College Mountain Bike Clubs: Tell us about yours
Thought I would try this. Tell us about your college Mountain Biking Club
Are you a student? What college/university? Does your college have a mountain biking club? Is it funded? How? How many students in the club vs. how many students at the college? Are there any organized community organizations? Bike shops you deal with? Do you you have club bikes for members who do not have their own? Do you do trail work? Host races? Do you have safe storage for your bikes? Tools?
Where do you ride? Are there good trails within riding distance of campus? What is the main style of riding for the club? XC? AM/trail? Gravity?
Let's hear it! Photos are cool!
I'll go first:
I am currently president of the Oneonta State Mountain Biking Club in Oneonta, NY. We have a student-funded club with an annual budget of around $2K. Out of about 6,000 undergrad students, about 30 are in the club and active within the past few months. Last year we only had 10 or so people involved, with a core group of 6 riders.
There is no organized MTB organization locally, but there is a pretty fair-sized bike community in town. On the weekly Sunday Morning rides may see about 10-15 people, but there's always someone out. City population is somewhere around 13K.
We have a great relationship with Sport Tech. They sell our jerseys, and often help us out a bit on prices. We have 3 club bikes, two of which we bought from Sport Tech at a healthy discount. Another was donated to us by our College President's husband.
Our club does almost 100% of the trail maintenance and construction in Oneonta. Over the past 8 years we have added to old unbuilt hiking trails and logging roads several miles of singletrack. Most of the purpose-built, sustainable singletrack has been built in the last 3 years.
The biking community here is mostly comprised of avid (but by no means hardcore) XC riders, so we build our trails as such. However we also shape the trail and incorporate features that make it possible to use every bit of a 6" AM bike on that same trail.
Our club shares a room with the Outdoor Education Department in the P.E. building. It stores the dozen entry-level hardtails used for the mountain biking class as well as some other outdoor gear. It is also home to a 2-bike work stand, a ParkTool tool set, truing stand, all of our trail building tools, club members' bikes, a BoB trailer, spinners, laptop with speakers, table and chair for meetings.
Yup. We're lucky.
I'm Sponsorship director for the Cal Poly Wheelmen. Our club stated in 1972, and held the first Collegiate Road Nationals in 1988. We have won the WCCC Mountain conference almost every year since 1996. We have done pretty well at MTB Collegiate Nationals, 4th place very close to 3rd, I think for the last three years. This is pretty cool considering we are a fully student run club competing against schools that recruit for cycling and have fulltime coaches.
Our school gives us very little, I think like $1000. Not sure what our budget is, but I would guess 20-30k. The rest comes from fundraising, sponsorship, clothing sales and donations. We pay for all our racers race entries and comp gas when we can. We host many cycling related activities within our club and the local cycling community. Our school is about 20k students, our club has about 100 members and 30-40 active racers.
The cycling community is huge here. There are lots of group rides, trail maintenance, on campus bike fix, a bike night every month, and many other cycling related events. We try to get involved in as many as we can and all our members volunteer at least a few hours a quarter. We host a Collegiate MTB race weekend (XC, STXC, DS, and DH races) and a Collegiate Road race weekend (Team TT, ITT, and on-campus crit). These are open to the public as well with many non-collegiate categories. Our MTB race, The Parkfield Classic is one of the longest running MTB races in CA, started in 1989 and the Wheelmen started hosting the race in 1999. If run properly races can be a great fundraiser, but they are a lot of hard work.
Most riders have their own bikes and equipment, but we do have a few loaners. Most our riders have a couple bikes also so finding one to borrow is never an issue. All our club equipment is currently is all over the place are different club officers house. We are trying to get some sort of storage facility on campus, but they school is being difficult. We will likely have to build something and can hopefully find somewhere on campus to do so.
There are tons of trails in the area within riding distance of all types and levels of difficulty. And even more if you are willing to drive a little. Our club doesn’t really have a main style, lots of people ride and race both endurance and gravity. Overall the terrain here is best suited to a trail bike.
I've had lots of fun being a part of our schools cycling club.
Cold and snowy at Collegiate Nationals this year.
DS course at the WCCC Conference race this year hosted by Berkely.
One of our gravity riders on the DH Nationals course 2 years ago. He got 2nd to a Pro Yeti rider.
UCSB's DS course.
On-campus Crit last year.
One of the gnarlier local DH trails.
Sorry for the lack of XC photos, but they usually aren't that exciting anyways.
So jealous of you guys.
Back in the early 2000's, I was veep of the Wittenberg University Cycling Club. Still got my jerseys. I don't remember what our budget was, but it was small. it funded race entry fees and transportation for one guy and partially paid for our jerseys. We got some sponsorships to pay for the rest of the jerseys, and even then it was such a minimal order, we couldn't even afford enough to use them as fundraisers by selling them at the two shops in town.
Back then, I used the club's name to organize trailbuilding activities at a local park after the guy who gained permission for the trails bailed on the project and abandoned everything. I used the university cycling club name to get official status with the park, and when I got sufficient community involvement, I worked to start a non-university affiliated club to take over. They're entirely a network of XC trails, since the terrain won't support anything else and the park doesn't want crazy stuff. They're okay with a mild skills park and that's about it.
The campus had about 2k students, and only half a dozen in the cycling club. I was the only mtb rider. I could not afford to race.
The university has a long history of having cycling clubs (over 100yrs at this point), but it's been on and off for the past couple decades. The club did have resources. At one point, the basement of one of the houses on campus (at the time I was there, it was where the Deans' offices were), and all the old equipment was still in there. A couple old mixte road bikes, piles of tires and tubes, a bunch of vintage magazines and catalogs, and even a lounge space. The university would not give us regular access to the space, and they would not give us permission to remove the gear to fix up the bikes or anything because we had no other storage space anywhere. Somehow, they let me buy a BOB trailer for trail maintenance with club money and I just kept it in my house until I graduated.
I wanted to organize a crit on campus so badly. we could have had an awesome course with a nice hill to separate the pack and create some carnage at the bottom of the hill, but the university wouldn't let us do it.
Here at Stephen F. Austin State University, I have no association with the cycling club. I have been heavily involved with the maintenance of the trails on campus after their initial construction, and the cycling club has nothing to do with it. In fact, the cycling club members have been downright antagonistic towards volunteers at times, adopting an attitude of ownership of the trails. I don't associate with those guys at all, in fact. The trails here are mostly XC, but we do have a little bit of gravity stuff with some milder jumps and obstacles. Stuff an XC bike can handle for the most part. A couple of the obstacles are a little bit bigger, though, and I've seen some carnage on them.
I go the University of New Mexico. We have a cycling club separate from the athletic department. We rely on third-party sponsors, who are generous souls from around town who pay for their logos to appear on our jerseys. We also host a race or two a year, which gets us funding, and then we get some money from somewhere else...not sure, as I'm not a higher-up. Out of our ~25,000 student population, we have maybe twenty or thirty members of the club. A lot ride often, some I rarely see.
We have a deal with a local LBS where we get a discount on parts and on Giant bikes. We are in the good graces with many of the local independent cycling teams, and they are all supportive of our efforts (even the guys who suck like I do). We do trail maintenance once in awhile, and we always do maintenance on our hosted race trail about a week before the race.
We ride mostly road and cross country, with a few guys into CX as well, and a couple gravity guys. We are, at least in my perception, more of a loose community of people who ride. Sure, we have group rides, we race under the team name, etc. but we are all independent in terms of training schedule, personal gear, etc.
Any questions, just ask. And if you're ever in the area, feel free to hit me with a PM. I'm always down to ride with visitors.