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  1. #1
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    Track Cycling in College

    Hi,
    this is my first post in this forum. I live in Europe and have been in track cycling for several years. I'm very interested in to do my college studies in the States. Is there any real chance to ride on the track and study at the same time? I've understood that the NCAA don't hace cycling in theri program. Could somebody tell me real examples of colleges that have real track cycling teams?

  2. #2
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    I suspect Ball State U in Indiana is one of the only ones with a real track team. They're near indy, and there's been some rumor that they were even going to take over operation of the track there. There are at least a few around here in the LA area with decent sized cycling teams (UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, I think UCLA. UC San Diego also has one, but they're further south), and there might be some up near San Jose, too. The ones around here are probably mostly road oriented, but do have riders who ride the track.

    That said, there are 3 tracks in southern California, and 3 more as you go up the coast, so it's possible to be on a club team and get a lot of racing in. Your best bet would be to make a map of all the tracks in the US (about 20), and make a map of colleges you're interested in, and then see where the overlap is. Be aware that there are huge variations in the qualities of the tracks in the US (varying from awesome to you'll wish you had a suspension fork), and similar variations in the programs at the tracks (with programs not always matching the facilities).
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  3. #3
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Don't forget Marian University. They win a lot at Collegiate Nationals. Also, Lees-McRae. I think both offer scholarships in cycling.

    Although at most schools, cycling is not a varsity sport with scholarships like football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, etc... many schools do have cycling clubs. Some clubs also pay for their athletes to travel and race.

    If you have asparations to compete as an elite at the national or world level, maybe consider colleges in the Los Angeles area as bitingduck recommends or in the Pennsylvania area like Penn State where 2 time Olympian Bobby Lea or national champion David Espinoza among many others attended. The local racing in Trexlertown is arguably the fastest in the US with many world class racers from other countries visiting to train in the summer months.

    Georgia State University and Georgia Tech University are in Atlanta where there is a very active track racing scene at Dick Lane Velodrome. They have produced a few masters and elite national and masters world champions. Both schools have active cycling clubs.

    More info: http://www.usacycling.org/collegiate/

    Have a look at which schools have representation at collegiate national championships: http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=6576
    Last edited by carleton; 08-07-11 at 01:32 PM.

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    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Hellyer Track in San Jose is close to Stanford University. http://www.stanford.edu/group/cycling/

    And there is the UC school system where you can select a school based upon where there is a track such as HDC in Carson, CA. Either UCLA, USC or others such as UC Irvine have racing programs. http://clubs.uci.edu/bike/new2/info.php

    I just returned from Trexlertown, PA. It is a nice track and infrastructure but the weather is terrible. I grew up in the mid West heat and humidity in the summer and snow in the winter. I left it for the more temperate dryer western climate. We bike all year long and ride at Hellyer all year long. Hellyer produces a lot of great cyclists and offers a lot of racing.

    Having said all that, I recommend going for the best school who will accept your application.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    Schools in Minnesota have access to Blaine velodrome. However, it is outdoors and not usable half the year.

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    No the NCAA does not have cycling, but it isn't a big deal since the national federation (USAC) sanctions collegiate cycling events and does a good job of it. The primary thing about track cycling is that the season is in the summer... when most students are not in school or studying. Most of us will race on the road in our respective conference races (road races and crits) from march-may, with nationals being just after school is over in the middle of the month. Then we will race on the track in the summer if we are into that. Collegiate track consists of only a few conference events (if your regional conference even has them) and then nationals in september, right at the beginning of most schools' fall semester. Sure there are schools with cycling scholarships, but you had better be good at road racing to get on one of those programs. Even the guys at Marian are strong road/crit racers. Another note about collegiate track cycling is that there isn't a lot of "entry" level track in the conference events or nationals - you have to be at least cat 3 USAC for the mass start races.
    My race program basically consists of doing the spring conference road races to get in shape, then moving over to the track bike in may and racing for my trade team over the summer, and then throwing on my collegiate skinsuit to race in the fall.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jcharles00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    I suspect Ball State U in Indiana is one of the only ones with a real track team. They're near indy, and there's been some rumor that they were even going to take over operation of the track there.
    I think you might have mistaken Ball state with Marian, the college who actually took control of Major Taylor velodrome. Marian has a "real" track team. FWIW, our conference MWCCC has only had a track season for one year so far. this season is the second.. so there aren't a lot of serious teams.

  8. #8
    nom nom nom Frunkin's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was going to say in the MWCCC we have Marion (Major Taylor), Michigan (Bloomer Park), Milwaukee (Kenosha), and Chicago (Northbrook) all holding track races this fall. Last year there was nothing until nationals and you could just sign up and race without any qualifying. Hopefully this fall goes well and attendance is up so people continue to hold races.

  9. #9
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Dick Lane Velodrome is offering a Collegiate Track Camp to help riders get some track experience before heading to Collegiate Track Nationals.

    http://www.dicklanevelodrome.com/pag...trackcamp.html

    In 2011 we will be hosting our first ever Collegiate Cycling Camp. This camp will be an opportunity for collegiate cyclists in the South Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference(SECCC) to become track certified, work on more advanced skills, fulfill their race requirement for Collegiate Track Nationals and learn more about the intricacies of track cycling.
    It's Labor Day weekend. They even have rental bikes for $5/day.

    This is a very good idea. You would be amazed at how many student athletes participate in nationals who have never been on a velodrome before, much less know all of the rules and etiquette or have the pack experience. There are many athletes that kick butt on the road, crits, CX, and MTB...but are like a deer in headlights on the velodrome because not every city has one. So, now you got a guy or girl going 35mph in a pack of 30 riders inches apart all for the first time ever. So, in 2010, USA Cycling made a rule that in order to participate in mass start events (points race) the athlete MUST have prior track experience as beserker19 mentioned above.
    Last edited by carleton; 08-09-11 at 03:01 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcharles00 View Post
    I think you might have mistaken Ball state with Marian, the college who actually took control of Major Taylor velodrome. Marian has a "real" track team. FWIW, our conference MWCCC has only had a track season for one year so far. this season is the second.. so there aren't a lot of serious teams.
    I think you're right-- I was going from memory and didn't double check things.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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