradfahren, or artistic cycling. A mixture of gymnastics, dance and – well, cycling – artistic cycling has been going since 1888, when German-American Nicholas Edward Kaufmann held the first unofficial world championships, largely to showcase his own trick bicycling. The first official world championships were held for men in 1956 and for women in 1970.

The bikes, kunstrads, have a 1:1 ratio fixed-gear, which allows them to be ridden in those obscenely difficult-looking backwards wheelies. They also have specially modified handlebars which allow the riders to stand on them etc. – not usually a design consideration for regular handlebars.

Remember the wartime dance-off we witnessed a while ago? It looks like people have been doing all sorts of cool stuff since things were black and white!

Richard Steyer, artistic cyclist, 1905

Video via BitsandPieces

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