We are a group of 30+ students enthusiastic about cycling. We organize rides, a spring break trip, and many team get-togethers. In the Spring, many of our members choose to race competitively in the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference as a Division I team of the National Collegiate Cycling Association (NCCA). Racing, however, isn’t required, and many of our members choose just to participate in weekly group rides. We use “team” to refer to the racing team and “club” to refer to all other aspects of the team.
Most Sundays in the Fall and Spring, we organize a 1.5 hour ride that ends at Walker Brothers Pancake House, where we enjoy a deliciously filling breakfast. This ride is great for newcomers thinking about joining the team.
We are currently in the process of developing our weekly ride schedule. All of our rides go out over our listserv.
Bike racing is fun, challenging, and rewarding. Once you start, you’re hooked.
We have an “as much or as little” policy, meaning we don’t require anything of you. There are no required practices, races, or group rides. If you do want to get faster, however, we are here to give advice on training to get stronger. We will also run optional training rides and workouts throughout the year.
In fall, we organize a lot of casual group rides and get back into the swing of things. We host skills sessions for new members on the team to learn how to ride in a group, draft, corner, sprint, and more. Once it gets too cold to ride in Winter, we move indoors onto trainers and lift weights one or two times each week. From Winter on, we train regulary to prepare for the upcoming collegiate season. We organize training sessions and individualized workout plans – again, always option.
Racing begins in the very beginning of March and goes until the last week in April, with Nationals occuring a few weeks later for qualified racers. Races are hosted by schools throughout the Midwest (Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, etc.) and consist of two races: a road race on Saturday and a crit on Sunday. Road races are longer than crits and usually have a long loop (5-20 miles), whereas crits only last an hour and have a small loop (< 1 mile).
Since the first race is on Saturday morning, we leave Northwestern on Friday in university vans and spend the night in hotel rooms. We also spend Saturday night in the hotel and then drive back on Sunday.
We’re very relaxed about racing and just try to have fun out there. We work together as a team and always put the team before ourselves.