The Wichitan

Three cyclists take a break from competition

Harley Warrick

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After starting cycling at young ages, Luke Allen, sophomore Spanish and political science major, Garrett Hobbs, junior finance, and Cameron Lowery, junior nursing, decided to take a semester off from competition to focus on school and work.

Garrett Hobbs, junior finance, at the Hotter ’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Aug. 30, 2015. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Garrett Hobbs, junior finance, at the Hotter ’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Aug. 30, 2015. Photo by Bradley Wilson

“It really is like a full time job when you think about it,” Lowery said.

Hobbs said it’s hard to have a social life while cycling.

“To be fast you have to ride a lot,” Hobbs said. “Like two to three hours a day.”

With cycling being a demanding sport, Allen said you can put hours into the sport and still not be top 50 at nationals.

“It’s 20 hour weeks, and it’s just hard to do if you don’t have that passion and don’t have that goal,” Allen said.

In high school, Allen said he wanted to be a professional cyclist and even went to a cycling academy. Allen said all he did was ride and it got old. He added that in two years he may not even be riding.

“I’ll be in law school and so I just decided to take a step back and focus on school more,” Allen said.

Allen said mountain training is less demanding than road since he would only have to put in ten hours week training.

“I’m still going to race mountain bikes next year when the season starts,” Allen said. “I didn’t want to do road this semester.”

Hobbs even said he would get back into cycling competitively.

“After college, I’ll probably still do criteriums,” Hobbs said. “Once your out of school and you have a job and a family, it would be a change up. Nice outlet.”

Lowery said he still goes out every once and a while and ride for 20 or so minutes.

Cameron Lowery, junior nursing, at the Hotter ’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Aug. 30, 2015. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Cameron Lowery, junior nursing, at the Hotter ’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Aug. 30, 2015. Photo by Bradley Wilson

“It’s fun to just go out and ride,” Lowery said.

To fill in the time that used to be for riding, all three have taken up weight lifting. Lowery said you want to be super light, but really strong when cycling. The more power you put out with weighing less, the faster your going to be.

“When you’re riding a lot, you really do look like a toothpick,” Lowery said. “I would go to family reunions and my family would be like ‘boy have you eaten?'”

Lowery said he’d prefer to do a team event because he can talk to people. He said it’s a lot of fun when he’s in a hundred group field.

“You come across Garrett or you come across Luke and pass him and you talk to them real quick,” Lowery said.

Hobbs added he can squirt them with the water bottle.

“It’s a lot more satisfying when you do it as a team,” Hobbs said.

Last year, the MSU cycling team placed third at nationals.

Due to everyone’s different schedules, cycling coaches will send workouts to the riders.

“A lot of us have cycling coaches outside of school,” Hobbs said.

Lowery said it is more convenient to get work outs from the riders coach instead of team practice.

GETTING STARTED

Luke Allen, sophomore Spanish and political science, at the Hotter ’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Aug. 30, 2015. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Luke Allen, sophomore Spanish and political science, at the Hotter ’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Aug. 30, 2015. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Each of the riders learned about cycling at young ages from their fathers. Lowery was five when he did his first race. He was originally going to race motocross before he was in a four wheeling accident and his mother said no motors.

“I got into BMX when I was five and I raced BMX all the way until I graduated high school,” Lowery said.

Lowery said he came to MSU and started racing road, criterium, and mountain.

For Allen, his father was a cyclist and was racing Hotter’N Hell when Allen saw the mountain bike time trial they were putting on. At the age of eight, Allen decided to race the trial and really enjoyed it. He raced the state series the following year.

“I was never really pushed to get into cycling,” Allen said. “I just tried it and liked it.”

Hobbs was like Lowery, he was headed down the motocross road instead of cycling. He raced motocross before getting into cycling. When he was 12, he met Lowery on a BMX track.

“He actually taught me how to ride,” Hobbs said.

MEMORABLE RACE

Both Hobbs and Lowery said they really like the Tulsa Tough. Hobbs said it’s a huge criterium.

“There’s thousands of people who come just to drink and watch bike racing,” Hobbs said. “The atmosphere is just really cool.”

Cry Baby Hill is a part of the course that is steep that you go on every lap for 90 minutes and suffer going up. Lowery said people will line up the hill to cheer you on.

“It’s really a cool atmosphere just to have so many people going crazy for a bicycle race,” Lowery said.

As for Allen, his most memorable race was when he was 17 and went to Europe to ride on the national team.

“It was just so cool because everyone was just at such a high level representing their country,” Allen said.

Allen said the atmosphere over in Europe was really awesome.

“Once the race stared, people were yelling at me in different languages,” Allen said.

He remembered he finished with some kids from Turkey. Allen compared the racing scene in Europe to football in America. People in Europe are lined up the whole course versus here, people just go to the start/finish line.

Last summer, Hobbs went to Belgium and said cyclists and soccer players were on billboards where in America, billboards would have football player.

For these three cyclists, well, maybe next year.

Additional Reporting by Robert Hillard and Hunter Porter

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About the Photographer
Bradley Wilson, Adviser

Bradley Wilson is the adviser for The Wichitan. An associate professor of mass communication, he also teaches the media reporting and writing class and...

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Three cyclists take a break from competition