With their friendly atmosphere, team members share stories of recent races and proudly display their many injuries.
As participants of the Colorado State University Ram’s Cycling Team, these students practice daily and build team camaraderie to well-represent CSU.
Mechanical engineering major and freshman Ian Whaley is one of the 30 serious team members who competes as a cyclist. He moved to Fort Collins from Connecticut, claiming that the team is one of the reasons he chose CSU.
“I’ve raced bikes since I was five, and it was really important to me to go to a school that had a team,” Whaley said.
Whaley participates in track and mountain bike races. However, the team also competes in mountain, road, track, cyclocross and BMX. They will compete in North Carolina October 24 to 26 in the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships.
To junior business marketing major Grant VanHoose, being on the team is a time-consuming but rewarding experience.
“We ride bikes a lot,” VanHoose said. “But, we also train all the time, we lift weights, we eat really healthy and we travel all over the state for conference races.”
Whaley said he feels that this dedication is what unites him with fellow teammates.
“Everyone is super welcoming,” Whaley said. “It’s a good time. We have fun. We have a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of hard work and training too.”
According to Paul Kumm, senior economics major and vice president of the team, the team accepts students with any background in cycling. Member are placed in categories, ranging from the experienced “A” team to the beginning “C” team, based on their ability.
“It’s nice that ‘C’ riders can learn at their own pace,” Kumm said. “They don’t have to be intimidated about how to ride with the group. They get to ride with people that are similar to them.”
To Kumm, collegiate cycling is the best kind of cycling there is.
“Once you get a bunch of poor college kids with each other sharing housing and couches, you get really close with your best friends,” Kumm said. “You get to ride with them, and it carries through past college.”
Collegian Diveristy Beat Reporter Hannah Ditzenberger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @h_ditzenberger.