Picture 35 college kids in Florida during spring break. What are they doing? "We ride about 100 miles a day, in about six hours," explains senior Brian Keegan. "We just ride, eat and sleep-- you're too tired to do anything else." It's this kind of effort that has put the UNH cycling team at the top of their sport.
Over the past 20 years, the club has often done well, but the last two seasons have been outstanding. Both years the team has brought home a coveted trophy for first place in the highly competitive Eastern Conference road-racing championships, placed in the top 12 in the national road-racing championships, and taken second place in the national championships for cyclocross.
Road racing on a bicycle is "very much a team sport," according to Keegan. Riders must continually assess the terrain while deciding whether to join a "breakaway" group or whether to provide a windbreak for teammates by riding in front. Teammates will sacrifice their own final scores in order to help insure a victory for their strongest member, who may be designated explicitly before--or intuitively during--the race.
Unlike many schools, the UNH club requires members to ride together in school vans on trips. Ed Spuler '96, the team's road-racing coach, believes those van rides actually give the team a competitive edge. Keegan agrees. "Some of the freshmen come in a little shy," he says, "but when you're stuck in a van with a bunch of people for 12 hours, you become friendly pretty quickly. They become your main group of friends."Return to UNH Magazine Campus Currents