It's my senior year at IU and I want to share a bit about a bike race that has truly defined my undergraduate career.
The Little 500
This race is not only just an incredible tradition but it serves as an opportunity for growth for teams and individuals. Growth for leadership, teamwork, and many more. To start the Little 500 served as a competitive outlet for me. Cycling was a brand new sport in my life and it gave me a team to be around and a goal to work towards. My first two years were me "heads down" working to get to a place where I could be competitive in this race and on my team. Never did I imagine that it would provide me with an organization to be fortunate enough to serve in and lasting friendships with competitors and teammates.
For those that are not familiar with the Little 500, many know it from the film Breaking Away, it was started by an Indiana University visionary Howdy Wilcox in 1951 after stumbling upon a group of cyclists in a residence hall competing in a "back alley" race. The race is modeled after the famous Indianapolis 500 in memory of Howdy's Father who was a winner of the motor race. The Little 500 competes on a dirt cinder quarter-mile track on single speed bicycles. The men complete 200 laps and the women 100. There are 33 teams that qualify for both races and each team consists of up to 4 riders. During the race, only 1 rider per team is on the track racing and exchanges are done between teammates to swap riders during the race. One of the best ways to visualize the race is to watch one of the many race tape videos on YouTube here.
My team Sigma Phi Epsilon has been my team for 4 years now. A range of underclassmen and upperclassmen has created for returning and graduating riders that to this day remain dedicated to the program. We pride ourselves in a high standard of competition while remaining leaders on campus and successful in the workplace. Anything can happen on that one day in April for the race and all we ask of our team is we give it our absolute best and this year I can absolutely say that we did. During the race, we, unfortunately, were involved in a wreck that put us in a difficult place to chase the lead group for the last 30 laps of the race. We should not have been in contention to win the race, but we were. The chase left nothing left in my legs at the end but being in it because of my teammate's hard work was more than worth it.
I can't thank everyone involved enough with this year's race for the lifelong memories that you have provided myself and my team.
Here are a few pictures from the race.