Cycling club in full gear for fall


Eric Young of the Cutters shares a moment with Delta Tau Delta rider Matt Neibler after the Cutters took home their third consecutive Little 500 title Apr. 27, 2009, at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Young, now a senior, and Niebler, who just graduated, are current and former members of the IU Cycling Club. The club will be sending riders to the USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championship on Sept. 23-25 in Indianapolis. Geoffrey Miller Buy Photos

But while most students catch bicycle fever during Little 500 in April, the members of the IU Cycling Club train year-round for races in Bloomington, throughout the Midwest and across the nation.

“People who are really motivated ride five or six days a week,” senior cyclist Eric Young said. “And there are races all over on weekends.”

Young, similar to many other members of the club, competes for IU against other schools in the Midwest. There are many disciplines in which cyclists compete, but the most popular for IU students are road and track.

The Collegiate Track Nationals will take place this September in Indianapolis, and IU will be sending several riders, including Young, who placed third at the event last year.

Recent graduate and former vice president of the Cycling Club, Matt Neibler, said Young will be one of the top competitors again at nationals.

In fact, said Neibler, the IU team as a whole is likely to do very well.

“They have a really talented group of kids this year,” said Neibler. “They’re going to make us proud.”

In addition to intercollegiate road and track competitions, many Cycling Club members are also involved in Little 500.

“The people that do Little Five and like cycling enough, do it in their spare time,” said Young, who also races for the Cutters in the Little 500.

But the Cycling Club is more than competitive racing. There’s also a social aspect. The group has “no-drop” rides through town every Friday afternoon, and anyone who rides a bike at IU is welcome to join.

The club also gives riders a chance to get to know other people on campus who have
similar interests.

Given that many members of the club compete against each other in Little 500, the opportunity to get to know other cyclists as teammates is, to junior Amy Dickman, very appealing.

“It brings all the Little Five teams together,” said Dickman.“We have to work together as teammates.”

Cycling Club has programs for riders of all levels: from “no-drop” community-building events to high-stakes, competitive races.

For both novices and experts, Dickman summed up the cycling culture at IU: “Bloomington’s the perfect place to ride.”

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