Ever wonder who those bikers are as they zip past you on the way to class? They could be members of Penn State Cycling, the student organized cycling club on campus.
The club is comprised of nearly 60 members, competes regularly in all levels of experience and participates in road, mountain, cycle cross and track competitions.
“We like to have fun, and we’re always looking for more people to join. You don’t have to be competitive at all. There are always fun rides going out,” treasurer Brett Wachtendorf (sophomore-Spanish and economics) said.
PSU Cycling competes in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC) against cycling clubs from nearly 70 other universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Temple, and the University of Pittsburgh multiple times throughout the semester.
The club recently hosted the 2012 Nittany MTB Challenge, held on the Tussey Mountain trail in Rothrock State Forest Sept. 29. The mountain bike race included cross country, downhill, time trial and short track competitions. Fifteen ECCC cycling teams participated in the competition. PSU Cycling did well in the competition with four cyclers placing first in their races. The club also had multiple top 10 finishes.
Throughout the year the team competes regularly in ECCC competitions, but focuses mostly on the experience.
“I guess our club goal would be to win the conference, and at the same time, to have fun with it. That’s what collegiate cycling is all about,” Wachtendorf said.
While competing in the ECCC, PSU Cycling can earn eligibility for USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships, which will be held in Ogden, Utah, in May. Last year, PSU Cycling sent two members to compete at nationals.
Besides competition preparation, the cyclers go on rides together as much as they can.
“A normal ride throughout the week would be about 30 miles, but they could be longer. On the weekends they could go 60 miles,” PSU Cycling recreational ride coordinator Matt Waller (sophomore-engineering) said.
Whether students have previous experience, or just want to take a longer ride than going across campus, PSU Cycling is always open for new members. The club meets in 258 Willard at 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday. More information can be found on Facebook and at the PSU Cycling website.
“We like to have fun, and we’re always looking for more people to join,” Wachtendorf said. “You don’t have to be competitive at all, there are always fun rides going out. We always want new people, to introduce them [to cycling] because you never know where they can go.”