All posts by grierd

MIT Cycling Spring Update

[This post was adapted from an email sent to the mailing list.  If you would like to receive our spring and fall email updates, subscribe at the provided link or email me at]

With spring almost over and summer just a few days away, we can finally stash away our leg warmers and get ready for some big rides (with maybe a few stops for ice cream thrown in there too…)  It was a short collegiate season for many of us since the Extremely Cold Cycling Conference turned into the Extremely Canceled Cycling Conference after a few storms. Still, we had some awesome results this year, and we’re in a great position for next year as well.  Keep reading to see some of the highlights from our season.

As always, our successes and activities are only made possible by the generous contributions of all of you: our alumni and our financial and product sponsors. If you would like to make a donation to the team, you can do so at this link.  

Thank you for helping make our team what it is today!


The MIT cyclocross team finished the season strong after repping the beaver at 12 races across 6 states.  We even had 10 racers compete at the ECCC championships, the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross. Notable results from the season include Emma Edwards winning NBX day 1, Dmitro Martynowych bagging podiums on Supercross Day 1 and 2, and Tobi Eh placing in the top 10 of the Men’s A omnium.  We’re excited for what these crazy folks will do next year!

Dmitro makes the background blur at Wicked Creepy Cross in Vermont

MIT brings a formidable squad to NBX

MIT Cycling goes to California to ride away their winter blues
We traveled to Temecula, California again this year for our winter training camp!  As a side bonus, the cacti were in full spine-spreading mode, so the team is now also adept at flat repair. As always, the riding was intense, and the company was awesome.  It was great to have so many alumni join us for the rides.

Current and former MIT women are photobombed by the Montezuma Yeti

This group was lured 90 miles by the promise of tacos

MIT hosts ECCC Road Championships
The road course was largely the same as the one two years ago in Warwick, MA.  The dirt climb was predictably brutal, but I guess we knew what we signed up for… The criterium was held in the same park in Turner Falls, MA, and it was a joy to finally have a criterium with a real hill.  The locals in both areas were very warm and accommodating, and it was great to see so many non-cyclists come out to watch the races. The whole weekend would also not have been possible without the Herculean efforts of Dmitro Martynowych and James deMelo, so we owe them a lot of thanks.

The MIT crew at ECCC Road Championships.  Omnium Champs!

MIT Cycling wins ECCC Road Omnium
MIT once again captured the ECCC D2 Omnium for the year, beating out strong showings from Dartmouth and the US Military Academy.  This season was notable for the awesome performances from riders of all levels on our team. Our women’s squad did its usual breadwinning for the team, but we also regularly received points from the Men’s B, C, D, and E teams!

MIT’ers Berk Ozturk and Dustin Weigl relax after lapping the Men’s B field and watch on as they sprint for the finish.  Shoutout to Quinn White for a heroic blocking effort to make it all happen.

2018 DII Club Road Omnium National Champions
Although we didn’t have any men eligible this year, that didn’t stop our team of women from going to nationals to win it anyway.  Shoutouts to Emma Edwards, Tori Wuthrich, Amy Ousterhout, and Sarah Weiss for an excellent display of pedal-pushing. The weekend culminated in epic fashion with Emma winning the criterium.  Emma Edwards is a national champion!!

Emma Edwards wins happiest human award National Championship (photo: Jeffrey Bush)

Our women’s TTT team likes to go out in style

Who are our sponsors?
For those of you who don’t know, here’s some information on our awesome sponsors.  In addition to our product sponsors—Wheelworks, BMC, Giro/Stages, Mavic, O2 Rainwear, Rudy Project, and Supacaz—we would like to give a special shoutout to our direct sponsors below:

Thoughtforms has been a long-time sponsor of the club, first at the Championship Level, and now three years as Title Sponsor. Established in 1972, Thoughtforms collaborates with clients, architects, and designers to build some of the most unique custom homes and community spaces in the Boston area. Their work has received numerous awards — in 2003 Thoughtforms was nationally recognized by Custom Home Magazine as the Custom Builder of the Year, and in 2017 they were selected for the New England Design Hall of Fame. Thoughtforms has a strong connection to MIT, with four alums working in leadership roles, as well as a number of avid cyclists, including their President, Mark Doughty, who raced professionally in Europe.

The Branta Group LLC
The Branta Group LLC has been a Championship-level sponsor of the MIT cycling team for over 7 years. As a hub of healthcare entrepreneurship, the Branta Group has founded many biotech companies, and provided capital and expertise to promote growth and business sustainability. In the community, The Branta Group is committed to encouraging students to pursue STEM education as well as endurance sports, a passion that MIT cyclists share. During the summer in 2017, The Branta Group coached a group of motivated high-school students to foster entrepreneurial growth, and MIT Cycling was proud to help. The Branta Group provided business mentoring, while MIT Cycling helped the students design experiments to quantitatively demonstrate the value of their product. You can read more about the program here.

This year was Exponent’s 14th year as an Elite-level sponsor of the MIT cycling team. Exponent is an international consulting firm that specializes in the investigation and prevention of engineering failures and has been involved in cases from airplane crashes to the design of consumer electronics. With many MIT alumni and cyclists, members of the Exponent team can often be found riding in The Greater Boston Area.

Biognosys has been an Elite-level sponsor of the MIT cycling team for three years. Specializing in proteomics data acquisition and analysis, Biognosys has pioneered many techniques that give more comprehensive coverage for proteomics, allowing new drug targets to be discovered and validated. They recently had two product launches, including their newest reference peptide kit, which enables proteomic researchers to quantify over 500 human plasma proteins. You can read more about it here. A company with a strong sports culture, Biognosys employees compete in the annual alumni SOLA relay run and local cycling races.




And they laughed at my Gatorskins… also, where’s my wind tunnel?

By Daniel Grier

This past weekend featured the great state of New Hampshire with races at both Dartmouth and UNH. Sadly, it was to be my last collegiate race of the year. Not sadly, the weekend was predictably great. Well, okay. As a first-time racer, I actually spent much of the year in denial about my love for cycling, but after four race weekends I can safely say that “predictably” is the right word.

So what about the races? Well, there were four of them. Saturday kicked off with a 3-mile(!) ITT. Fortunately, they compensated for the short distance with some pretty hefty climbs. In particular, when there’s a dude cheering you on with a sign that says “400m to go!”, this does not mean “time to sprint” because a rather formidable hill will appear to crush your spirits. Despite demoralization via hill, I ended up getting 2nd out of 35; my best ratio to date (w00t).

Later in the day was the famous(?) frat-row criterium on Dartmouth’s campus. The crit was pretty typical for me–I tried to win, and I didn’t. On the other hand, the women’s A/B squad totally killed it. With a commanding presence of five riders in a field of slightly more than that (blame for the lack of precision there), the women’s team repeatedly sent riders on solo-attacks until one stuck. It didn’t take very long. It’s fun to be associated with greatness at least…

On Sunday, we moved over to UNH for the TTT and the road race. Surprisingly, we actually had enough D racers to field a full TTT team. After having been dropped from my last two TTT’s about 20 milliseconds into the race (I’ve since learned that I was riding with a teammate nicknamed “the hammer”, so you can’t blame me too much, right?), it was nice to finally get to finish one of these things. Among other things, the course featured a number of “last hills” since one of my teammates had been slightly misinformed about the time we should take to finish. Anyways, the real last hill eventually came, and we ended up getting first (don’t ask out of how many), so I guess I can’t complain too much.

So onto the event I’d been waiting for–the road race! The course was 40 miles long, which is 20 miles longer than I’d ever raced before, so I was looking forward to a new level of pain. The pace started out pretty leisurely, perhaps because everybody else hadn’t raced 40 miles before either. Unfortunately, winter was not kind to the roads this year, and the potholes were out in force. Anyways, riding in the peloton doesn’t exactly give you the best view of the road, so pinch flats became an immediate concern. I saw at least two people in front of me flat out of the race. At some point somebody joked that we should all be riding Gatorskins. Hah. Little did he know that I race on my commuter bike… I did not flat.

The race continued in that way until we had done one 20 mile lap. When we realized we were about to pass a bunch of spectators, I think the group consensus was that we should bike faster (cyclists are all about appearances, I’ve come to realize). Anyways, we hit the first big hill on the second lap, and people started turning on the jets. I just barely made the break (a rider literally came up and pushed me to help me along). There were six of us together. We go and go, but I’m pretty gassed at this point, and rotate off the front pretty much as soon as I get there. The second hill was not quite as kind to me… I got dropped and ended up doing the last 8 miles of the race by myself. I managed to hold off the field to take 6th. Pain was redefined for me on that day.

At the beginning of the race, somebody yelled out that MIT would do poorly in the race because the course had turns in it, which didn’t match the conditions of the wind tunnel that we practiced in. Despite being a rather long and slightly convoluted joke, it made me wonder about the more pressing issue at hand. This is not the first time I’ve heard MIT being heckled about its wind tunnel. So? Where’s my wind tunnel, guys? Is it heated? I need to train.