Disclaimer: I know that you are probably at work and that you will likely be tempted to just watch this video without the sound on but DON’T DO IT! The narrator’s commentary makes up at least half of this video’s awesomeness. (I have a tool in my laboratory that measures such things.) You will miss amazing moments, like when the narrator describes one man as a referee for high-class football clubs and says this about him:
“And he goes out training for referee, he runs backwards down the road…he’s been run over twice.”
You also might pick up that, although the title of this video claims that it is from 1950, at two points during the short film the narrator contradicts that claim. At around 4:40 in he observes:
“That must be the first of the mountain bikes, early sixties.”
What he’s looking at is a road bike with straight bars, really the first of the hybrids. But these guys are doing so much running and falling down; it really doesn’t matter what type of bike they’re riding (some riders are even running single speeds)…especially during the swimming leg of this proto-cross race. There are a couple serious water crossings in the video, you see dudes just CHUCKING their bikes across the river, nearly hitting other riders in the process.
The narrator doesn’t hold back either, no filter on this guy. As a rider of above-average carriage rolls by, the narrator snarks:
“Track man, time trialist, he might be riding this to lose a bit-ah weight.”
This video is what the term “classic” is truly reserved for.