Greetings Mason Riders and Friends of Mason Cycling! It’s been a while since we’ve had a club update, so here is what Mason Cycling has been up this semester:

Mountain Update
This has been an amazing first year of mountain bike racing for Mason Cycling! We are going to the ACCC Conference Mountain Championships this weekend at Appalachian State University in North Carolina in 9th Place (out of 15 Division I schools) with less than 40 points separating us from 6th Place!

Mountain Season Standings
Working with only three (3) mountain bike riders this year, the Mountain Team of Mason Cycling — comprised of CJ Coffey, Matthew Bishop, and Paul Keitelman — has held their own in our first year of mountain bike racing! As of last weeks race results from UVA, Freshmen CJ Coffey stands in 2nd Place in the Division 1 MEN’S B standings (out of 31 riders) with eight (8) top 5 finishes for the season. Meanwhile, Freshmen Matthew Bishop is in 11th Place (out of 31 riders) with four (4) top 5 finishes for the season, while Freshmen Paul Keitelman (and Mason Cycling’s only MEN’S C rider) is in 7th Place Division 1 MEN’S C standings (out of 20 riders) with two (2) top 5 finishes; both from the only event he was able to ride in. Additionally, Mason has achieved two (2) ACCC Team 2nd Place Team finishes, one in the Cross Country (XC) event at UVA, and the other in the Team Relay at WVU.

ACCC Mountain Bike Championships
CJ Coffey will be Mason’s only mountain bike rider traveling to Boone, North Carolina this weekend to represent Mason at the ACCC Championships at Appalachian State University. This final event is worth double points and hopes to see Coffey advance Mason’s final standings in our first mountain bike showing since becoming an official Mason club sport. ASU also happens to be the location of this year’s USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain National Championships (taking place at the end of October 2014). Considering that Mason’s Mountain Team does not yet have any MEN’S A mountain bike rider, Mason Cycling will not be attending the National Championships. However, we do expect to have both CJ Coffey and Matthew Bishop promote to MEN’S A after this season and be eligible for Nationals in 2015.

Lessons Learned from Mountain Bike Racing
The lack of Women Mountain Bike riders, and having both Coffey and Bishop advanced from MEN’S C to MEN’S B early in the season, impacted the total points points Mason could have obtained during the collegiate mountain bike racing season. Thankfully, this season allowed us to learn how the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain points system works. In coming seasons, Mason Cycling will attempt to advance riders into higher categories before the season begins, recruit more women riders to the team, and go to all the events in the schedule (Mason missed the season opener at NC State due to costs and distance). Teams like Appalachian State and Virginia Tech enjoy top standings by having decent riders in all categories, a team of at least 4-6 riders traveling to all events in the season, and at least 2-3 women riders. If Mason wants to break the top 5 in the ACCC standings and send riders to the USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships in 2015, we need to follow the App State and VT model going into next year’s season. If you know someone who wants to race mountain bikes next year, please send them our way!

Paperwork and Club Dues
If you have not yet paid your club dues ($100), please do so (even if you are a road biker) by taking it to the front desk of the RAC. These dues go to our club racing uniform purchase coming up in just a few weeks. Additionally, all club paperwork for riders — even those wanting to ride road bikes in the Spring — needs to be completed this month. If you have not done so, please complete your club paperwork using the online forms via IMLeagues (http://www.imleagues.com/School/Intramural/Home.aspx?&SchId=a8c82d4bae9946cc8486edec66406952). If you do not complete your paperwork or paid your dues by the end of October (or have not contacted the club to get an extension), you will not be eligible for the upcoming club uniform purchase. This is an essential moment for all future road riders since club kits will take at least 2 months to arrive. For more information, please contact myself or Michael Levesque at: club@gmucycling.com.

Upcoming Social Events
Mason Cycling will also have members at The Great Pumpkin Ride on Saturday, October 25, 2014. Additionally, Mason Cycling is planning our first Spirit of Mason ride on Sunday, October 26th, 2014. The Spirit of Mason ride starts at the George Mason Statue on the Fairfax Campus @ 7am, turns around at the brass bust of George Mason located at the front of the Gunston Hall Visitors Center in Lorton, VA, and then goes back to the Mason Statue. This 40-mile course is a Mason Cycling fund raiser in support of Wounded Warriors Foundation and will be supported with volunteers, aid stations, and possible refreshments along the way. Please contact club@gmucycling.com for more information.

Here Comes Cyclocross Season
We may be finishing our Mountain season, but we are starting to gear up for Cyclocross season! Mason Cycling will be attending the kickoff to the 2014 ACCC Collegiate Cyclocross season at University of Virginia on November 1st, followed by a second race at Virginia Commonwealth University on November 2nd.

Cheers,
Kyle

Kyle M. Bondo
Coach, Mason Cycling