Monday, September 15, 2014

Northeaster Wild Western Mass MTB Weekend Recap

Another great weekend of racing for the ECCC.  Northeastern University hosted their Wild Western Mass MTB Weekend, and it did not disappoint.  The XC races started off on a cool Saturday morning on Holiday Brook Farm.  A few early river crossings had everyone on high alert for the full race duration.  Some long, gradual climbs, and super fast descents made up much of the roughly three mile course.  There were plenty of pine needles and roots to go around.

The dual slalom started off right as the rain began.  The course was about 30 seconds of rollers, tight berms, and a few doubles.  Conditions quickly became more treacherous as the rain fell, and a few exposed roots and rocks claimed many victims.

Sunday brought the racers to Jiminy Peak.  The short track circuit was very open, with plenty of room for passing and maneuvering.  Mud and residual moisture from the night before made some racers question their cornering abilities.  There was one quick descent and climb on one side of the course, and many snaking turns on the opposite end.  Some found that cross bikes were favored as they worked their way through the open woods.

The downhill course was about four minutes long.  There were plenty of rock drops, a few opportunities to throw some whips, and enough pedaling through fields between sections to tire out some of the best riders.  A wood bridge drop across a fire road led into one of the better jumps on the course, with a quick brake check for a hard left afterwards.  Finding the best lines on parts of the course helped to shave off easy seconds for the best results.

Some top results for Lehigh's team include Lenny Ancuta finishing 8th in the Mens A DH, Andy Reslewic finishing 2nd in Mens C XC and 9th in Mens A DH, and Dean Zeffer placing 1st in Mens C DH and 7th in Mens A XC.

Monday, September 8, 2014

ECCC Mountain Season has Begun!

The Clarkson Season Opener was a blast!  The weekend began with a rainy XC race.  Two hours of playing in the mud really sorted the strong-willed from the weak-spirited.  For a flat and non-technical course, it required a lot of attention and determination.  Freeride skills were definitely favored.

Dual slalom followed the XC race.  The rain stopped, but that didn't mean a whole lot for the DS courses.  Confidence in the turns was a must.  It was great to watch and take part in all of the foot-planting, mud flinging, wheel-sucking goodness!

The STXC began on a much drier course Sunday morning.  A quick descent with a few jumps was followed by a tricky left turn covered with slick roots and a long, steady climb to complete the lap.  There was plenty of huffing and puffing to go around, but the course was fun enough to make you forget about the climb each time around.

The weekend finished up with the downhill events.  The course was a quick, one-minute speed test.  A steep drop in the beginning led into some roots and rocks with a steep chicane.  A nice double and hip jump were followed by the final rock garden into the finish.

This race was a lot of fun for the entire team.  Free camping at Seven Springs really topped it off.  There were plenty of activities available to pass the time from the races Saturday to Sunday.  Campfire, s'mores, and a bit of story telling added to the camaraderie and enjoyment of the weekend.  Looking forward to a fantastic mountain season!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Preseason Notes

As the school year draws closer, there are a few things that everyone should keep in mind when preparing for whatever is to come.  This is mostly for new or prospective members.  A list is probably the simplest way to do this... so here we go!

  • Bring your bike(s)!  Mountian, road, cross, hybrid, tandem, cruiser, fat bike, BMX - anything that you can think of to pedal.  There is always somewhere to put it.  It's pretty easy to fit two bikes under a bed at school.  There will also be access to a garage to store equipment in for those who pay dues.
  • Feel free to contact a club officer.  We'd love to get to know you, so check out the contacts on the right side of this thread.  Send an email with any questions, or just to say hello and let us know that you'll be coming!
  • Attend the club fair.  This will take place on Monday, August 25th at 4:00PM on the front lawn.  The cycling club with most definitely have a table there, so be on the lookout for two-wheeled objects.  You'll have to add your email address to our list to get notifications about meetings, rides, races, and other things.
  • Bring your bike(s)!  Nothing is worse than wanting to ride, but not having a bike to do so.
  • Ask to join our Facebook group.  Some notifications about rides and other things will posted there.  Just look for Lehigh Cycling!
  • Check out the race schedule.  It can be found on the ECCC Schedule link to the right.  The fall is mountain racing season, winter is cross, and spring is road.  However, all types of rides take place year-round.
  • Bring your bike(s)!
I think that pretty much sums it up!  Looking forward to this year!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer - time to ride!

Summer is a great time to get into cycling or to build your fitness and become an even better cyclist.  Whether it's mountain or road riding, the weather is just right for all sorts.  Here are a few quick things to think about when you get into riding mode this summer:

Group riding is more fun.  Getting together with friends is great for breaking up the monotony of training rides.  It is easier to commit to riding when you are going with other people, and can also spark a little competition.  Local bicycle shops are a good place to look for group rides.  If they don't host their own, they can probably point you in the right direction.  Remember - at the end of the day, cycling is supposed to be fun!

Be prepared.  It's never good when you get a flat and don't have the equipment or the know-how to fix it.  However, this tip isn't only about mechanical issues.  It's also important to have plenty of food and water to last the entire ride, and to have the right equipment.  Do some research to be sure that you have everything you need before your next riding adventure.

Safety is key.  Always be aware of what's going on around you.  Remember that if you go head on with a car you'll probably lose.  It's never a bad idea to have some lights on your bike to be a bit more visible especially if riding alone.  When riding in groups, be sure to point out potholes, sand, and water on the road.  In the trails, point out low branches, debris, or washed out areas.

Racing is great training.  Be on the lookout for races in your area.  You can meet some awesome people at bike races, as well as push yourself to be even better than you already are.  Riding new trails is a great way to work on your reflexes and handling.  Also, riding new roads can help you experience terrain that you haven't before like steep climbs and technical descents.

If any of this seems foreign to you, remember that the internet is an amazing place.  Also, cyclists are generally friendly people that are willing to talk about almost anything bicycle related.  Now get out there and ride!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Seen The Posters Around Campus, More Info Here

If you have seen the flyers around campus and they have brought you here, you are one step closer to becoming a member of Lehigh cycling. If you have any specific questions feel free to email our club leaders:
President: Brandon: blo214@lehigh.edu
Captain: David: dad315@lehigh.edu

The information session is tentatively on Tuesday November 19th at 6pm in Hawks Nest. All interested in becoming part of the team must either come to this meeting or email Dave and he will contact you with more info.

First off, you do NOT need a road bike to start off with the team. Winter training will start in November, with spin sessions 1-2 times a week in the spin room of Taylor Gym, for more info on winter training, follow the jump here. This is the perfect time to start getting in shape, and to slowly build a base up to what is needed to win races which start in March. As long as there is no snow on the roads, there will be someone going on rides, and the opportunity to ride in the winter is there. Around February (depending on snow and weather) is when we will start to go outside and work on skills like pace lining, group riding, and race tactics.

The one thing that is important to know is that all of this training is recommended but highly optional. The wonderful thing about the ECCC (Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference) is that it is as serious as you want it to be. The races are categorized by INTROS, D, C, B, and A so whether you want to have a casual race or mash the pedals like Mark Cavendish, you will be accommodated.

Regardless of how hesitant you may or may not be to try cycling. We highly encourage you to come to the first meeting and open spin sessions. Meet the team members, and learn about what the program has to offer before you make up your mind.

"My favorite part of joining Lehigh Cycling was the camaraderie in the team and the sense of accomplishment from racing. I had never raced bikes before and I did not realize how rewarding it was to see all this hard work pay off in the races. Not to mention... The UVM guys are a bunch of rednecks at heart and it is always funny to see what they have in store for the races"- member of Lehigh Cycling