A Smooth Ride

November 4, 2015

Gusts of wind rush through the riders as they barrel down the track, blurs of trees passing them on all sides as their tires rumble and a checkered finish line awaits—just a typical outing for Wentworth students in the Mountain Biking Club.

An active group run through the Office of Campus Life, the club has earned a great deal of success within the last year and it is always accepting new members.

On October 24, three club members earned top finishes in the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships at Snowshoe Mountain, W.V.

Ryan Burney, BSME ’16, captured first place in the Division II men’s downhill course with a time of four minutes, 12 seconds. Ian Turner, BIND ’17, took the silver medal with a finish of four minutes, 14 seconds. Another teammate, Matthew Callahan, BFPM ’16, placed seventh. Burney was honored with a commemorative “Stars-and-Stripes” jersey in recognition of being named national champion.

“The excitement and joy of riding bikes with my friends is what keeps me motivated,” said Burney. “The more fun I have and the harder I work, the better my race results are. It’s all just for the love of the sport and spending time with friends.”

The race comes on the heels of last year’s Collegiate National Championships in Beech Mountain, N.C., where the Wentworth club medalled in Division II downhill events.

Callahan, who has been riding mountain bikes for eight years, related that his education at Wentworth has helped him—at least once—better understand the mechanics of racing.

“I was able to work on a project for physics class my sophomore year that related to the science behind bikes and how they ride,” he said.

The teammates plan to continue racing after college as a hobby.

Students interested in joining the Mountain Bike Club can find more information on the Campus Life website or on the group’s Facebook page. Races can include downhill, cross country, and dual slalom racing. Competitions are often held, including events with surrounding schools in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference. Members are required to have their own bike and gear for the many events and competitions the club attends throughout the season.

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