Keep on keepin’ on

Courtesy Photo / Peter Beels
Peter Beels at the U of M Mens A Criterium

Courtesy photo

Courtesy Photo / Peter Beels Peter Beels at the U of M Men’s A Criterium

Bryce Derouin

One of the most desirable aspects about the Grand Valley State club sports program is that it gives students the opportunity to compete competitively in the sports they love. Students don’t have to stop playing the sport they enjoy, even if it isn’t offered by the university.

Since 1995, the GVSU cycling club has given students the opportunity to pursue a competitive cycling. There are various goals that the club has set.

“If you’re asking me, it is racing,” said senior Peter Beels. “It’s also to raise awareness and promote recreational cycling around the college and the community.”

The GVSU cycling club has a total of 20 members, with 10 currently active. The club is a member of the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference, which holds meets at various colleges including Ohio State University, the University of Purdue and Lindenwood University.

Aside from being a member of a competitive conference, the club also takes part in fundraisers and they occasionally ride recreationally.

“There are often casual rides we take in the fall,” Beels said. “Including the cystic fibrosis ride, where we ride and raise a bunch of money for cystic fibrosis awareness.”

The club would also like to see them become more competitive in the races. However, that is not currently the situation right now.

“We like to be a competitive club, but currently we are more recreation,” said club president Thomas Beebe. “Our goal is to be competitive in the collegiate conference. We’re struggling to produce a lot of competitiveness which decreases our effectiveness. Other teams have a lot more people so they can attack and hold positions better than we can.”

There are a couple issues the club is currently facing. The club doesn’t have the numbers to compete with the larger cycling teams, and funding has been a constant issue.

“In the spring we’re competitive,” Beels said. “We’ve not had a huge amount of people this year. It’s expensive because we can’t use college funds for driving or lodging. As a whole, the people who have showed up have been successful, but we’ve had low participation compared to other years.”

Even with the struggles the club has faced this year, they continue to show improvement in the meets they have been able to attend. The cyclists hope to continue to remain competitive and improve at each meet they attend.

“We’ve been improving as much as we can expect with the training we’ve been getting in this spring,” Thomas said. “We’re definitely getting faster, but we don’t have much to work with.”

While the club may not be as competitive as years past, they have managed to find silver linings throughout the year.

“We’ve done better this year compared to past years as far as organization and meeting deadlines,” Beels said. “With racing, we’ve had successful races, some things we’ve done better but some things we have not.”

The cycling club’s next meet is the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Road Conference Championship, which takes place Saturday and Sunday at the University of Notre Dame.

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