Tag Archives: easterns

Just look at all those smiles! TL - John Romanishin, TR - Jen Wilson, BL - Emma Edwards, BR - Alexis Fischer

Roots and rocks and bikes – oh my! A recap of the mountain bike season

Well folks, we were having so much fun riding our bikes this fall that we didn’t keep you updated on our race season. Our apologies.

The season was one of (mostly) great weather, a mix of veterans and newcomers, and tons of fun. The two weekends which really stood out this season were MIT’s own Sliderule Shredfest and the Eastern Championships at Highland.

Just look at all those Shredfest smiles! TL – John Romanishin, TR – Jen Wilson, BL – Emma Edwards, BR – Alexis Fischer

‘The Sliderule Shredfest XC was again fast and flowy, or rather, I think it was meant to be. As a still-novice MTB rider, I can’t say my ride was graceful, but it was still a lot of fun. It was also great to see the MIT women’s team rivaling UVM for entries. We had three new ladies come out – Emma, Alexis, and Laura, and saw 3 podium finishes! Alexis (1st, WB), Laura (2nd, WB), and Lucy Archer (3rd, WA).’     – Jen Wilson

‘The atmosphere the whole weekend was fantastic, especially Saturday evening with everyone hanging out by the campfire eating delicious grilled sausages, burgers, and burritos. I definitely want to go out to more race weekends in the future and want to compete next year.’     – Przemyslaw Krol

MIT's Sean Daigle tearing it up in the Men's A Downhill on Thunder Mountain Bike Park's trail 'The Schist'
MIT’s Sean Daigle tearing it up in the Men’s A Downhill on Thunder Mountain Bike Park’s trail ‘The Schist’

Northeastern University hosted the ECCC Championships on October 10/11th at the Highland Bike Park. MIT had another great showing, with eleven racers making the trip out to New Hampshire!

It was a crisp, beautiful weekend for the Eastern Champs at the Highland Bike Park
It was a brisk, beautiful weekend for the Eastern Champs at the Highland Bike Park

Some notable results from MIT racers at the Eastern Champs:

Julie van der Hoop – 1st in Women’s B Cross Country

Lucy Archer – 1st in Women’s B Dual Slalom

Sean Daigle – 8th in Men’s A Dual Slalom

Megan O’Brien – 1st in Women’s A Downhill

Matt Schram – 4th in Men’s C Cross Country

Edgar Gridello – 7th in Men’s C Short Track

Congrats to all of the riders who raced with us this season! We had 17 riders come out to race this year and clinched 3rd in the season overall D2 omnium standings.

Sadly, mountain season is winding down… BUT three riders are preparing to represent MIT at the USAC Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals in Snowshoe, West Virginia next week. Get ready to cheer on Lucy Archer (cross country and short track), Sean Daigle (downhill and dual slalom) and Megan O’Brien (downhill and dual slalom)! We’ll be sending updates throughout the week, but for up-to-date race info and results, check out #CollNats on twitter and follow @MITCyclingTeam!

Now go ride yer bike!

Brotherhood of the Traveling Chamois, Day 3: Lincoln to Boulder (by Nick)

Dear MIT Cycling,

Today, Michael and I saw the extremes. It was like camping: it was “intense”. (Yeah, a bad pun if you sound it out.) Nebraska proved to be much flatter than all of Iowa, and slightly less interesting unless
you happen to be from the state and are entertained by large pieces of farm equipment in distant fields. The short is that it was flat straight, and a nice 70-27-3 split between I-80, I-76, and “everything else”. That last category includes playing Ferris Bueller with the van’s odometer. Movie buffs, you’ll be glad to know that the movie is accurate, up until the point where Cameron’s dad’s car careened into the valley behind his house. We had no valley and had to settle for a corn field.

Side note: corn is literally knee-high to a grasshopper right now. You should wait until July for it to be knee-high to me.

The stretch between Nebraska and Denver was one of the more dull areas, like watching Book TV with the sound turned off. There were sand hills, cows, crummy road surfaces, grasslands, and traffic more patchy than Eric’s beard. As endurance athletes, we endured, and eventually rolled into glorious Boulder somewhere around sunset.

Our gracious host for the night, the astrophysicist Amy B, in addition to explaining galaxy clusters, would like us to beat Baylor, kick Stanford’s ass, and “try not to bleed on our roads too much.” I believe that last comment was directed at Michael, mostly. Dinner at The Sink, what I thought was a reasonable Boulder landmark (Robert Redford worked there, and the ceiling is literally covered with graffiti), one too many Fat Tires for me, and The Onion in street side news paper stands rounded out the evening.

Tomorrow is more Boulder, getting work done, and venturing North to Fort Collins.

Monkeys and cogs,

Nick

Brotherhood of the Traveling Chamois, Day 2: Pittsburgh to Lincoln (by Nick)

Dear MIT Cycling Team,

I’m trying desperately to remember what we did today… right, drove.  All the way from Pittsburgh to Lincoln, traveling through six giant Midwest states.  Michael’s GPS failed miserably in its entertainment value: instructions were “Follow this interstate to I-80; Keep right onto I-80, Keep left onto I-80, Stay on I-80, Keep left onto I-80, sleep”.  (A note for the other ECCC teams driving out: if you get lost, you’re doing something seriously wrong.)

Side note: Ohio has just as many messed-up names as Massachusetts.  For example, Cayahoga Valley gets converted into Kiohga.  See, while Ohio-ans also don’t care about excess syllables, they chose to drop the ones in the middle so that you can’t tell there’s letters missing.  At least Mass is honest about retaining useless freebie letters.

The flat plains and farmlands stretching from Ohio through until tomorrow makes everything blur together.  We’re already confusing which day is which, and can’t remember what exactly we did this morning.  I also can’t remember who’s foot that is touching mine.  Given that there’s only two of us, and Michael is staying on his side of the car (now), I’m pretty sure it’s mine.  It may have fallen asleep somewhere around Des Moines.
Travel tip: look for pizza joints near state colleges.  Today we learned about Bob’s Your Uncle outside Iowa State: cajun chicken, roma tomatos, feta cheese, and approximately 100% cute waitresses.  Yes, please.
For the people whose bikes are in the back, just know that Chewie’s is the only one that we sold off for gas money.  Did you know that a single time trial bike can net enough to fill a 30 gallon tank?  It’s another reason to keep your rig shiny, it increases the resale value in Gary, Indiana.  (Hint.)
We also found The World’s Largest Truck Stop (TM) (sic) in Iowa.  It had its own food court, theater, clothier (they’ll customize anything you bring ’em, including tie-dyes), and dentist (not kidding).  The number of belt buckles for sale alone was pushing near the limit of what I’ve seen.  Imagine if we’d melted down all of Chewie’s bikes and made them into belt buckles, that’d only be 12% of what TWLTS offered.
Tomorrow is a shorter trip to one of my favorite cities in America, Boulder CO.  Be looking for stories of Runzas, Pearl Street and University Cycles, The Sink, CU astrophysicists, and true honest-to-not-Eastern-Ave mountains.  I’m getting tingly already in my other foot.

Monkeys and cogs,

Loomis

Brotherhood of the Traveling Chamois, Day 1: Penn State to Pittsburgh (by Michael)

Dear MIT Cycling,

This was the beginning of what promises to be an epic journey to the end of the road and back again.  We won the overall conference championships edging out both Army and UVM in the final weeks.  After some beautiful podium shots with the team, we packed up the Nats van with help from teammates.  We ended up being the last to leave the Penn State crit course, but Nick and I decided to go ahead and leave even later by taking the first of many side detours to attend a tasting of ice cream at the Penn State Creamery.  I had a shake, and Nick had a cup, and we chatted with Joe Kopena and Caitlin Thompson about why USA Cycling sucks and how they need to improve.

Eventually we got on the road to Pittsburgh toward Nick’s sister Andrea’s place.  Most of the journey was through the mountains of Western Pennsylvania coal country, which provided some pristine views of several large coal power plants and billboards (as well as green mountains and rolling countrysides).  I noted to Nick that one natural-draft cooling towers (show a pic of one here) could cool up to about 1GW of coal generation, so the plant that had three in the distance was likely a massive 2-3GW net plant.  Ok, done with the electricity nerd aside.

One interesting sight on the way was this small red business off to the right labeled with big white letters spelling “CLIMAX”.  Of course this piqued our interest, both being 20-something males.  As we came closer, I noticed a smaller sign saying “DRIVE THRU PEEP SHOW”. Wow.  I was simultaneously disgusted and amazed at the existence of such an establishment, when the appropriateness of the name finally hit me.  ‘Nuff Said.  Hilarious.

We got dinner at a great Pittsburgh-original Mexican place called Mad Mex, where Nick and I chowed down on a trio of salsas: habenero-pineapple, avocado-tomatillo, and spicy cheese.  The wittiness of the menu can be summarized by their listing of one particular fake side item: “Item: A Little Honey on the Side | Price: Half of Everything”. After a big meal of fish tacos and beer for me and enchiladas for Nick, we rode on to Pittsburgh.

We arrived at Nick’s sister Andrea Loomis’ house and we had a grand ole time hanging out with her and her boyfriend Dan.  We spoke of Swine Flu, phallic (non) musculature,  instruction manual translation, and teaching science to school children.  After a solid three hours worth of driving, we were worn out and sweaty, so we took showers and went to bed ready for an epic day of driving to follow the next day.

Yours Truly,
Michael Hamilton

MIT is the combined D1/2 ECCC road champion!

After coming in second to host Penn State at the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference championships this weekend, the finall tally is that MIT has claimed 2061 overall points to UVM’s 2039 and Army’s 1844. Which is just great. Thanks to everybody who trekked out to State College Pa. this weekend, in fact to every single rider who came to any of the races this season—and especially to all the newbies competing in fields from women’s A to men’s intro.

But this isn’t the end: on Monday our fearless leader Nick Loomis will be driving seventeen sleek bicycles, a bunch of trainers, and gobs of aerodynamic equipment across the western east/eastern midwest. He and Michael Hamilton are on the way to Fort Collins, Colorado, where on Wednesday they’ll meet up with Laura, Martha, Yuri, Zuzka, Tim, José, John, and Jason (phew) to kick ass in the national championships. Those sun-drenched teams from California don’t know what’s about to hit them.