5 Things Cyclists Can Learn from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
The Olympics are over, but the stories live on, and here at Simple Bike Insurance, we’re using them as motivation to get out and ride more. Here are five of our favorite stories and moments from the Olympics to get you pumped for your next ride:
You should push your limits sometimes
Charlotte Worthington was easily in position to podium in the women’s freestyle BMX event. She was one of the top contenders, but arguably not the woman that everyone assumed would take gold. (That woman was American Hannah Roberts.) But Worthington stunned the crowd on round 1 of the finals, throwing the first-ever-in-competition backflip with a 360 spin. She almost made it, but crashed as she landed just slightly wrong.
But that wasn’t the end of her story. She had a second chance to do the run (in freestyle BMX, there are two runs, and your best score is the score that counts). She could have played it safe and done a less difficult trick and likely still would have finished in silver or bronze position, but she tried the backflip 360 maneuver again. And this time, she landed it—and took the gold medal as a result.
You can make a comeback
Annemiek Van Vleuten had arguably the most embarrassing Olympic Games of all time when she celebrated what she thought was a gold medal finish in the women’s road race… but it turned out, another woman had finished nearly two minutes ahead and Van Vleuten hadn’t realized she was racing for second place. While this story made headlines around the world, she maintained her equilibrium, and came back to take the win in the time trial event two days later.
That’s the sign of a true champion: Even after such a rough, embarrassing moment in the road race, despite all of the press around her awkward finish, she was still able to come back and have a gold medal performance. So even when things don’t go your way on a ride or a workout, just remember—there’s always tomorrow.
You don’t have to be pro to be a gold medalist
While the world was buzzing about Van Vleuten’s embarrassing mishap in the women’s road race, one woman was celebrating her gold medal finish… And probably also working on lesson plans, because when she’s not winning the most important bike race in the world, she is a math professor. Austria’s Anna Kiesenhofer took the win by two minutes after executing a flawless breakaway early in the race. She wasn’t on any journalist’s radar for the win—nor did the other racers expect her to be off the front of the race. And that’s a great reminder for all of us that just because people don’t necessarily think you’re a top contender or capable of pulling off something big, you absolutely are.
Keep your head up on your rides
Mathieu Van der Poel was slated to be one of the top contenders in the men’s mountain bike race at the Olympics, but on the first lap, disaster struck. He was riding in the top five when he hit one of the big jumps on the course… but he mistakenly thought that a ramp that had been set up during pre-rides for the race was still going to be on the course, and it was only when he was airborne that he realized it was missing. He was unable to correct his trajectory and crashed spectacularly. While he eventually got up and continued riding, he had to pull the plug on his race after a couple laps due to his injuries.
Moral of the story? There are two: First, make sure if you’re doing a ride or a race, you know what’s coming up on the course. Second, if you’re not positive what’s coming up, proceed with caution!
Bike thefts happen… even at the Olympic village
Just a reminder to always lock your bike: Venezuelan BMX cyclist Eddy Alviarez left his bike outside of the dining hall in Tokyo and it disappeared, leaving the racer seriously stressed for two days before it was eventually (happily) recovered and returned. And of course, always make sure that your bikes—especially Olympic-caliber ones—are insured.
Remember: Our policies cover theft — even bicycle rentals so you won’t miss a ride while waiting on a new bike. Get your instant quote online now in seconds.