Thursday, October 22, 2015

Check Out Bucknell Cycling on YouTube & Ride with Us for Homecoming

The title says it all.  Check out our YouTube channel here for some sweet POV footage of last week's Friday Ride, including three of the four sprints as well as great shots of the beautiful roads we call home.

Furthermore, if you are making the trip to Bucknell for Homecoming Weekend, be sure to bring your bike!  The team will be going out for three rides, all meeting in front of the downhill side of the Elaine Langone Center, near the bike racks:

Friday Ride 5 pm: 18 miles
Moderate-Easy Pace

Saturday Ride 10 am: ~50 miles, 3500 ft of elevation
Challenging-Moderate Pace
We will be taking on New Berlin and Jack's Mountain, so come prepared

Sunday Ride 10 am: ~30 miles
Moderate-Easy Pace

Although we welcome all alumni for these rides, road bikes are highly recommended. If you can not bring a bike, just bring pedals!  Earl's Bicycle Store on Fairground Road rents high-quality road bikes at reasonable rates.  We look forward to riding with you!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

2015/2016 Bucknell Cycling Sponsorship Packet Now Available

Each year, generous sponsors and donors make everything that we do possible.  For all the Friday Rides, winter training sufferfests, and spring race weekends, there are individuals and companies supporting us behind the scenes.  For everyone interested in continuing their support of Bucknell Cycling or anyone considering a new partnership with the team, we put together a sponsorship packet every summer that highlights who we are as a team, what we put our funds toward, and how we go about establishing a partnership with the team that is fulfilling for both ends.

Recently, funding was used to renew a professional cycling coach, purchase a dedicated cycling shed to store and maintain equipment, and send two athletes to compete in the USAC Collegiate Road National Championships, held in Asheville, NC. This coming year, one priority for the team consists of purchasing race quality team bikes, tools, and other equipment that will allow the team to grow and support more new riders.

The Bucknell Cycling Team is proud to be one of the only collegiate clubs that does not require its members to pay monetary fees in order to race.  We require members of the team to purchase their own uniforms and equipment, but the team covers all additional costs of racing, including race registration, lodging, and transportation, thus making the sport we love accessible to a much wider range of interested Bucknellians.

You can view our sponsorship packet online here.  Make sure to download the PDF for proper formatting and quality.  Even if you yourself choose not to be a sponsor or donor, we encourage you to share our proposal with any and all friends of the team or members of the cycling community.  Thank you to those who have made Bucknell Cycling possible, and we hope you continue your tremendous support of our team in the future!
Only a few weeks before the Bucknell Cycling veterans will again welcome a new freshmen class to the roads of Central PA.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Race Report: 2015 ECCC Road Season Weekends 4 and 5

As we look forward to another fall of great riding and, not insignificantly, the arrival of the Class of 2019, we look back at the second half of our past road season.  As a reminder, don't forget to like our Facebook page for our most frequent and up-to-date content.

Weekend 4: Boston Beanpot Cycling Classic (3/28-3/29)

The Boston Beanpot Cycling Classic, hosted jointly by MIT and Tufts, saw four Bucknell cyclists race in what started out as a very white late-March weekend.  Saturday morning's Individual Time Trial (ITT) was a loop of a little over eight miles that featured significant ice and snow buildup on race day.  First on-course for the team in the Men's D field, Kanishka Suwal pushed through the morning's steady snowfall to finish mid-pack among a huge, 43-man-strong D field.  Daniel Lazier and Alex Breakstone weren't any luckier with the weather for the Men's A start.  Dan posted a solid time and collected one solitary point for the team.

Kanishka starting off the weekend's racing in the Men's D ITT.
The Sutton Road Race later in the day followed a moderately hilly 11-mile loop which featured its most significant climb around a mile from the finish.  Though the snowfall had slowed slightly, the roads were still messy.  Kanishka finished his 22 miles in Men's D before Alex and Dan followed in Men's A.  What was slated to be 66 miles was severely cut to just 42 miles due to the poor road conditions.  While Alex was pulled and placed, he finished within the points, and a strong performance from Dan earned him 10th place and 26 points for the team.  Only 14 riders finished the race with a time, and the speed and conditions of the race were evidenced in the way riders came in in ones and twos.  The Men's B road race was similarly shortened from 55 to 35 miles, and Brian Case was able to finish 12th.  This was his first weekend racing in B's after starting the season in A's.

Sunday morning, the guys were happy to wake up to clear skies and sun, though temperatures were still very low.  The Tufts Campus Criterium was short and highly technical - under a mile and featuring 6 corners.  The course followed a downhill into a tricky corner, a chicane, and a steep hill before the finish.  First to race, Kanishka did not finish the Men's D2 criterium due to the cold.  In Men's B, however, Case was very much in the race, finishing 19th as a two-man break stayed off for a 41-second lead on the pack at the line.  The Men's A criterium was even more ruthless.  Only three riders finished their 60 minutes, with the top two places going to Queens University by a minute and a half.  Both Alex and Dan were pulled, but Alex was able to nab two points for Bucknell with his 19th place finish.

Weekend 5: Army Spring Classic (4/4-4/5)

The United States Military Academy at West Point consistently hosts one of the season's most scenic race weekends, and Bucknell Cycling rose to the occasion, bringing six riders to the beckoning banks of New York's Hudson River.  Unfortunately for those who had never raced at Army in the past, the weekend's hill climb - highly, if not disproportionately, hyped up by those elder statesmen of the Bucknell Cycling Team who have themselves reached out for individual glory on its sloped streets - was cut out of this year's festivities.  The 7-mile out-and-back Harriman Team Time Trial started off Saturday's racing.  Christian Ouellette, David Schell, and Charlie Hanna constituted the team's only representation in the race, powering to a second-place finish and 20 points among the Men's D2 field.

Charlie, Dave, and Christian (from left to right) start in the Men's D TTT.
The Harriman Road Race followed a 14-mile loop and two steady climbs, and the Men's D field was prescribed two laps.  By far leading the charge was Christian, whose solid performance was enough for a 10th place finish and 11 points for Bucknell.  With this being his first mass-start race, Charlie unfortunately did not hang in to finish, while David was in difficulty and DNF'd as well.

In the 70-mile Men's A race, Lazer thrived.  The longer and bumpier the route, the better Dan does, and this race was no exception.  He finished 5th within a lead group of five heavy-hitters, who built their lead to almost three minutes over the next group of riders.  The icing on the cake for the team was a visit by legendary alum Harry Chen.  Alex was pulled and placed.  Over the 56-mile Men's B race, Brian Case's effort was good for 11th place, as the first five riders stayed off the front and the rest of the field was shattered.

Alex, Dan, and Harry before the Men's A road race.
Alex sticking his nose out at the front of the Men's A road race.

Dan makes the Velocity Results results page for his strong 5th in the Men's A road race.
Sunday's Shea Stadium Criterium indeed returned to its original course around the stadium for this year's edition, featuring a long run along the Hudson River and multiple curves and corners of varying angle.  Keeping his hot streak alive, Christian took a 2nd and a 3rd in the two primes in the Men's D2 race, then went on to take 2nd at the finish.  The D squad worked well together, and the baby blue was never split far apart; David Schell came in right behind Christian for 3rd, and Charlie hung on to finish the race in 15th.

Christian and Dave throw a 2-3 punch in the Men's D crit.
In the Men's B crit, Brian got 3rd in the second prime lap and sprinted to 8th out of the 26 riders who finished with the pack.  In the Men's A crit, Alex nabbed 4th in the fifth out of six primes before flatting out, while Dan finished mid-pack.

Case sitting in the Men's B crit.

Dan sitting in the Men's A crit.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Race Report: 2015 ECCC Road Season Weekend 3 (3/21-3/22)

With the last few races of the 2015 ECCC road season coming up, we're here to catch you up with our progress and results so far, starting with the second weekend of racing (officially the third ECCC weekend including the cancelled first weekend).  This weekend, Temple University hosted the Philly Phlyer - a staple of the ECCC calendar - and we were generously hosted by friend and former President Brian Tino.  Due to irregular weekend schedules for some who wanted to race, a regular trip was made out to Philadelphia Friday night in addition to a second batch of racers who came out Saturday night to race on Sunday.  Racing both days were Daniel Lazier and Brian Case in Men's A, Steven Robare and newcomer Christian Ouellette in Men's C, and Kanishka Suwal and Kurt Schlosser in Men's D.  Coming up for Sunday were Ward Prescott and David Schell, both Men's C racers.

Saturday started off with a Team Time Trial, and the team was in action in the Men's C and D categories.  At 14 miles, the course was relatively long for a ECCC TTT.  It was the same course as last year, starting with a descent to the Schuylkill River, where it flattened out and teams followed the road out and back twice before ascending to the finish.  Kanishka and Kurt went off first for Men's D followed by Steven and Christian for Men's C.  All but Steven had never raced a TTT before, so it was time to put the winter's pace-lining work to the test.  Both pairs were passed on course, but both also caught up to teams up the road and put up a fight.  Men's C finished tenth out of fifteen, and Men's D finished seventh out of ten.  The time-trialing was rough around the edges yet definitely a good first experience for Kurt, Kanishka, and Christian.

The "Schuykill Scramble" Circuit Race later in the day also followed last year's course - an approximately 6.5 mile loop that descended to, ran out and back along, and ascended up from the river, with a hilly loop thrown in at the far end of the circuit.  It was slightly chilly yet dry for the start of the Men's D race.  Kanishka finished the 20 miles exactly in the middle of the 26-man D2 field, which was very split by the finish, and Kurt was pulled and placed.  Soon later, Men's C set off for their 26 miles.  Steven and Christian both came through with the pack after the first lap, but it was the hilly back section that did them in on the second and third laps.  Steven hung with who he could, finishing the race at the back of the field, while Christian was pulled and placed.

By the time the Men's A race rolled around, the sun was shining and the temperatures had risen.  Dan stayed tucked in the pack where he needed to be for the 46 miles, handling the hilly and fast sections adeptly.  With one rider finishing a minute and a half off the front, the rest of the group finished strung out and slightly split up.  Dan nabbed a solid 15th-place finish, and Brian was pulled and placed.

Kurt and Kanishka (left to right) warm up for Sunday's criterium, featuring one of our new Cascade fluid trainers!

Sunday's Temple University Criterium also followed last year's course - a classic, four-corner crit right in Temple's campus.  The sun was out again, though it was chilly for the Men's D start.  Throughout the day, a strong headwind along the finishing straight and the straight preceding it proved critical.  Kurt finished in the fourth of four main groups to finish; him and six other racers came in 2:20 back from the front group.  Kanishka was in the majority of the race and was the last rider to be pulled before finishing times were given.

Ward, Steven, Dave, and Christian were at the starting line for the 40-minute Men's C crit.  The first and second-place finishers came through the finish solo, far ahead of the rest of the field.  Ward won the sprint among the five-man group he finished with, coming in just within the top 50% for the race, and Christian also finished with that group.  Steven and Dave were both P&P'd.

Dave, Steven, Christian, and Ward line up for the Men's C criterium at Temple.
Unfortunately, results did not get much better later in the day for the Men's A race.  A lot of heavy-hitters came out to play and enjoy the weather.  Like in the Men's C race, almost half of the starting pack didn't finish the race or was pulled.  Dan and Brian both received a P&P for the day.

Case and Lazer stay warm in the sun before the Men's A criterium.
Despite the lack of results on Sunday, sunny skies, good grillin', and good company - as well as a weekend's worth of solid racing - kept spirits high.

Our cookie-warming system, designed and hand-crafted by the engineers of the Bucknell Cycling Team.
As always, stay tuned as we continue to roll out full-length race reports on the blog, and stay connected by liking our Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Brian Case Takes ECCC Yellow Jersey at Boston, Aims to Join Pro Ranks Following Graduation

Despite the snow on Saturday, this past weekend's Boston Beanpot was a breakthrough weekend for one rider in particular.  Veteran Men's A rider, Pittsford native, and senior researcher in the Dr. Mizuki Takahashi Amphibian Research Lab, Brian Case, broke off the front of the field about 30 minutes into Saturday's road race.  Over the remainder of the 42-mile race, he built the gap to over 8 minutes to claim the solo victory.  The next day, he repeated, lapping the criterium field three times before the officials ended the race 30 minutes short of the planned 60 minutes out of pity.  This win cemented Case's lead in an otherwise inconsistent Men's A category, and he now proudly holds the ECCC's yellow jersey for Bucknell leading up to the coming Army Weekend.  When asked about his recent success, Case credits friend and mentor Brian Tino - current UCI Continental pro rider, winner of last year's TD Bank Mayor's Cup, and runner-up for last year's Tour of California KOM jersey.  Tino drove out to Boston from his Philadelphia home to support Case in his historic drive for the yellow jersey.  Following his wins, Case is confident he will retain the yellow jersey, adding that he hopes to go pro this coming summer and train in Europe while simultaneously saving the environment.  His biggest goal though?  "Yeah, I just really look forward to beating Stone in every single Friday Ride mailbox sprint."

Brian Case riding for the USAC Collegiate Varsity program at Bucknell University.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Race Report (& Winter Catch-Up): 2015 ECCC Road Season Weekend 2 (3/14-3/15)

This past weekend, Bucknell Cycling finally emerged to start off the 2015 ECCC road season following a cancelled first weekend - what would have been the Garden State Collegiate Weekend hosted by Stevens Institute of Technology.  Before we jump into the post, we remind you to follow the Bucknell Cycling Team's Facebook page for the most frequent team updates and cycling news.

Leading up to this past weekend, a rough winter of unrelenting snow and cold temperatures unfortunately meant less long rides and more time on the trainers, though that didn't stop the team from going out on an epic Triple Bypass ride, among others.  The team also had two big weekends with Coach Bill Brunner of Highlands Coaching, new to the team this year, to ride and learn about eating, training, and race strategy.  Veterans like Daniel Lazier and Alexander Breakstone got to really dig into their data, while newcomers like Kanishka Suwal and Charlie Hanna benefited from bike fits and advice on prepping for long rides and completing effective trainer sessions.  The team also held its annual winter training competition, in which riders are placed into teams and each rider is encouraged to log the time they spend riding, up until the team's first race.  Mr. Lazier dominated the competition early on and took first in the end with a whopping 5675 minutes logged.  Breakstone worked hard for a close second place at 5166 minutes, and his team - including veteran Brian Case and newcomers Christian Ouellette and Charlie Hanna - won the team competition with 13091 minutes between them.  Among the freshmen, Charlie stood out with a sizable 2559 minutes.

"Sooo, Christian, this descent coming up usually doesn't have winter maintenance." - Caserace

Ward, Steven, and Charlie (from left to right)

For Dan, Alex, Kanishka, Ward Prescott, and Kurt Schlosser, Saturday's Columbia Rockland Lake Circuit Race was the first time to put this winter training to the test.  The 3.7 mile circuit looped around a lake, had no corners, and had a fairly flat profile, with some undulation on the back section.  While the road was messy at points, it was well marked.  A bigger challenge for the day was the cold temperatures and steady rain.  Despite a slight lightening of the rain later in the day for the A field, water and crud from the road continued to kick up, leaving riders cold and visibility low.

A combined field of Men's D1 and D2 was the first to go off, with freshmen Kanishka and Kurt riding for the baby blue.  As was not unexpected, it was a little rough; Kanishka worked hard to fight the conditions but ended up off the back of the pack, and Kurt was involved in a minor fall after being caught behind a crash.  The two rode together for a bit, though Kanishka later pulled himself out of the race due to the wet and cold.  Kurt finished like a champ - coming in as the last timed rider in the race but earning the team's first four points of the season due to a sixth place finish among the D2 riders.

Kanishka and Kurt (left to right) at the start of Saturday's Columbia Rockland Lake Circuit Race.

In the Men's C race, Ward started strong from the start, staying near the front of the pack for the majority of the race.  What could have been a top finish became a solid, fast, mid-pack finish after he was caught behind a crash leading up to the line that split the field.

Hours later but with weather conditions barely improved, Bucknell Cycling's big guns were out for the Men's A race.  Both Dan and Alex were feeling good, and both had definitely put in the training time to bring some results.  The plan was clear: Dan would work to form a winning break while Alex would keep tabs on the pack and work in the finishing sprint.  In the case of a decisive break, both would look to stay up the road.  Thirty minutes into the 1.5 hour race, Dan prodded and a break formed.  The three-man break looked great and spirits were high as the gap was extended to over two and a half minutes with a handful of laps to go.  The team was looking for a repeat of last year's Army Weekend.  Unfortunately, the break consisted of two riders from the University of Delaware (along with Dan).  With few options and in hopes of working with the two others longer, Dan took his fair share of pulls and tried the friendly approach throughout the race.  However, when the time came, the UD riders were relentless - attacking Dan one after the other and eventually breaking him off.  The hard work and cold got to Dan, as over the course of two laps he passed through no-man's land and back through the pack.  At the end of the day, the result for Dan was a P&P.

While Dan was taking off, Alex did exactly what he needed to do at the front of the peloton - covering, watching, and bringing back moves.  When he saw Dan return to the pack, however, he knew the game had changed and it was up to him to bring the team a result.  Strength and confidence throughout the race built up to a strong finish by Stone.  He took fifth in the field sprint for seventh overall and a massive 40 points for Bucknell.

After a great dinner and a good night's sleep at the Breakstones', the team set off for Sunday's Rutgers Campus Criterium.  With Kanishka out due to the onset of cold-like symptoms, Kurt again kicked the day off for Bucknell Cycling in the Men's D field.  The course was a 0.78 mile, three-corner crit that followed a long, downhill, left-hand curve into a flat back straight.  The race then turned left into the wind and onto an uphill straight, in the middle of which was the line.  It was cold, windy, and cloudy the whole day, but that didn't stop Kurt from again picking up points for the baby blue.  Though taken out after losing a lap to the field, Kurt finished seventh among the D2 riders.

The Men's C race saw Ward and Steven Robare at the starting line, the latter of whom didn't race the day before due to an illness that lasted him the entire previous week.  The race started with both Steven and Ward staying within the top five to ten riders - right where they needed to be.  Despite putting in serious time in the off season, however, Steven felt the effects of his previous week and was unable to stick with the pack.  He rode in for a P&P.  Ward, however, only felt stronger as the race went on, winning the second of three sprint laps .  From there he sat in and regained energy for the finish.  Despite a one-man winning solo off the front, Ward came through the last corner in perfect position.  Churning up to the line with a massive painface, Wardo took second in the field sprint for a third-place finish overall and a total of 18 points for Bucknell.  Starting off his second season of road racing, Ward finally got the kind of result that, for various reasons, had previously eluded him.

Ward pulling a painface while hauling in for third in Sunday's Rutgers Campus Criterium.

Finally, Alex and Dan lined up to finish off the weekend in the Men's A race, maintaining the previous day's team strategy.  Alex again showed strength and confidence from the beginning, prodding at the front of the peloton and watching for the group's strongmen to show their cards.  Unfortunately, when their cards were finally thrown down and the decisive break was made, the group of five that went up the road lacked a Bucknell representative.  Despite multiple tries by Dan to both bridge the gap and animate the pack to chase, the gap only extended.  The pack knew the five men were too far gone and slowed down.  On their second-to-last lap, the pack was lapped and all the racers finished together in a sprint.  Alex pulled out a solid third in the field for eighth overall and 31 points, and Lazer came in with the pack for eighteenth and three points.  In addition, Alex nabbed a third and a fourth-place finish in two of the sprint laps, and Dan nabbed a fourth-place in another prime.

Dan working hard in the Men's A field to make something stick in Sunday's Rutgers Campus Criterium.

Alex sitting in the Men's A field before taking third in Sunday's field sprint.
We thank the Breakstone family for their tremendous hospitality this past weekend, as well as all of our sponsors for helping us start off the season right.  Please head to the "Sponsors" page for the most up-to-date information.  Finally, as always, Papa K was arguably this week's MVP, keeping energy and spirits high with G-Mix, Twizzlers, and food fresh off the grill.

This coming weekend, the team heads out to Philadelphia for the Philly Phyler.  Everyone from the Columbia/Rutgers weekend will be returning, with Brian Case, David Schell, and Christian Ouellette making their debut for the season.  Stay tuned!