Indiana Daily Student

Spring break is no break for Little 500 teams

<p>The Cru Cycling women&#x27;s team is using spring break as an opportunity to take a team trip to Asheville, North Carolina, from March 13-16.</p>

The Cru Cycling women's team is using spring break as an opportunity to take a team trip to Asheville, North Carolina, from March 13-16.

The Little 500 is only a few weeks away, and the track opened up for riders just a few weeks ago. As spring break sets in as a week of relaxation for IU students, that’s not the case for Little 500 riders. 

This week isn’t a time to take off so close to the race. The time to taper isn’t quite here yet, so riders take advantage of the week off to spend more time training in a multitude of ways. 

Team trips

The Cru Cycling women's team is using break as an opportunity to take a team trip. 

Some of the riders are going home the first weekend but are returning back to Bloomington by Monday. Their schedule reads: two-a-day practices Monday and Tuesday, morning practice Wednesday and then traveling to North Carolina. 

The five members are staying in Asheville, North Carolina, from Wednesday to Saturday, March 13-16. 

“We’re going to bike wherever we find a road,” senior Carlie Etter said. 

Asheville is a city in western North Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains, so in terms of a training spot, Cru Cycling will get something out of it. 

“It’ll definitely be hillier than it is here, so that’s exciting,” sophomore Hannah Castlow said. 

This isn’t the team’s first experience in North Carolina, either. The same five women took a trip in the fall to Wilmington, North Carolina, as part of a hurricane relief trip. 

But, unlike the trip in the fall that consisted of demolition and sleeping on the floors of churches, Cru Cycling will be staying in AirBnB’s and training on bikes. 

“We just like to spend time together, so we’re just going to hang out with one another and kind of get away from Bloomington,” Etter said.

Road races

The IU Cycling Club puts on a two-day event called the Candy Stripe Classic, which will take place March 9 and 10 this year. Courtesy Photo

The IU Cycling Club puts on a two-day event called the Candy Stripe Classic, which will take place March 9 and 10 this year. Last year was the first time since 1994 that the cycling club put on an event in Bloomington, so this is the Classic’s second consecutive year. 

On March 10, riders will compete in the Team Time Trial. These time trials will be a 5.6-mile race through the trails and hills of the Morgan-Monroe State Forest. After the trials, there will be a road race in the same location. The road race is a 14-mile loop and the distance of the race will depend on the respective tiers. Based on experience and talent, the tiers are divided into four — A, B, C and D, with A being the top tier.

The next day will be the criterium, which will be raced in the parking lot of Memorial Stadium. It will be a 0.8-mile loop, and instead of going for distance, riders will race for a specific amount of time. All the races range from 30 to 70 minutes depending on the riders' paces. 

The eight members of Gray Goat intend on participating in this event. Then, the next weekend, the team will travel to Louisville, Kentucky, to compete in a similar event called the Cardinal Omnium. 

“It’ll be like two weekends of pretty hard racing with the middle of the week, of course, just going really hard in training,” sophomore Jake Richards said. 

Before traveling to Louisville, Kentucky, to compete in an event called the Cardinal Omnium, Gray Goat will participate in the Candy Stripe Classic on March 9 and 10. Courtesy Photo

The six members from RideOn will also be participating in the Candy Stripe Classic. 

“I actually encouraged the team to do this race because I think it’s really valuable to get race experience before finding yourself in Little 5,” senior Celine Oberholzer said. “You learn a lot about yourself physically and mentally when you’re pushing yourself to certain extremes. It’s such a game-changer knowing where you’re going to find yourself in a race before you’re actually racing.”

After the race, RideOn will practice in two-a-days Monday and Tuesday, then get the week off to go home and spend time with family. 

As for Oberholzer, she’s going to Oklahoma from March 15-17 to compete in the Land Run 100 on March 16, which is advertised as, “A solo, self-supported, non-stop, 100-mile-long bicycling endurance challenge on the gravel and dirt roads surrounding the site of the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889.”

“That’s like pretty unusual,” Oberholzer said. “Most people don’t do that.”

Six members from RideOn will be participating in the Candy Stripe Classic on March 9 and 10. Courtesy Photo

Staying put

Since the track is open March 11-15, most teams use that opportunity to use it as often as possible. 

Unlike during school weeks where track times are allotted to either the men or the women, spring break offers unlimited track time from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to whoever wants to use it. 

Acacia’s Little 500 team is going to take full advantage of this. 

“Our plan is pretty much just staying in Bloomington and getting as much track time as possible,” junior Brisco Wood said. 

With Quals being the weekend after spring break, Wood said Acacia is going to be focusing a lot on perfecting its bike exchanges, as well as increasing its endurance and practicing pack-riding. Since Acacia has six members on the roster and only four can race, Wood also said they will be doing one-lap time trials that week to finalize the four members who will ride at Quals. 

Riders are urged to be careful, though, as no IC-EMS staff will be present during spring break, so bikers are in charge of their own safety and medical treatment.  

No matter what each respective team decides to do over break, all will be present March 23 for the highly anticipated beginning of the spring series in qualifications.

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