Climbing to victory

Texas A&M Cycling Team excels with cross country win

By Kristina Buffin
The Battalion
The legendary renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, in his famous book Kodak, predicted the invention of the bicycle. Little did he know 400 years later, Texas A&M students would be using his invention to roam amongst the mountainous terrains of a course set up in Bryan.

Dave House, The Battalion
Scott Meadows, a senior environmental design major, won the mountain bike cross country race by a five-minute margin. He will travel to Durango, Colo., to compete in the Road Nationals.
The Texas A&M Cycling Team hosted the Collegiate Conference Championship this past weekend at the Bryan Utilities Lake and upended previous champion Southwest Texas University.

Hutch Butler, organizer of the meet and a senior recreation, parks and tourism sciences major, said Southwest Texas hosted the meet last year and this year A&M wanted to host.

"It couldn't have gone any better," Butler said. "The attendance was kind of low because UT did not send anybody but we had a good time."

Scott Meadows, a senior environmental design major, won the mountain bike cross country race. In fact, he defeated his arch-rival Casey Crosby of SWT.

"We have been racing 1-2 all semester," Meadows said. "This year was especially neat because we were the two main people in off-roading and because they won last year."

Meadows will travel to Durango, Colo., May 24 to compete in the Road Nationals, which will highlight the straight-road races.

Along with Meadows, four other Aggies will travel to Durango -- Donald Brenner, Brent Davis, Clark Davidson and Erik Ostergaard. Meadows also will travel to the Mountain Bike Nationals in the fall.

Many students chose to ride to escape the pressure and stress of classes. Butler said it is not a question of what he likes about the sport, but what he does not like about the sport.

"I got kind of burnt out on the competition," Butler said. "So I just like to go out and have fun. It's like becoming one with nature and going back to the woods.

"It is a huge adrenaline rush and the only noise is the wind."

Sometimes a new spin is added to the mix. Jeremy Floyd, a junior environmental design major, dyes his hair for good luck.

He sometimes has green or purple hair and he once had green sideburns with purple hair.

"I like to stand out and lighten the mood," Floyd said. "It is good for intimidation. Most people who see you with dyed hair think you are a badass."

Most of the members of the team plan to ride after college. Butler will be a mountain bike instructor in North Carolina this summer and Meadows and Floyd will continue to race.

"It has become more popular here since we have a place to ride now," Meadows said. "For me, racing is perfect because you have to have a lot of discipline and it is pretty scientific. A lot of the aspects are physical but when you are riding you have to be focused mentally."