Bike club gaining traction, growing on campus
Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Updated: Friday, January 18, 2013 01:01
Some guys ride their bike to class. Others ride their bike all the way to Wrightsville Beach twice a week.
These guys are part of the UNC Wilmington bike club, which has been around since 2005. Every Monday and Wednesday night at 5:45 p.m. at the Rec Center, a large group of guys get on their bikes and travel about 15 to 20 miles. According to senior club captain Karsten Bench, the club has grown a lot since its birth seven years ago.
“It was started by a couple of guys, and one of them works at Bike Cycles right now, so we still keep in touch,” Bench said. “These guys rode their bikes all the time and then they found out about this collegiate conference for cycling, so they thought it would be pretty cool to start a club here. Their jerseys were literally white T-shirts and they wrote their numbers on there with sharpies, but we’ve come a long way since then.”
These guys don’t just ride their bikes for fun. They also compete in events and races on the weekends.
“This is our first year that we’re doing Cycle Cross,” Bench said. “It’s kind of like off-road biking. Then when January comes around, we’re going to bike on the road.”
Even though this is the first year for sophomore Alex Claiborne, he is already having fun pedaling by the waves twice a week.
“We go down to Wrightsville Beach and do a couple of laps down there, up and down the beach,” Claiborne said. “However, if it’s cold and raining and the wind is blowing in your face, we just decide not to go out that day.”
As of right now, the club has 28 members and about 10 of them show up regularly to compete in races or events.
“When I first joined, there were only six people in the club,” Bench said. “It used to be just the three of us traveling every weekend to compete in races. So we’ve definitely grown since then.”
As the bike club continues to grow, the team hopes they can expand their horizons and afford more trips to compete against other schools in the future.
If anyone is interested in joining the club, feel free to look the group up on Facebook at UNCW Cycling Current Members. Also, you can contact Bench at email@example.com.