With the rise of cycling in recent years, it seems like everybody is getting into the sport, which is a great stride for personal fitness. Sure you’ve purchased an expensive bike and some gear, but what about those days you don’t want to strap on some tight-fitting pants and shave your legs?
Luckily you can melt into the couch with a large pepperoni and garlic pizza and use a virtual bicycle in a digital world. There is a range of bike-related video games, from downhill races to Tour de France championships. Below is a list of the cycling video games you can either try your hand at or avoid altogether.
An absolute all-time classic and one that probably caused many an NES controller to be hurled into TV screens and through windows. It’s as if a sadist hired you to not only deliver papers, but be the world’s best cyclist as well.
The game revolves around you, a paperboy, delivering papers to different houses each day of the week. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, it’s a game that combines the brutality of Dark Souls with the reflexes of bullet-hell shooters. Your deliveries start off easy enough with only certain colour houses wanting papers, but you’ll either gain or lose customers depending on how well you do.
Not only do you have to deliver papers to certain houses, making sure they land on either the doorstep or in the postbox, but you need to avoid the Grim Reaper, runaway lawnmowers, tyres, and break dances. I wonder if we can speak to the local ward councillor about this neighbourhood? And why is there a woman with a rolling pin chasing me?
Pro Cycling Manager
Usually released to coincide with the Tour de France, the Pro Cycling Manager series has you either managing one of the top 90 pro cycling teams or participating in the races yourself. You’ll be able to manage sponsors, coordinate travel, and look at scouting. These are pretty in-depth simulators that include multiplayer components as well.
They’re a far cry from delivering newspapers or pulling off stunts, or even cycle pants, but at least you can manage a cycling team just like Lance Armstrong; without the steroids and bullying, of course.
Mountain Bike Rally
Released for the SNES, this 16-bit title was actually compatible with the Life Fitness Entertainment System exercise peripheral. The game ‘simulated’ mountain biking as best it could with players qualifying for different competitions, and choosing from a range of riders with different attributes.
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX / Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX
The success of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in 1999 spawned a range of extreme sports titles paired with professional names. Enter Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX and Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX, and while you may not know about them now, they were pretty hot stuff in the 90s.
The aim of these games is to score as many points as possible while performing a range of stunts. While they were popular for a while, the celebrity-named BMX titles never carried the same weight as the skateboarding counterparts and faded out during the Nintendo Wii’s lifetime.
Though if they had been around today, they may have been treated the same way as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 that not only shipped incomplete, requiring a massive patch to add in the rest of the game, but currently has an abysmal 32/100 on Metacritic.
Honourable mention: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
While this mode of transportation appeared in GTA: Vice City Stories and GTA V as well, it’s San Andreas that popularised it. Playing as Carl Johnson, you’re able to increase your cycling skill with a standard bicycle, BMX, or mountain bike. By doing so it’ll be harder for your character to fall off of the bike and you can achieve higher bunny hops. For some reason, these are also indestructible as well, but we’re not complaining.
Of course, all of this bike riding goes hand in hand with the mayhem and drive-bys you can cause, just like in real life.
And there you have it, several bike-related video games that you can gear up for. Now to actually find a copy of these games to play.