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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Fall Cycling Series to feature Jordan Avenue sprint, ‘Climb Trial’

Just as the NIT lives in the shadow of the NCAA tournament, the Fall Cycling Series has always been dwarfed by the glamour of the Little 500 in the spring.

Though that may not change dramatically any time soon, the IU Student Foundation is trying to make fall cycling a bit bigger.

“I would say in the past, on a scale from one to 10 (in excitement), Little Five is probably about an 11,” said Little 500 race director Pam Loebig. “The fall series were maybe a three or a four, but we’re hoping to get the fall series up to an eight or a nine.”

Three cycling events are to take place this weekend, all on or near campus.

“A lot of teams don’t really focus on the Fall Series,” Riders Council member Chris West said. “They just do it for the fun of the event, although this year we did incorporate a new prize for the team that wins the fall cycling series.”

The male and female teams that finish first have the luxury of choosing what time they get to run their qualifying races. In past years, all teams chose their times randomly.

Friday
The spokes get spinning at 3 p.m. Friday on North Jordan Avenue with the Street Sprints. Four cyclists at a time sprint 200 meters to determine the fastest riders on campus.

Senior Ryan Kiel, former IU Cycling Club president, said the sprints are an exciting event to attend.

“You can really get up close to the racing action,” Kiel said. “You’re not standing behind the fence. You’re right up there against the road and can practically touch the guys who are riding by.”

The Street Sprints are set up bracket-style, in which the fastest rider from each heat moves on until the fastest male and female are crowned. Therefore, there are many races in the course of the three hours.

“You get to watch a very close finish not once, but 20 or 50 times in one day depending how long you stay out there,” Kiel said.

Sunday
Two days later, the races move to Bill Armstrong Stadium.

The first event Sunday is the brand-new Climb Trial, which begins at 9 a.m. Though there have been time trials in past years, this one is a bit different. It starts on Fee Lane at the base of the path leading up to the stadium (the climb), and it continues onto the track, where the racers take two laps.

“The fall is where we have time to switch it up, try something new or offer different events to the riders,” Loebig said.

When the Climb Trial ends at about 1 p.m., community members, as well as faculty, are invited to take part in a community race for the second year.

The Riders Council members take anyone interested down onto the track and teach them how to ride Little 500 bikes and how to race safely on the track. Afterward, these rookie riders will race in their own five-lap races.

The final event is perhaps the most different: the Cylcocross. Often referred to as an obstacle course on a bicycle, riders (in teams of two) race around the track, leaping over hay bales, climbing up stairs and making tricky exchanges with their teammates. It begins at 3:30 p.m. for women and 4:30 p.m. for men.

Loebig hopes the Fall Cycling Series will help to encourage a year-round interest in cycling.

“It’s fun, and it gives us a chance to involve the riders in the fall so we can keep the excitement up in the fall semester,” Loebig said. “It also gives us a chance to recruit new riders. If people see these events going on, they may get interested or think it’s exciting and want to try it out and see what it’s like to ride in Little Five.”

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