Cycling’s Best (and worst) Monsters

The weird creatures of biking, from Freeride to the Tour de France

October 31st, 2019 by | Posted in MTB, News | Tags:

Halloween is here once again, and with it an army of costumed kids (and cyclocross racers) running around dressed as all manner of scary characters.

Cycling has its fair share of villains, heroes and weird characters lurking in the woods. For Halloween, we’ve collected a short list of our favourite, and least favourite monsters, creatures and spirits from all disciplines of cycling. Its a odd list, to be sure, but it’s a weird sport, sometimes.

Here’s the seven best, and worst, monsters in cycling:

1) The Sasquatch

You never know what you’ll find riding in the forests of B.C. In a very odd ad for Jack Links, Brandon Semenuk encounters Sasquatch. There’s also a weird reference to Elias Garcia Martinez’s destroyed Ecce Homo for some reason, and the entire thing has very little do with beef jerky. But, say what you will. That furry dude can shred.

2) Brett Tippie’s nightmare monster  in Kranked IV (2001)

For this one we’re digging way back into the archives of the legendary Kranked video series, to 2001’s The Search for the Holey Trail. Made in the hay day of big-budget Freeride films, this classic has several mini-movies featuring Brett Tippie. In one horror-movie sequence, a giant monster eats the Canadian freeride pioneer.

3) The Cookie Monster

OK, this is really just Phil Gaimon running around with a giant cookie costume at the Tour of California, which recently went on hiatus. But the retired pro does have a weird obsession with cookies, and did frighten Vancouver’s Strava-warriors when he visited Canada last year. Gaimon’s Cookie Monster may be a minor-monster, but he makes the cut.

4) Trail fairies of Josh Bryceland’s … imagination

Not all Halloween spirits have to be scary. The trail fairies that join Josh Bryceland on his ride look downright fun to hang out with. They dig, they shred, and they just generally have positive vibes.

5) Marzocchi Super Monster T’s

Possibly our favourite retro Monster isn’t a living (or undead) being, but Marzocchi’s gargantuan triple crown freeride fork. With 300 mm of travel (that’s 1 foot) they were build of one purpose, and one purpose only. Big hucks.  Whether it was giant cliffs, stair gaps and road gaps, these heavy forks were bomb proof. They weren’t practical for daily riding, unless you wanted to spend extended periods of time freefalling on your bike and somehow survive. The forks were a big part of freeride mountain bikes progression when they were made in 2002-2004.

6) DiDi the Devil

Literally dressed up as the devil, Dieter “Didi” Senft has been following professional road racing around since 1993. Known as El Diablo, he appears in costume to spur on the riders on Tour de France and Giro d’Italia’s hardest climbs. He is amazing, an icon of cycling, and clearly one of the best monsters in cycling.

7) Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong

Not, surprising, or original, sure, but this guy is the worst. I know, I know, it’s been a few years since his decade-long campaign of deception, lies, cheating, and character assassination of former friends and colleagues. Why can’t we move on? Well, he hasn’t. And, as long he’s taking eyes and ears off clean athletes, we won’t either. And in case you need a reminder, here’s why “everyone was doing it” doesn’t cut it, and why it’s still too soon to forgive and forget, delivered by the rider with Canada’s favourite mutton chops, Geoff Kabush.