Teams from Switzerland and Japan go head to head at the Cycle-Ball World Cup

Photo: Victor Fraile/Getty Images

Battle of the bikes

Roman Schneider (left) of Switzerland and Yosuke Fujita of Japan fight for the ball on Aug. 17 during the UCI Cycle-Ball World Cup at the Chai Wan Sports Centre in Hong Kong, China.

Cycle ball is similar to soccer — the major difference being that players navigate an indoor court on fixed-gear bicycles without brakes. While the offbeat sport has been around since 1893, you may not have heard about it because it's mainly popular in Russia, Japan and a handful of countries in northwestern Europe.

Another two-wheeled sport you probably haven't heard of is artistic cycling, which involves athletes performing gymnastics and other tricks on fixed-geared bikes. This competitive sport is performed by singles, pairs or even teams of four to six people.

Watch the video below for a demonstration of just a few of the precarious possibilities of artistic cycling:

* * * 
Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Related content on MNN: