Bicycle Race

Sebastian Bleasdale

Card game

4–6 players • 20 minutes

Published 27/09/13 • Cards v1.0 • Rules v1.0

What you need

You only need the 18 cards. Nothing else is needed to play.

You’re a cyclist competing for position in the peloton, but overtaking the leaders isn’t easy. You’ll need skill in bluffing and a healthy dose of luck. Can you out-think the other riders and reach the head of the pack in time to seize victory?

About the game

Bicycle Race is an object lesson in how restrictions breed creativity. Sebastian first conceived of a game in which players advance by means of a series of pairwise contests some years ago. However, the game stalled until he embraced the extra challenge of creating it with just 18 cards.

With few available cards, you are limited in the mechanisms you can use for player interaction, and Sebastian chose the simplest one: bluffing. He experimented with various bluffing mechanisms, finally settling on one where the release of information during the round from resolved challenges provided variety across games.

So if you’re stuck in a creative project, why not give yourself some artificial restrictions? If you’re painting, try to use an excess of yellow; if you’re writing, add a mute character. Alternatively, if you’re simply stuck on what game to play next, why not give Bicycle Race a spin?

About the designer

Sebastian Bleasdale started designing games in 2003, when a play test of Reiner Knizia’s designs left him with the belief “I can do this!”. A decade of hard work and a string of successes later, there’s little doubt he was right. He currently divides his time between designing board games and working with pensions, finding more similarities between them than one might expect.