As many other things in life, the origin of what we call CYCLING PARTY today comprises a remarkable lot of fortunate events. Let’s start with my family. Back in the late 80s, a good share of the Hernando bunch moved to the beautiful southern Spanish city of Malaga chaising my grandpa’s professional steps. It must have been during one of the traditional summer get-togethers when my cousin Rodrigo and I heard our uncles talking about an old kids game they used the play back in the days. The board game’s theme was cycling and it comprised basic materials such as bottle caps, a wooden board and a pair of die. The young friends customized the caps with stickers of cycling legends first and raced them on the board later applying a basic set of rules similar to other dice-based games. “A very creative and affordable way to spend long afternoons with your friends” said my uncle while my cousin Rodrigo took good note of every detail.
Days later, Rodrigo and I were enjoying one of those hot summer afternoons by the pool with our friends. At some point Rodri recalled our uncle’s story unleashing great excitement among the young audience. In fact, it didn’t take more than a couple of days of detemined kids’ work to put together the first ever version of our own game. Each one of our friends picked their very own cycling squad that would be painted and glued over 1-peseta coins. What a myriad of legendary names of teams like Banesto, Euskaltel, Kelme, ONCE or Festina we had!
We also created the first set of basic rules, most of them still used today in the addictive Junior version of Cycling Party. We also played stage races, similar to the current Master version. However back then there was no smart software that could spare us all the hard calculations to obtain the final scores. Wasted hours of pen, paper and calculator that could have made a good accontant of me!
Anyway, I remember those days with a smile in my face: summer, family, friends, colorful maillots over the badly sketched wooden board… what a time!