We won!!! Yes, the MIT Cycling team has done it again – we’ve brought home a trophy. But this time, we’ve won in a discipline we haven’t done well in historically – Mountain Biking! Our team was awarded Division II Team Omnium at the Regional Championships at Highland, meaning our team earned more points in total this season than any other Division II team.
But what’s so impressive about this win is really HOW we won, and WHO raced this season. In following good MIT tradition, results demand analysis:
- Total MIT student racers this season: 21
- Average number of participants per race weekend: 6.7
- Average number of race weekends per participant: 1.95
- Percentage Female: 33%
To put these numbers in perspective, last season 10 students raced mountain bikes in total, and races averaged around 3-4 people per race.
And now for an analysis of our newbie population:
- Percentage students whose first race was this season: 67%
- Percentage students who raced on a borrowed bike: 57%
- Percentage students who raced on a borrowed MITOC bike: 48%
- Percentage students whose first time on a MTB was in their race: 33%
What do these numbers indicate? That the MIT Mountain Biking team strongly encourages new members to try out the sport. We facilitate this by renting out MITOC bikes (mountain bikes owned by our outdoors’s club). A few years ago Ben Eck (former team captain) advocated to purchase 4 MITOC bikes, and they were certainly well used this season. We hope that the students who tried mountain bike racing for the first time this season will continue racing in future seasons, especially given our tremendous achievement.
Now you may still be wondering how is it that we managed to win team omnium? Well, every point matters and we had many participants. But we also had many, many strong finishes throughout the season. I’ll leave that list to another blog post…coming soon. But finally, our team won because we function as one cohesive unit. We enjoy spending time together, sharing advice with eachother, and cheering for eachother. We race because that’s what we enjoy doing, and we are an excellent example to other teams in our division because of it.
As captain, my proudest moment was not standing on the podium or winning team omnium. It was being able to watch so many MIT racers cross the finish line with a smile on their face. I am proud of the joy I have brought to each and every student who raced this season, because Mountain Biking is truly a unique sport and one that I’m so happy to be able to share with so many of my teammates.