Why Do Horses Join Bike Races

Why Do Horses Join Bike Races? From Stables to Start Lines

It all started a few years back when I was just a wee lad going to the county fair with my pappy.

We were watching the big bike race they hold every year, with folks on their fancy racing cycles zipping around the dirt track.

Well, out of nowhere came old Bessie, the horse who lived on the farm down the road.

I guess she wanted in on the action, cause she came galloping onto the track and started running alongside those bike racers!

At first folks thought it was just a fluke, like maybe Bessie had gotten loose and wandered over.

But then it happened again the next year, and the next! Every time that bike race would start up, here came Bessie trotting out to join.

It was the darndest thing any of us had ever seen!

Turns out, horses are just natural competitors who love to run.

They see those cyclists booking it around the track and get an itch to show their speed too.

Horses Have a Need for Speed

Now I bet you didn’t know this, but horses can run up to 30 miles per hour when they really get moving.

Why Do Horses Join Bike Races

Those fancy racing bikes might look fast, but they’ve got nothing on a galloping horse. So when a horse sees a race happening, their natural instinct is to jump in and see if they can keep up.

It’s just in their competitive blood. Horses are athletes after all, even old Bessie who mostly just wandered around eating grass all day.

Once they see a chance to stretch their legs, they can’t resist! Bessie was a quarter horse, built for speed with her muscular hindquarters. When she saw those cyclists zipping around, well her quarters just started twitching with the need to run.

Showing Off Their Skills

Another reason horses like to crash bike races is to show off their running skills. Horses take great pride in their speed and endurance.

Why Do Horses Join Bike Races

So when they see those cyclists racing around, it’s like an open invitation to trot on out and demonstrate their superiority.

I remember dear old Bessie keeping pace with those racers lap after lap, just flying around the dirt track with her mane and tail flowing.

You could tell she was having the time of her life out there! And the way she’d flick her ears and toss her head when she passed those bikes, oh you just knew she was feeling pretty smug.

Bessie came from a long line of champion racehorses, with top thoroughbreds in her bloodline. Now she never got to actually race at the track, spending her days as an old plow horse.

Why Do Horses Join Bike Races

But when that starting gun fired, oh you could see her heritage shine through. She’d get this look in her eye as she leaned forward and dug in those hooves.

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Those powerful muscles would start bunching up as she expended that pent up energy. For a few minutes she could pretend she was one of herTriple Crown winning ancestors.

One time she even outpaced Stevie “Lightning” McGee, who was the reigning county cycling champion. Stevie about near busted his engine revving that bike to its limits trying to pass old Bessie in the home stretch.

But that mare just had too much heart – she crossed the finish line with a full length lead, head held high with pride. After getting beat by a horse, Stevie retired right quick from racing and took up miniature golf instead.

It’s Just Plain Fun!

But the biggest reason horses run in bike races? Because it’s fun! Horses love to run and romp and get all kinds of exercise. A bike race just looks like one big party they can’t wait to join.

Why Do Horses Join Bike Races

Bessie would trot off that track with the biggest horsey grin, like she’d just had the time of her life.

Running alongside new two-wheeled friends, feeling the wind in her mane, getting all kinds of attention from the crowd – what’s not to love? For horses like Bessie, a bike race is the most entertainment you can get on four hooves.

Most days Bessie just ambled around the pasture, grazing on grass without much excitement. So when that bike race started up each year, she’d get all energized and animated.

She’d pace at the fence, nostrils flared as she watched those cyclists whizzing around the track. Then as soon as someone left the gate open, boom! She’d take off running. I swear that horse had a permanent smile the whole rest of the day after getting to cut loose.

All the cheering from the crowd just fueled her enthusiasm too. Folks would clap and holler as she galloped by, thrill

Horses Love the Competition

Make no mistake, horses are competitive creatures by nature. They love to run and test their speed against others. So when they see a bike race unfolding, their instinct is to jump in and see how they stack up.

Why Do Horses Join Bike Races

Bessie was no different. She might seem like a kindly old mare, but get her on a racetrack and her competitive fire lit right up.

She’d pin back her ears and lengthen her stride, trying her hardest to outpace those cyclists. I could see the exhilaration in her eyes as she surged past each bike, reveling in each small triumph.

One year, she even competed against a hot shot cyclist named Lance who came in from out of town. He had one of those newfangled 10-speed bikes and fancy aerodynamic outfits. But Bessie wasn’t intimidated one bit.

As soon as the race started, she was glued to Lance’s wheel, refusing to let him pull ahead. Around each turn, she’d gain a little ground until they were neck and neck.

That old horse wasn’t about to let some newcomer show her up in front of the home crowd! She dug deep and ended up edging out Lance by a nose at the finish line.

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Bessie loved testing herself against the younger and supposedly faster cyclists. I think it kept her competitive fires burning bright well into her golden years.

She just couldn’t resist the lure of a good race and the thrill of running head to head against the top two-wheelers in the county. For Bessie, it wasn’t just about having fun – she wanted to win!

The Attention Drives Them

Let’s be honest, horses are real hams who love being the center of attention. So when a big bike race rolls into town, they can’t help but get in on the action. All those cheering fans are an irresistible attraction.

Why Do Horses Join Bike Races

Bessie would preen and strut whenever she got into one of those races, playing to the crowds. She’d arch her neck and prance as she went by the stands, showing off for all the hollering folks.

Whenever she passed a cyclist, she’d flick her tail and throw in a little extra skip like, “Look at me! I’m beating you!” She was a real crowd pleaser.

During the races, all eyes were glued on Bessie as she galloped down the track. Folks would scream and applaud when she surged into the lead.

The announcer would excitedly call out her progress over the loudspeakers. Reporters would even interview us after, wanting the inside scoop on the four-legged phenomenon who kept crashing the bike races.

You could tell Bessie loved every second of her strange fame. She’d strut back to the farm after races like she was the Queen of England.

The local paper even featured her a few times, calling her the “Mysterious Mare” that kept surprising the cycling world. Bessie ate up the attention – and it made her all the more determined to keep photobombing those races!

Thrill of Speed

For horses, nothing beats the sheer thrill of running at top speed. Most days they just mosey around the pasture, so when an opportunity for speed arises, they can’t resist.

I could see the excitement build in Bessie as those bike racers whizzed by. She’d start hopping around and neighing, until she finally got loose and could join in.

As soon as she started running, you could tell it was pure bliss. Her eyes would get wide and nostrils flared as she galloped full tilt down the backstretch.

Bessie wasn’t built for short sprints, but once she hit her stride, she could maintain top speeds for miles. The longer the race went, the more she seemed to enjoy settling in and flying around lap after lap.

Whipping by the crowds in a blur, mane and tail whipping behind her – you could tell Bessie felt most alive when running free.

After the race, she’d buck and gallop around the pasture like she still had pent up energy to burn. Those cyclists could put their bikes away, but Bessie got to keep on running! Getting a taste of that speed and adrenaline just made her crave more.

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That’s why no fence or barricade could keep her away once the bike race adrenaline started pumping through her veins.

Natural Herd Mentality

Horses are herd animals, meaning they naturally like to stick together in groups. So when Bessie saw all those cyclists bunched up in a pack, her instinct was to run over and join the herd.

She would fall in among the bikes and start running alongside them like she was just another member of the peloton.

You could tell she felt right at home there among her new two-wheeled buddies. She’d even communicate with them in her own way, using little horse body language signs that seemed to say “Let’s finish this race together!”

Bessie hated being alone, so I think running with the pack helped soothe her herd mentality. She looked so much happier trotting along within a clump of cyclists than she did wandering solo in the pasture. Safety in numbers, even if those numbers had two wheels instead of four!

Once the race ended she’d stick close to the riders, nuzzling against them and neighing like she wanted them to come back to the farm with her.

Bessie just loved being part of a posse, even if it was a posse of people on strange metal horses. For her, joining that bike race was a chance find new friends that eased her lonely days out in the field.

Childhood Joy of Running Free

Most adult horses only get to run full speed when being exercised. So I think joining those races brought back the childhood joy of running wild across open fields.

As a gangly little foal, Bessie would have spent her days dashing around with boundless energy. Racing the wind, bucking and playing without a care. Those bike races probably stirred up happy memories of youthful freedom.

You could see her revert to a foal-like state when she joined the speeding pack of bikes. She’d toss her head and kick up her heels, feeling that invincible spirit again.

The years seemed to melt away as she galloped along, lost in the innocent joy of running just to run.

For Bessie, joining that fast-paced bicycle herd was a chance to reconnect with her untamed younger self. A brief window to recapture the thrill of open-air running that every horse experiences as a spindly-legged foal.

I’m sure it carried her back to those carefree days when racing across green meadows was simply a delight, before she became old plow horse Bessie.


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