Portland State's Cycling Club is featured this month at USA Cycling's Web site. USA Cycling (formerly known as the US Cycling Federation, back when I got my race mechanic certification with them) has done a lot to grow the sport at the collegiate level. PSU has made great strides to bring bike racing back into the fabric of campus life. Previous attempts at fielding a bike team met with varying success and were mostly short-lived, most lasting a few seasons before folding from lack of support and members. When I was a student at Portland State in the 80's there was NO organized cycling activity at all; when I returned to the campus in 1998 there was a fledgling attempt at a cycling club that lasted a few years and folded, mostly for lack of financial support. But today, PSU Cycling has a thriving racing scene for eligible students, and also a friendly and welcoming recreational scene for the larger PSU community (students, faculty, staff and alumni). PSU Cycling members appeared at the PIR Short-track XC series last summer, and at nearly every cyclocross race of the fall (I lined up with at least four of their women as part of a crowded Barton Park start field in November). I am happy to be an alumni supporter of PSU Cycling and I hope they go far.
Read all about the team's accomplishments here. As a club sport, PSU Cycling is supposed to be self-supporting, which means that these college students have to pay for race fees, uniforms and transportation to local and regional events. And oh, yeah, they also have to juggle their academics with time for training, racing and, um, sleeping (remember kids, resting is part of training.)
Sure, they get discounts on bikes and some gear, but nobody's getting a free ride (ahem) here.
If you're inspired to help them out, You can make a check to PSU Cycling, and send it to them:
c/o Portland State University
PO Box 751
Portland OR 97201
LET'S GO VIKINGS!