Wheels up

No downtime for Penn State Lehigh Valley cycling club.

Katie Fogel, Staff Writer

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If you are looking for some good time management advice, you may want to ask a member of the Penn State Lehigh Valley cycling club. These student athletes balance a vigorous training schedule with school, part time jobs, and even a social life.

Team members train year round to stay in shape for races that take place mostly during the summer and fall. Most members follow a training plan that includes workouts both on the bike and in the gym. They train an average of four hours per day, six days a week. During the winter or on rainy days, the team trains inside riding stationary bikes called Wattbikes.

On an average day they do their lifting workout in the gym, ride at the velodrome, go to class, and then work a part time job in the evening. Sometimes meals have to be eaten on the way to class, and cars become cluttered with a combination of bike parts, textbooks, and empty food wrappers.

“During the winter, I spend 4-6 hours at the gym either lifting or riding, 2-3 hours on campus attending class, and I work a part time job at Dick’s Sporting Goods a few nights a week for 5 hours during the closing shift,” said sophomore rider and 2015 Collegiate National Sprint Champion McKenzie Browne. “I really don’t know how I do it, but I wouldn’t trade the lifestyle for anything.”

Friends and family often wonder where these student athletes disappear to all day. It is by no means an easy lifestyle but they wouldn’t have it any other way.

The team is very excited to train at the gym here on campus with the addition of a new Wattbike. The Wattbike will allow team members to track their wattage and strength numbers, while not having to ride outside in the freezing cold weather. Coaches are able to create custom workouts tailored to each rider. The workouts take an average of two hours and include a warm up, strength and endurance intervals, and a cool down. This allows athletes to stay in shape during the cold winter months to prepare for the collegiate road season that starts in March with a race in Philadelphia.

This season the team is looking forward to the Nittany Classic Road Race, which will take place in State College. Many of the team members in State College previously rode at the Lehigh Valley campus. Both teams come together at races because We Are all Penn State!