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It's hard to say which is more impressive: the fact that Russell Crowe's cycle training regime involves cigarettes and tacos, or that his athletic pride is so easily pricked. As widely detailed across the media in the past few days, the actor, currently based in Sydney and apparently training hard for a film role, took umbrage at a newspaper gossip columnist's mockery of his end-of-ride smoking and fondness for refuelling on calorific Mexican snacks.
His response was to invite the author, Annette Sharp — better known to her Sydney Daily Telegraph readers as Gossip Girl — for a ride across the city. While this was supposedly a race, once Crowe had established his apparent speed advantage over his opponent, an infrequent cycliist, he was in fact quite gentlemanly, even checking her bruised knee at one point after a tumble. In fact, he ends up coming across as quite a good sport. But what can we, as a Bike Blog, learn of Crowe the cyclist, going on the Telegraph's admirably detailed video and gallery of the epochal event?
He might be proud of his cycling prowess, but Crowe isn't really an enthusiast. That might be OK when racing Gossip Girl, Russell, but you'd feel the extra rolling resistance taking on a speedier opponent our own Matt Seaton , maybe? He's one of the few riders I've seen aged over 12 who has his already retro bar ends pointing upwards at a near degree angle.
He apparently travels to bike rides in a car. He rides on the pavement, although for a self-styled rule-breaking, hell-raising actor that's only to be expected. In fact, I'm now feeling somewhat rash — I think I could beat Crowe in a race, just as long as he stayed on his clunky MTB and I could use my road bike, and maybe he didn't jump too many red lights. It's a potentially fertile area: which movie star could you beat on a bike?
I'd fancy my chances against Dustin Hoffman, for example, but I'd be worried about Matthew McConaughey, not least for the amount of time he spends with Lance Armstrong. Who could you beat? Green living blog Cycling. Cigarettes and tacos: Russell Crowe's diet of bicycling Hollywood champions.