A Brief History of Bicycling in Westeros: Part 2A
Beyond the Wall: The Land of Always Bike Winter
To protect against future invasion by the White Riders, Brandon the Framebuilder commissioned construction of the Wall along his kingdom's northern border and established the Night's Watch to protect the realms of men. He then equipped the men of the Night's Watch with custom bicycles capable of withstanding the harsh terrain and even harsher climate in the wilds beyond the Wall. The Land of Always Bike Winter in the far north remains uncharted and, supposedly, inhospitable, but fantastic tales of giants and correspondingly giant bicycles in the icy wasteland continually make their way down to the Wall. As the Long Night has faded into legend, the Night's Watch has dwindled and their purpose has altered; their primary duty now is to protect the inhabitants of the North from wildling bike thieves from beyond the Wall.
Team Lannister and the Tour de Westerlands
House Lannister, the wealthiest house in the Seven Kingdoms, has long sponsored Team Lannister, the most elite racing team in the Seven Kingdoms and the Nine Free Cities. The official motto of House Lannister is "Hear Me Roar!" but the popular saying, "a Lannister always pays his debts," is more often heard. What is not often heard is that this is actually a play on the official Team Lannister motto, "A Lannister Always Trains His Best." The world-famous Tour de Westerlands is held every year in the Lannisters' dominion; Lann Armstrong is a well-known winner of this race.
As "High" as Honor: Bikes and Counterculture in the Vale
The strict code of honor and tradition among the noble houses of the Vale of Arryn, combined with frequent, violent armed conflicts between them and the hostile mountain clans, has bred a movement among young smallfolk in the Vale to reject the traditional values held by the nobility. However, the only characteristics of this countercultural identity that are well-known outside the Vale are recreational drug use and alternative transportation. It is not known why this is the case.
Cyclotouring in the Reach
The Andal king Garth Greenhand was an early proponent of bicycling as an eco-friendly mode of transportation and oversaw construction of a network of off-road bike trails throughout his kingdom. These trails, along with the warm climate and beautiful scenery of the Reach, make it a popular destination for bike tourists. The Mander River Trail takes cyclists right through some of the fairest gardens of Highgarden, and the Wine Trail on the Arbor offers many opportunities for tastings. Each year, thousands of cyclists participate in HAGBRAR, the Highgarden Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across the Reach. Lord Hightower once famously boasted his intention to make Oldtown the most bicycle-friendly city in the Seven Kingdoms, but it has so far earned only a Silver ranking from the League of Westerosi Cyclists. Nevertheless, the presence of the Citadel has helped to maintain a healthy bike culture in Oldtown, as bicycling has always been popular among the students and maesters there.