Who’s up for a good bike ride? How about riding 50 miles for two and a half hours? C’mon! Any takers?

Well, that’s exactly what the members of the UR Cycling Club did this past Sunday, heading out to a pumpkin patch in Leroy to watch pumpkins hurled by an air-pressured catapult. And to think – that 50-mile ride is part of the club’s offseason training.

Ever since the team restarted in 2002, the UR Cycling Club has shown itself to be dedicated to its sport as well as to the university community at large. In addition to practicing year round, the club, along with Rochester Every Day and Grassroots, supports the newly created City Cycles program. Providing a healthier form of transportation and helping to fight the dreaded freshman 15, City Cycles loans bikes from Goergen Athletic Center for

free – yes, people, something for free.

The team trains mostly for the road races held between March and October, and has seen steady improvement in its showings over the past two years. On average, the club competes in about three dozen races per year. In preparation, the team goes on practice runs regularly. They also train together at the Goergen Athletic Center. Though fall and winter are off seasons for UR Cycling, club members still train and participate in mountain biking and cyclocross races in those months. Last spring, a number of club members placed in the top 10 at collegiate and United States Cycling Federation races. One such cyclist was junior Brian Thomas, who won the Genesee Valley Cycling Club Classic.

“Our goal this season is to win at least one collegiate race and continue our success in races through upstate N.Y.,” senior captain Adam Leman explained.

In the past two years, the Cycling Club has grown considerably, a fact junior Brian Chomas attributes to the amazing performance of Lance Armstrong at the Tour de France.

“It is incredible what he has done,” Chomas said. “We are so glad to have him to get cycling on TV.”

And what American does not love a guy who, year in and year out, embarrasses the French at their own race?

All are encouraged to join the Cycling Club. The team accepts coed undergrads and grads. The only requirement is to have your own bike and helmet, but fortunately, team members get discounts on bikes and other related products at the local Toe Path Bike Shop.

“The team has really expanded a lot,” Leman said. “We are very proud of what we have achieved.”

More information about the UR Cycling Club can be found on their Web site at http://sa.rochester.edu/cycling/main.html.

Troyer can be reached at mtroyer@campustimes.org.

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