The Little 500 men’s and women’s bicycle races are a pivotal part of the college experience at IU. Students involved in greek life and other organizations form a team and practice throughout the year. Thousands of fans show up on race day and support their friends and their favorite teams.
Because the majority of the teams competing are greek organizations, the merchandise designed by these fraternity and sorority members is a big part of the experience as well.
Sophomore Briana Huskin, a member of the team for Kappa Delta, is also one of the apparel chairs for her chapter and will be riding in Friday’s race. She explains the Little 500 apparel order is the biggest of the year.
“Apparel is definitely important to Little Five,” Huskin said. “Almost every single person is wearing Little Five apparel that is thought out by someone. It is very important to stay on top of trends when coming up with ideas for big events like this.”
She also said people are also talking about the apparel the teams are wearing. Every detail is examined, down to the riders who spend time on their kits, their jerseys and their shorts.
She said members of her sorority love buying and wearing the apparel she makes and can’t wait to support her in the race on Friday.
Sophomore Brad Jammer is the apparel chair for Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He is not a member of the bike team but said he loves creating apparel for everyone to wear in support of his brothers on race day.
“Merch allows us all to support the bike team by showing out with a sea of green in the stands,” Jammer said.
Some common apparel themes that Jammer has used this year have been popular sports teams’ logos, such as the Boston Celtics and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Huskin said the themes she used were inspired by the apparel of SoulCycle, a popular indoor cycling facility used by many celebrities, such as Khloé Kardashian and Lea Michele.
Huskin said she comes up with a design, has to get it approved and then sends it to logosexpress.com, a popular apparel website that the chapter uses. The process can take anywhere from a few days to a week depending on how fast the order needs to be distributed, she said.
As not all participants of the bike race are members of greek life, they design their own apparel to support their teams as well.
The Little 500 bike races are Friday and Saturday with the women’s race Friday starting at 4 p.m. and the men’s race Saturday starting at 2 p.m.
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