The student-run cycling club at CSU has one, and only one, requirement of its members — to be stoked on bikes.
The successful club consists of both male and female CSU students who are competitive in a variety of disciplines, such as road, track, cyclo-cross, mountain and BMX.
While the club relies solely on students for everything from coaching to fundraising to travel, the club has found itself ranked among the top five in the nation consistently for the last 40 years. There are about 25 men on the team and seven women.
“The team is bigger now than it has been in the past,” said Rees York, a construction management student who serves as president of the cycling club. “It is a great group of guys and gals, and we welcome anyone who enjoys riding, regardless of experience.”
The team philosophy is simple. There is no stress or pressure when it comes to races or riders. The club enjoys a relaxed environment with a variety of students who just enjoy riding bikes and being part of the cycling community.
Melanie Beale, a graduate student in the exercise physiology program, is one of the seven women on the team and specializes in the road discipline. She joined the team in 2012 and was a beginner; she had never raced before. Four years later, after graduating from CSU with a bachelor’s degree in pre-med nutrition, she moved to Tucson to train and race with professional cyclists.
“This team is special because someone can join who has never raced, while others race at a professional or A level,” said Beale. “It’s almost like a mentoring program in a sense, and it brings the cycling community together.”
While Beale has worked her way up to a high level of racing in a short amount of time, Katie Paradis has been racing since she was 7. Born in Chicago, she came to CSU and started racing her freshman year. Now a junior in the mechanical engineering program, Paradis is waiting for this spring’s road season.
“Both mountain and road season are fun,” Paradis said. “But that’s the thing about the CSU cycling club, it is fun. Our training is not rigorous or very difficult, we are just group of people who love riding bikes.”
The cycle team is always looking for new members, especially women, to expand the female presence in the cycling community. For more information, visit http://www.ramscycling.com, or email York at firstname.lastname@example.org