Although Gustavus has a wide variety of intramural and club sports ranging from rugby to Ultimate Frisbee, cycling has never been on the list. Fortunately for bike enthusiasts around campus, that is about to change.
While the Gustavus Cycling team isn’t a recognized club sport yet, Juniors Adam Larson and Gabe Hanson, along with Sophomore Nick Theisen are working to make their dream a reality next fall. It all began when Larson transferred to Gustavus from Bemidji State University, where he enjoyed his time on the cycling team.
“I recently got into cycling a year ago and fell in love with it. After going for a ride one day after classes during fall semester here at Gustavus. Gabe (who lives 2 doors down from me) saw me cleaning my bike in the hallway and we started talking about cycling and the possibility of starting up a cycling team here. He knew many people who cycled here so it was a great asset,” Larson said.
Additionally, Hanson and many other men on the Nordic Ski team use cycling as a means of staying in shape during the off season.
“For me, riding road bikes is an excellent form of cross training for the nordic season and is one of the most fun and enjoyable ways to exercise. So from my point of view, the goals of the club are to simply encourage other Gustavus students who might have a road bike accumulating dust in their attics to bring their bikes to campus and enjoy riding with a group of Gustavus students,” Hanson said.
Theisen, the youngest of the founding members, has more long-term goals for the team on his radar.
“My goals of the team include at the most fundamental level getting people excited about cycling and creating a group of people who have a common interest in cycling. We’d like to in the future look to do things like racing but at the basic level, we just want to sustain or increase an excitement for cycling,” Theisen said.
While many students are excited at the prospect of having a cycling team on campus, Gustavus certainly isn’t the first school in the MIAC to do so. Junior President of the St. Olaf Cycling team, Sam Williams is eager for another school to join the ranks of collegiate cycling and increase the interest in the sport, as well as the level of competition.
Being that Gustavus is so close to St. Olaf, the Gustavus Cycling Team would compete in similar races as well as model some of its events after the St. Olaf team.
“At Olaf, and most schools, we’re entirely student run with some financial support from our student government. We compete in the North Central Collegiate Cycling Conference every spring for our 6-week road season, plus go on a week long spring break training trip down south,” Williams said.
When the weather is nice, the St. Olaf team also trains together on casual group rides in addition to competitive Tuesday night rides and riding indoors on trainers during the colder months.
While competing is an exciting part of any sport, cyclists who enjoy riding purely for the fun of riding and meeting other cyclists are more than welcome to join the team and participate in rides.
“Our goals for the team is to have an accepting place for cyclists of all skill levels to have a fun accepting environment for group rides. We set goals for future things we want to achieve in our individual racing lives but also future team goals,” Larson said.
Overall, the Gustavus Cycling team will aim to get riders of every category and skill level involved, however there are a few prerequisites that riders must fulfill.
“The one thing that is necessary is to have a road bike that is in good working condition, and a helmet. All our riders have tools if any problems occur so all rookies will be covered if they have any problems or questions about their bike,” Larson said.
To stay updated on the Gustavus Cycling team and join them on casual group rides, follow them on Facebook or e-mail Adam Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org.