Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals at Snowshoe Mountain

After a long season of going Full Send, three of our riders qualified for collegiate nationals: Steve, Downhill Dan, and Sarah.  The crew arrived at Snowshoe Mountain, WV this past Thursday to scout the courses and prepare for the premier collegiate mountain bike competition.

Temperatures dropped into the 40s on Friday, and frigid rain drenched the course and our heroes.  Sarah raced the short track XC event, and placed 17th.  Afterwards, Downhill Dan and Steve did some practice runs on the downhill course.  

Steve missed his start time for the qualifying downhill race, but our generous friends at USAC let him race anyway.  Dan came in 34th.

The temperature dipped even lower on Saturday, and the overnight snowfall created an additional challenge for the contestants.  Sarah was all smiles racing the XC event, and placed 27th while Steve and Dan cheered from the sidelines.

Steve took a nasty crash during the final downhill race, but still finished the race and placed 28th. Dan took 26th.
Overall, it was a great end collegiate mountain bike season.  Thanks again to all our friends in the ECCC.

     DD sends it


UNH/RIT Easterns

The mountain bikers once again found themselves in New England for the final weekend of collegiate mountain bike racing.  Rainy conditions kept the weekend cold and slippery, and going full send was the only option.  With mountain bike nationals in the near future, Penn Staters put up fierce competition in all categories, and are sitting eighth in the conference.  Here's a brief recap of the individual results: 

Sarah Rutledge:
Cat A XC: 8th
Cat A short track: 8th

Steve Clayton:
Cat A downhill: 13th

Downhill Dan:
Cat A enduro hill climb: 13th
Cat A downhill: 8th

Brandon Endurbro Thomas:
Cat B enduro: 2nd
Cat B enduro climb: 7th
Cat B downhill: 7th

Jake Hanczar:
Cat C enduro climb: 15th
Cat C Enduro: 4th


Army Mountain Classic

This past weekend, our mountain bike crew ventured to New Jersey and New York for the Army Mountain Classic.  As always, Penn State riders made a good showing in all the races.  A fall rainstorm kept the enduro and downhill courses slippery, which led to an abundance of spills and mistakes for all riders involved.  The unexpected conditions shifted riders' finishing places, and kept the races unpredictable and exciting.  All Penn State riders scored points this past weekend, putting Penn State at 5th on the ECCC leaderboards. 

Avi Moore:  Avi busted his toe in the cat B downhill race, and his boot will keep him off the bike for a few weeks.  That being said, he still got 7th in cat B enduro and 10th in cat B downhill.  Worth it. 

Sarah Rutledge:  Decorated mountain bike racer Sarah Rutledge joined the mountain bike crew this past weekend, after taking a break from open category racing.  She placed 8th in cat A cross country and 7th in the cat A short track event.  Overall, she earned 75 points for the Blue and White. 

Kirsten Pearsons:  Kirsten got 4th in the muddy enduro event.

Steve Clayton:  Steve earned 9th in cat A downhill and 10th in cat A enduro.

President Hazlett:  Prez broke his finger in the cat C downhill race, but still earned 9th. 

Handsome Rob:  Rob broke his head after his tires slipped off of a wet bridge during the downhill race.  Thankfully, his concussion was minor and he will be back on the bike shortly.  He made the best of his situation by heckling the other teams.  Despite his serious injury, he's managed to stay handsome.

Downhill Dan Lewis:  Dan sent it downhill in cat A for a 6th place finish.  Not to be outdone, he placed3 7th in cat A enduro. 



Episode III: UVM Maple Mountain Bike Madness

For the third race weekend of the season, Penn State riders trekked up to Vermont for UVM Maple Mountain Bike Madness.  The crew competed in Saturday’s slalom and Sunday’s downhill race, and had riders in almost every category.  UVM did a great job organizing the race, and Penn Staters agreed that Vermont featured some of the best courses so far.  The slalom race took riders around swooping banks, moguls, and jumps.  The downhill race featured a good mix between steep loamy sections and fast rocky trails. 
Courtesy of UVM's Nate Cassidy

Downhill Dan:  Generic soda and insufficient snacks kept Dan out of the cat B slalom race.  Thankfully, he managed to get a chocolate croissant in time for the cat A downhill race, and placed 17th.  Considered to be a hero at Mountain Creek, Dan is expected to crush it this coming weekend. 
Jake Hanczar:  State College BMX legend Jake Hanczar joined the PSU mtb crew last week for the cat C slalom and DH races.  Although he had never raced mountain bikes before, Jake got 3rd in the cat C slalom, and won the men’s C downhill race with 12 seconds on his competitors.  Catting up is in his future.  You should also check out his BMX footage, because he does sick backflips.     

Brandon Thomas:  A fully clothed Brandon appeared in Vermont this weekend.  Brandon competed in the cat B DH event, but he flatted halfway through his run.  Nonetheless, he still got 12th

Avi Moore:  Avi’s steezy two-finger brake levers finally paid off, and he raced despite having a broken pinky.  After the previous week’s setback, he went hard and finished 4th in cat B downhill.

Steve Clayton:  Steve was still stuffy after battling a nasty cold all week.  He cleared out his system racing the cat B slalom, and placed 10th.  He was on the mend by Sunday, and placed 3rd in the cat A downhill race in a death-defying descent. 



MTB Season Episode II: Return to Massachusetts

For week 2 of mtb season, we found our heroes in New England for “Northeastern's Wild Western Mass Weekend Shredfest.”  Say that ten times fast.  This week’s cast of characters included a healthy Steve Clayton, who returned to the crew as predicted. 

Saturday’s XC track featured rolling hills.  This proved to be an ideal terrain for Kirsten, who placed 2nd in women’s B’s.  This week, Penn State downhill riders did the unthinkable, and attempted the hilly Men’s C XC event.  Despite a valiant effort, all four of them were unable to finish, and they decided that racing uphill is no fun and best left to roadies.

Foul weather reared up on Saturday night, but subsided in time for Sunday’s races.  The damp conditions kept the Short Track XC and Downhill events appropriately challenging.  The Short Track race required good lungs and legs, and the wide doubletrack course was devoid of technical obstacles.  Kirsten won 3rd, and decided to sit out the Downhill event and bask in victory. 

Avi, with finger still intact (courtesy of Dave Kinney)

The afternoon Downhill race featured a good mix of technical sections and swooping banks.  Unfortunately, a rough crash in practice broke Avi’s finger.  Determined to make the most of the long car trip, he filmed a cool video of Penn State riders crushing the course (check it out on our Instagram: @psucycling).  Avi may not have raced, but he nonetheless won Team Player of the Week. 

#stayhansum (courtesy of Dave Kinney)
B racer Rob bumped a tree during the Downhill race, but nonetheless placed 5th.

Steve Clayton and Downhill Dan held it down in Men’s A’s, placing 9th and 11th respectively.

Will Penn State riders close the gap on UVM?  Will they ever get a van?  Tune in next week!


MTB Season Episode I: MIT Sliderule Shredfest

Six Penn State mountain bikers ventured to Charlemont, MA, for MIT’s Sliderule Shredfest.  Heavy rain on Saturday night and Sunday morning lead ECCC officials to alter the downhill course.  The revised course put Penn State riders into uncharted territory, but they were nonetheless able to excel.  The XC and short track races took riders across root-covered trails, tight singletrack, and slick loamy-silt.  Despite the muddy weekend, Penn State riders racked up points and earned 8th in the ECCC omnium.

Downhill Dan doing what he does best

Downhill Dan Lewis:

Dan took a break from crushing Strava descents at Rothrock to test his mettle in New England.  True to his nickname, he barreled downhill to a 10th place finish in Men’s A’s.  Needless to say, the only thing going up is his position in the ECCC leaderboards. 

President Hazlett:

Though well known for his speechcraft and rucking prowess, President Hazlett proved a force to be reckoned with in cat C downhill.  He rode his Specialized (named Air Force 1) to a 14th place finish. 

Will Vickerman:

Will Vickerman, luxury kit enthusiast, eschewed the beginners’ C category and went straight to B’s to race XC.  Nearly half the field DNF’d the race, but Will persevered, earning a 6th place finish.

“Handsome” Rob Shurer

Rob Shurer, Pinkbike celebrity, competed in his first collegiate race.  He likewise started in B’s and finished 12th in Men’s B downhill. 

Avi takes flight

Avi Moore: 

Avi took 5th in the men's B's dual slalom event.  The course was tight, and other riders found it difficult to maintain speed.  Not to be outdone, he also got 15th in the downhill race.  

Kirsten Pearsons:

Women’s B’s wasn’t ready for Kirsten’s return.  Kirsten competed in both the short track and XC races, and earned 2nd and 3rd.  Though a technical trail rider at heart, Kirsten is considering racing a downhill event next week. 


Steve Clayton, notable A rider, is still nursing his broken ankle.  His doctor has put him on a strict regimen of road riding, and Steve is often seen pedaling up Black Mo at speeds that rival PSU roadies.  The rest of the Mtber’s await his glorious return to downhill, and the restoration of balance to the Force.  



       Welcome to the official blog of the Penn State Club Cycling Team!  We are a student-run organization made up of cycling enthusiasts from all disciplines.  As a club sport, we provide an inclusive atmosphere for riders of all skill levels; no tryouts required.  Whether your goal is to get PSU to the top of the collegiate cycling leaderboards, or to simply enjoy weekend rides, this is the organization for you.
       Every year, Penn State riders compete and succeed in all disciplines of cycling, including road, mountain, cyclocross, and track.  We compete in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC), which is a division of the National Collegiate Cycling Association (NCCA).  Since 1973 we have fostered talented young riders, and our alumni have achieved national titles, Olympic gold medals, and professional cycling careers.

       Happy Valley features some of the best cycling in central Pennsylvania.  Between the mountainous terrain and minimal traffic, the area is challenging, scenic, and safe for road cycling.  Rothrock State Forest and Raystown Lake offer routes that cater to downhill, enduro, and cross country mountain biking.  Numerous rides are organized each week, and our riders can show you routes that are suitable for every skill level. 

       As a student organization, we receive our funding from our members, our alumni, and through participation in community service projects.  We are also made possible through our sponsors: The Bicycle Shop, Specialized, and the Rudy Project.
        Membership provides special discounts and offers from our sponsors, fuel reimbursement and hotel rooms racing weekends, and an active community of enthusiasts.  For only $60, membership provides many benefits.  For more information, stop by our weekly meetings at 8:00 pm on Thursday in 358 Willard.