For students who enjoy cycling, whether for sport or recreation, Blazer Cycling is looking for interested members.
Blazer Cycling began in spring of 2009 with Jessica Avra, who left to join the Marine Corps.
She then handed over the club to president Ed Rollins and vice president Austin Sullivan.
“She had contacted me and Ed knowing that we were cyclists on campus, and asked us if we wanted to take commanding role since she was going to the Marine Corps,” Sullivan, senior anthropology major, said. “It wasn’t really our inspiration that got [Blazer Cycling] going, but we’ve made it into what we’ve wanted it to be.”
Both Rollins and Sullivan have been adamant riders since before their involvement in the club.
“I wonder if people are intimidated by how into it we are,” Sullivan said.
The president and vice president are in love with cycling and enjoy competing and training.
In the past couple of years, Blazer Cycling has steadily attracted more cyclists to their weekly rides around town, with up to 12 to 15 members regularly showing interest.
“When we first started riding as a club, it would usually only be Austin and I along with another person,” Rollins, a junior religious studies major, said.
“Now, we have an average of about six every ride.”
As for now, the club focuses mostly on recreational road biking, but is interested in other aspects of cycling as well.
“Being cyclists we get negative responses from the communities, with cars honking at us, but my friends have taken to it,” Sullivan said. “We haven’t done too many races. I would like to do more races, and I know Ed would.”
In order for the club to be able to race, however, they would have to receive funding from the school through Club Sports.
Due to their club members not expressing any interest in the competitive side of cycling, Blazer Cycling will have to wait to compete as a team in any races in the near future.
According to Sullivan, having a coach is another goal for the club, but until the club grows, the need for a real coach isn’t a priority.
“Another idea I’ve been bouncing around is doing workshops on campus, like setting up tents on campus and teaching people how to maintain their bikes and help them with their biking problems,” Sullivan said.
The leaders of Blazer Cycling have long-term goals they would like to see the club achieve, but until then they hope to mold new leaders out of regular members not graduating at the end of this spring.
“I desire for the club to grow and be involved in more events, either casual or racing,” Rollins said.
“Getting more women to be part of the club would be wonderful too because we currently don’t have any.”
Sullivan likewise hopes the club grabs the attention of more cyclists, and hopes it will be a more active campus club sport.
“Within the next year, I’d like for us to have some sort of race around here,” Sullivan said.
“To hold some kind of small-scale race, maybe—couple-hundred riders, if that—but also to get a regular training group, and get more people involved on campus.”
Sullivan also expressed a concern that he admits is “bigger than a Blazer Cycling problem”: bike thefts.
“We’d like to get involved with the bike racks here on campus, because there aren’t many,” Sullivan said.
“I lock my bike up on the fence right there [pointing to the back-side of the Student Union], and make it obvious that we need something to try and get the awareness out on that. My friends tell me they have their bikes stolen all the time.”
Every Tuesday, Rollins and Sullivan meet up with fellow cyclists and take trips around town.
These rides are their ways of getting to know their members and bond over their love of cycling.
“We kinda joke that our rides are our meetings—like we have hour-long meetings on Tuesdays,” Sullivan said.
Blazer Cycling can be found on Facebook under the name “Blazer Cycling Club.”
Those interested in riding with the club are more than welcome.
“The club is open to anyone who enjoys cycling and wants to be involved with others like themselves,” Rollins said.