The cycling team at Western may seem intimidating at first. Weekly team activities consist of a 30-mile ride.
President of the cycling team Kory Bisset said winning isn’t everything for the team. The team consists of students who just want to travel and meet new people.
“Our big goal is to get people excited and interested in the sport of cycling and show them that it’s really something that anybody can do,” Bisset said. “I just like getting people excited about bikes especially in Bellingham, it’s a huge part of the community.”
Western has won the Northwest Collegiate Cycling Conference two years in a row. They currently hold a 10 point lead after only two race weekends in the 2016 season.
The team said the absence of a coach helps create a friendly atmosphere that is welcoming to new racers. Returning member Veronica Parkin said having a coach makes practices and races more serious and takes away from the fun environment.
“My philosophy is that you need to have a life outside of school. Yes school is important but it really pays emotionally, physically and even spiritually to be balanced. [You should] have that balance of exercising and being a part of something outside of going to class and getting good grades,” Parkin said.
Along with managing their own team, members must also balance their classes and work schedule while trying to stay in shape for races. A typical race weekend includes two races on Saturday and one on Sunday. There are separate categories for men, women and ability.
Third-year member Jim Labayen said the team would like to be more visible to the community.
“We don’t typically have a lot of spectators out there but we’re trying to increase attendance,” Labayen said.