Sunday, September 23, 2018

Late September Updates: Friday Fun, a 100 Mile Journey, and Plenty of Parents

Welcome Back!

Just because the Milton Harvest Festival Race happened two weeks ago already doesn't mean we haven't been busy. A lot has been going on in these short two weeks and I'm excited to share about it!

Friday Rides:

We have had a couple of Friday rides since the Harvest Festival and we are still starting to see some new faces! On our ride this past Friday, we welcomed Zach Schaeffer to the team. He was riding a new Giant Contend which was made possible by our generous sponsor Earl's Bicycle Store.

Other new members have also been showing promise as they begin to develop their skills on the bike. Arshnoor Amin is finding it easier to keep with the group on the rides and ride in a large group. His ability to control his bike has improved immensely in these few short weeks and he even uses Strava to track his rides now! The same goes for Sebastian Ascoli, who's handle on his bike shows signs of improvement every weke.  Just the other week, Tim Chillemba and Peter Kaladius went out to ride up New Berlin before our Friday Ride and Tim did it! This is truly no small feat for a new rider, so great job, Tim. As for Peter, I think he's ready to tackle some of the big climbs in the area like Jack's Mountain. Nick Fardone has gotten much more involved with the team, which is awesome. He's been coming to rides throughout the week, enjoying mountain biking on the weekend, and seems like a good fit for racing in the Spring. This week Jon Tze was finally able to get back on his bike for the first time since he badly injured his hand just before the beginning of the semester! I was not with him on the Thursday Night Ride this week, but from what I heard, he's going to be a big asset for the team in the Men's B field this Spring.

An Epic 100 Mile Journey:

On Saturday, the 15th, myself, Andrew Schlicht, Tom and Evan Dominick, and Jon Lewis took an epic journey out to the mountains of Williamsport. Originally Andrew and I were planning on doing the Triple Bypass route, which is a feat in of itself. It features three category 3 climbs, each within a 30 mile loop! But Tom and Evan Dominick had an even greater route in mind. We would do the same route as Triple Bypass but add another 30 miles through the hills to the North of Williamsport.

This ride was tough to say the least. One of the most daunting things about it was the 30 miles of unknown road that was north of Williamsport. By that point we had already faced two hard climbs and had to make sure that we saved enough gas to make it up the final climb in Williamsport and then ride the final 25 miles back to Lewisburg. Miraculously, through some great hydration and nutrition tactics, we all made it through the ride and held a solid average! In our cardio-enduced haze after the ride, Andrew, Jon and I went to the Caribbean Connection in town to feast on some Pernil. Definitely worth a visit if you're ever looking for somewhere to eat in town! Thanks to Tom and Evan for the ride and to Jon and Andrew for joining. I hope that we can encourage more members of the team to join us next time.

Attached below is a profile of the ride and some pictures of it. It's so tough, but honestly so rewarding and beautiful. I can only imagine how spectacular some of the views will be as the trees begin to change colors.

Somewhere North of Williamsport...

Breath-taking view looking South from the top of Sulfur Springs

Near Rose Valley Lake

Surviving our way back to Lewisburg on PA44

Profile of the ride. Definitely go and try at least the Triple Bypass loop!

 Plenty of Parents:

This past weekend was Parent's Weekend on campus and we were fortunate enough to ride with plenty of them! Dave Bravo, my Mom (Cindy McGauley), my Brother (Sean McGauley),  and Stephen Lewin (Father of a Bucknell Junior) joined us for the ride on Saturday. It was a beautifully cool and clear first day of Fall, and we even had our first leaf catch of the season! Dave Bravo was the lucky one to catch our first leaf. Eli wasn't too keen on letting his Dad steal the honor, but the rest of us all agreed it counted. It was very nice to have my Mom and my Brother out there riding with us. Plenty of locals joined in with us too. JR Riehl, Eric Grimes, Laurie Glowatski, and Alan Marchiori were all in attendance. It's always a pleasure to ride with you all!

On Sunday we had a smaller ride over to the east of the Susquehanna river. We were joined again by Dave Bravo and Eric Grimes. Andrew was also in attendance and got to celebrate his 21st Birthday with a nice morning ride. The pace was chill, the roads were flat, and the weather was breezy and cool, which made for a refreshing combination for a Sunday morning. At one point, Dave beat Eli in a township-sign sprint. Eli, never wanting to live that down, went off the front and won all of the sprints for the rest of the ride.

After the ride, as is tradition, the team went to Amami Kitchen and Espresso bar to enjoy some coffee and paninis. It's so wonderful to have a sponsor like Amami who is as excited to see and hear about our rides as we are to feast on their delicious food. Thanks as always Davide! And thank you to Dave Bravo for treating us to lunch and coffee, we all appreciate it immensely!

See below for some pictures of the ride on Saturday and from our lunch today.

What a group!!

Lunch at Amami

Schlicht telling us how he managed to break his chain

First leaf caught this Fall!

That's all for this blog post. There's still plenty more action to come this semester. Next weekend we will be going to the Velofest swap meet, at some point in October we are planning on having a movie night and in early November we will be petitioning to revive the Bucknell Classic. Stay tuned, but for now, ride on!

 —Matty McG

Thursday, September 13, 2018

August Updates and the Annual Milton Harvest Festival Bike Race

Hey everyone, welcome back to the Bucknell Cycling Team blog! My name is Matt “Matty McG” McGauley and I will be the president of the Cycling Team this year. If we’ve never met before, I’m a Junior from Exton, Pennsylvania and I’m studying Biology here at Bucknell. I was loosely involved with the team at the beginning of my Freshman year (big mistake) but ever since my first season of racing in the Spring of 2017, I’ve fallen in love with cycling and this team. I started as a Men’s Collegiate C in 2017 and got dropped by the field in every race except for two. It was frustrating coming from a running background because I thought that my fitness would translate to cycling quickly and that I would be successful right away. I quickly learned that there’s so much more to this sport than just fitness. After a couple of seasons of training, learning, and racing, I finally feel let I get the hang of it. As a result, I will be racing in the Men’s Collegiate B category for the 2019 season. I’m looking forward to accomplishing a lot of big things this year. The first of those is to assist our former President, Andrew Schlicht, in bringing the Bucknell Cycling Classic back to Central Pennsylvania. Secondly, I want to make cycling an approachable and inviting sport for new riders in the same way that the former executives of the team did for me. And finally, I want to encourage new and returning riders to take full advantage of the opportunity to race for the Bucknell Cycling Team. It is truly a privilege and honor to do so. That’s enough about me, here is what we have been up to for this beginning of this semester:
August 2018: On Friday, August 24, we had our first Friday Ride of the year. What a turnout we had; more than 20 people came out for the ride! On the returning side, our executives Andrew Schlicht, Eli Bravo, and Evelyn Korbich were in attendance. Sasha Weilbaker, Elyza Agosta, Harry Huang, Peter Kaladius and Mitch Warner also came out for the ride. Our returning riders are all feeling strong and excited for the year after a summer of training. Our new members represented every class year! From the senior class we were joined by Paul Lego. Juniors Evan Fillion and Sierra Meggitt were in attendance. Sophomores Conor Vogt, Arshnoor Amin, Devyn Myers, Tim Chilemba and Dan Heffernan came out and rode with us for the first time. And last but not least we are excited to welcome our freshman recruits Sebastian Ascoli, Khoi Lam, Giovanni Matarrazo, Nick Fardone, Jon Tze, Luka Baramidze and Eleanor King. Local JR Riehl was also in attendance. Tim was enthusiastically quoted during the ride saying “This [was] the most fun [he’d] had in a long time!” Overall, we had a great first ride together. The new riders are quickly learning the quirks of cycling and getting a good feel for the sport. We also revived a forgotten team tradition: Flapjack Friday. After Friday we gathered at Schlicht’s house and enjoyed some pan-fried bacon and delicious chocolate chip pancakes. It was a great way to hang around and get to know each other! Schlicht has been hard at work to get the Bucknell Cycling Classic approved for the Spring. He is making very promising progress! He recently attended township and county meetings to gain approval for his proposed Criterium and Road Race routes. The next steps will be to finalize plans for the race and get the proposal approved by the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference in early November.

Beautiful day for our first Friday Ride of the year

Milton Harvest Festival Bike Race:

September is one of the best times of the year in Central Pennsylvania. The weather starts to get cooler (every year except this one…), the trees turn beautiful colors, and the Milton Harvest Festival 28 mile Bike Race happens. This year we had an amazing turnout for the race. We brought a small herd of 17 bison who were eager to race. New riders Tim Chilemba, Luka Baramidze, Dan Heffernan, Nick Fardone, Eleanor King, Sebastian Ascoli, Arshnoor Amin, and Conor Vogt got the chance to dip their toes into their first bit of competition. All of them did a great job completing the tough, hilly course. Unfortunately Nick and Luka suffered flat tires early in the race, but both of them still had a great experience and are eager to continue riding despite their misfortune.

Evelyn Korbich, Sasha Weilbaker, and Elyza Agosta had a strong showing in the Women’s race. Evelyn was the second place female overall and Elyza and Sasha finally broke their Milton-course-curse and set personal records by over two minutes!

Harry Huang and Peter Kaladius continue to show vast improvement from last year. I can remember just last year when Peter struggled on Friday rides and now he is riding like a true veteran. His persistence and work ethic are impeccable. Same goes with Harry, just last year he wasn’t even riding with the team, but now he is riding strong and working on his racing tactics. I hope that the new riders can learn from their example of how hard work pays off! I can’t wait to see where the rest of the year takes these two. Mitchell Warner also had a great race despite feeling under the weather. It’s great to see him still coming out to ride with us even though he has a very busy schedule with ROTC.

Andrew, Eli, and I were able to stay with a chase group throughout the race. We all made it safely over the Follmer Road wall and through the rolling hills of Mexico Road. The group we were in for the beginning of the race fragmented on the climb up PA route 54, but the three of us were able to work hard on the hill and join a group of riders that survived the gruelling and fast climb. After the descent down to PA route 642, one man broke off from the group and stayed away for the rest of the race. Props to that guy because he soloed for the win for almost half of the race, broke the course record (handily), and according to his Strava was just using the race as “Little more of an opener than [he] had intended” for the USA Crits race in Doylestown (Sept. 9). The three of us were able to work with the Shipp train at the front of the pack and stay with the group for the rest of the race. In the end we sprinted in with the group and finished the 28 mile course in about ~1:06:40 (still under the previous course record). It was an exciting showing for the three of us especially considering that we will be racing together (along with Freshman Jon Tze) in the Men’s B field for the 2019 Collegiate Racing Season.

Afterwards we rode back to Lewisburg as a team and enjoyed a delicious lunch with one of our generous sponsors, Amami Kitchen and Espresso Bar.

A special shoutout to Papa K, Angie Fritzges, Eric Grimes, Mr. and Mrs. Schlicht, and my Dad (Mr. McG) for coming out to the race to support the team.

See below for Results and Pictures from the race!

Here's how our riders did according to the official results:

Evelyn Korbich   1:16:52.3   6th place female
Sasha Weilbaker   1:21:08.7   7th place female
Elyza Agosta   1:38:24.7   15th place female

Eli Bravo   1:06:19.7   8th place male
Matt McGauley 1:06:25.1    13th place male
Andrew Schlicht   1:06:29.0    15th place male
Mitchell Warner   1:13:36.3   52nd place male
Peter Kaladius   1:17:46.2   77th place male
Harry Huang   1:20:58.5   87th place male
Conor Vogt   1:36:49.8   120th place male
Tim Chilemba   1:49:21.1   127th place male
Arshnoor Amin   2:16:28.9   133rd place male

What a squad! 17 strong!

(L to R) Andrew Schlicht,  Luka Baramidze, Matt McGauley, Nick Fardone, and Eli Bravo after the race

That's all for this post. Can't wait to share more in the coming weeks!
            Ride on,
              Matty McG