By: Caledonia Gerner
Katrina Suarez joined the Humboldt State cycling club last year, but she already has three bikes, each with a different name and purpose.
“My race bike is a beautiful Specialized Amira, I named her Niah. My commuter bike is a blue Shogun named Gary from 1987. My mountain bike is a red GT named Rosie,” Suarez said.
The environmental biology major enjoyed riding bikes as a child, but decided to take bicycling seriously when she moved to Arcata.
“I have always enjoyed riding bikes to the river or around my neighborhood growing up,” Suarez said. “When I moved here in August of 2011, I wanted to become a cycling commuter because the town of Arcata is so small, so I sold my car and my brother gave me his old beater bike to ride around town.”
The senior explained why cycling is a team effort.
“Cycling is very much so a team sport. Without the support and help from fellow team members no one would advance in their cycling abilities,” Suarez said. “Road cycling is a very energy-consuming sport, but with the help of others by drafting you can save 30 percent of your energy. Each person takes turns being in the front, while the others rest behind them.”
When freshman rider Tyler Green learned that HSU had a competitive cycling program, it became his school of choice. He joined the HSU cycling team last fall and currently rides a black Sette Phantom bicycle.
“When I found out that HSU had a good cycling program, that helped make my decision to come here,” Green said. “Cycling is one of the biggest things in my life. It is a hobby, a sport and a lifestyle.”
The geology major said he met almost all his friends through the cycling club at HSU.
“There was a strong cycling community which for me is an opportunity to meet new people and friends,” Green said.
He described cycling as a team sport and an individual sport, making it different than any other team on campus.
“When you are mountain bike racing it is more of an individual skill,” Green said. “But it is a team effort because the more riders you have racing the more possible points you are able to earn for your team.”
Although cyclers engage in serious competition, Green said he enjoys the friendly nature of the club.
“Another thing that separates cycling from other sports is that the overall competition is relaxing. It is competitive but laid-back,” Green said. “Anyone, no matter what skill set, is welcome to try and race.”
The team also works together outside the racetrack, helping to repair each others’ bikes.
“If there is a part that needs to be replaced and you can’t afford to take it to a shop, you can always ask a fellow teammate for some help,” Green said. “Part of being on a team is helping each other out.”