Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rutgers Women's Spring Preview

With Cyclocross season reaching a fever pitch, it's important to remember that there are more than a few Rutgers cyclists eagerly awaiting the Road season. In particular, the Women's team have been preparing themselves for an explosive Spring campaign.

New to the team this year is Phoebe. She's got a sweet new road bike and is looking forward to using it. Her enthusiasm for cycling has already shown itself, as she's spent a lot of time learning the ins and outs of pack riding. Look for her to be moving comfortably about the pack at a road race near you.

Another new teammate is Fiona. A roadie who's not afraid of a little mud, Fiona made a strong impression on the team the weekend of the HPCX race. Two days after spending 14 straight hours on a trainer in a charity event for ALS, Fiona toed the line in the Women's 3/4 race. Clearly, this woman has the grit to survive indoor base training, and we're excited to see what develops when she returns to the road.

Seasoned veteran Jen has been a fixture on the team for some time now. Jen has been training for years, and while she has a quiet disposition, she lets her legs do the talking on the bike. Jen's strength as a time-trialist led to great results in recent seasons, so look for her off the front this coming Spring.

As a freshman, Amy turned heads in her first season as a cyclist. In fact, she never finished outside the top 2! With a background in rowing, Amy didn't know - or need - drafting. In the past few months, though, Amy has taken huge strides to improve her technique, working on drafting, cornering, and even racing cyclocross! Look for big things from this sophomore in March and April.

Having built a solid foundation following last year's success, the Rutgers Women's Cycling Team has the potential and the drive to have a great Spring season. Only four months until the Rutgers Classic weekend!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Rutgers Wins NJ Championship, rolls at Baystate Cyclocross

It was another busy weekend for the Mighty Rutgers Cycling Cyclocross Team!

Friday night, Rich, Don, and Mark headed to Sterling, MA to race the Gearworks Baystate Cyclocross, round 5 of the ECCC cyclocross series. Don met with some bad luck, but Rich and Mark both had, ahem, "sterling" rides to finish 4th collegiate in the men's C and men's B.

Rutgers took the team overall at Baystate and retains its lead in the ECCC cyclocross series!

Mark continues to hold the lead in the B men's overall standings.

The story of the weekend, however, is a little closer to home. Sophomore FarmerAndy has been showing incredible form lately with podium finishes in the last two MAC races and a commanding lead in the ECCC individual points competition. On Sunday at the NJ State Cyclocross Championships in Augusta, NJ Andy put it together to take home the NJ State Championship in the Cs! This is the second time in three years that Rutgers has won a state championship.

With this win, Andy has cemented his lead in the NJ Cyclocross Cup and looks absolutely unstoppable for the remaining races!

Rutgers returns to action this weekend for ECCC races number 6 and 7 in Carlisle, PA and Reston, VA.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rutgers Cycling to US Cyclocross National Championships

Thanks to the generosity of Skylands Cycling, Verge Sport, and Rutgers Recreation, Rutgers Cycling will be sending seven racers to the US Cyclocross National Championships in Kansas City, KS on December 13-16.

Bob Cary of Skylands Cycling Club presents Mark with a donation for Rutgers' travel to cx nationals at HPCX.

Rutgers Cycling will be fielding an impressive roster of accomplished cyclocross racers both young and old at Nationals.

2007 Rutgers Collegiate Cyclocross Nationals Roster

Charlie "Capt Chaz" Florek
(photo: Will C.)

Andy "FarmerAndy" Glaser
(photo: Will C.)

Joe "FroJo" Gilch
(photo: Don Yungher)

Dave "DK" Kim
(photo: Will C.)

Rich "The Kassassin" Kassan(photo: Will C.)

Don "NinjaDon" Yungher
(photo: Will C.)
Mark "AngryMark" Vareschi
(Photo: Dennis Smith)

Rutgers Cycling would like to express its gratitude to Bob and everyone at Skylands, Tom and Don at Verge Sport, and Linda Yost at Rutgers Recreation for their enduring financial and structural support.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Busy Rutgers Cycling Weekend Recap - HPCX and ALS Spin-a-thon

Will gives us this weekend recap:

Friday: ALS Spinathon

Led by the club vice president, Rich K., the team gathered at the student center to spin on stationary trainers for 16 hours to raise money and awareness for ALS research. A few heroic members of the team defied sacred college doctrine by getting to the student center at 6AM. They set up the tent and materials and got the spinning underway in less-than-warm conditions. More and more riders joined the spinning until mid afternoon, at which time the buzz of spinning trainers reached its busiest hum.


Fiona sat on that bike for 15 hours!

We worked to get the already-poor college students to empty their pockets of their precious laundry quarters. I rode around in kit to add some novelty to the giving experience.


It was hard to avoid me when I hunted you on two wheels.

Chaz helped by sprinting and causing hubub each time somebody dropped a donation. The team took turns in the sprinting “hotseats” and others quickly jumped in to pass along information and collect money. There was bonding, laughter, and the general sense of doing something for a cause greater than our usual exploits. Fiona took the day by managing to ride 15 hours straight, while the bulk of the team logged at least 4 hours on the trainer. The group spun well into the dark, even whilst the student body had retreated to dorms and apartments to prepare for Friday night.



While money towards an ALS cure and raising awareness are great outcomes, I most enjoyed observing the selflessness and generosity of both my teammates and the Rutgers campus. My teammates skipped classes, paying jobs, and gave their busy college time without hesitation. The campus received our efforts with polite thanks and generosity, choosing to stop and hear our cause when they could scurry by on a busy Friday afternoon.


A bus driver honked at me and did a drive-by donation

Saturday: Course Setup, Highland Park Cyclocross Race

With butts still reeling from too many hours on a bike seat, the team again assembled on Saturday to prepare the course for the annual Highland Park Cyclocross Race. Much raking, staking, and taping comes together to make an offroad, grass course on which silly cyclists will crash and beat the anaerobic crap out of each other.


The course was beautiful, to say the least.

Sunday: HPCX

(Before recounting Sunday’s events, let me say I have ridden a lot of miles on a road bike, but could count my offroad riding experiences on one hand.)

With butts still reeling from too many hours on a bike seat on Friday, and hands blistered from a day of manual labor on Saturday, the team again assembled (this time at 5:30AM) to get the race promotion flowing. We all pitched in to various odd jobs, while AngryMark and Rob orchestrated the intricate unfolding of a bicycle race. I convinced Jenks to lend me his bike (a less-than-safe gamble, considering his race was directly after mine) so that I could give this cyclocross business a try. I’ll spare you my race report because I did not crash or do anything particularly blogworthy. I will say that it was great fun and will add, quite unhumbly, that the field would have been in trouble if I had the confidence to blast the first lap, rocketshipstyle.


Will P. storms the barriers.

Others on the team had some solid races, with Jenks taking fourth in the B’s and the RU team sweeping collegiate podiums like nobody’s business.


Jenks is a blur, as usual.

This weekend tested the cycling team’s resolve, but the troops rallied and made it happen. The rest of the ECCC conference would do well to notice this growing team from New Brunswick.


~ by wcuk on November 12, 2007.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

ECCC Cross Weekend #1 - Chainbiter and Cycle-Smart Int'l

The defending ECCC Cyclocross series champions Rutgers Cycling kicked off their assault on the 2007 ECCC Cyclocross Series at Chainbiter 9.0 in Farmington, CT and Cycle-Smart International in Northampton, MA this weekend.

Some people have referred to Rutgers' cross program as a "juggernaut." If this weekend was any indication, nobody stops the juggernaut.

A small Rutgers cyclocross crew of FroJo, FarmerAndy, The Kassassin, Sleepin'Kyle, and I arrived in Rocky Hill, CT on Friday night and crashed at a pretty decent Howard Johnson's about 25 minutes from the course. We awoke the next day in darkness and headed out to the course with stops along the way for coffee and Clif bars.

Our 4 men's team had a solid effort in the massive 99 rider New England field. While we don't agree with the results, Andy placed 34th (3rd collegiate), Joe 83rd (5th collegiate) and Rich and Kyle's results seem to be missing.

"If it's cold, wear warmers. If it's wet, wear embrocation." I'm obviously a little cold... Chainbiter

I was the only 2/3 rider and had an okay day just coming off recovery from an injury and a bit of a bug to finish 49th (3rd collegiate).

After the race, we loaded up the car and headed to Hadley, MA to stay with family friends of Andy. Their hospitality and beautiful home were welcome sights after a long, hard day of racing.

Sunday morning after a breakfast of oatmeal and dried fruit, we headed to Look Park in Northampton, MA for the 17th Annual Cycle-Smart International. The race is put on by Rutgers coaching sponsor Cycle-Smart, so it was a great opportunity to show our fitness at this awesome race!

In the 4s, Andy had a great day to finish 23rd (2nd collegiate) in another massive field of 92 riders. Rich had a better day (and finished with both wheels intact) to finish 53rd (6th collegiate), Joe finished 76th, and Kyle 80th.

In the 2/3 race, I felt better and finished 51st (3rd collegiate) in a field of 84 riders. Chain difficulties sent me backwards a bit, but I was able to feel like I was racing for the first time in a while.

Because of the team's massive and consistent effort, Rutgers took the D1 overall both days and currently leads the ECCC 'cross team overall. Andy is second overall in the C men, and I'm 2nd in the B men.

This weekend, Rutgers races at home in NJ. Saturday the team is headed to Bridgeton, NJ to race Beacon Cyclocross. On Sunday, the team hosts its own race in Jamesburg, NJ, HPCX.

With a home advantage all weekend, Rutgers is set once again for cyclocross domination!