Author Archives: Margaret Conley '18

2018 Road Racing Season Recap

The Bowdoin Cycling Team had a successful spring season this year, participating in three race weekends with the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC) as well as several local races.

The season kicked off over spring break, with a chilly road race hosted by UConn in Mansfield, CT. The next day, a cold and windy Sunday morning, the criterium took place on the Stafford Springs motor speedway. Margaret Conley ’18 placed 5th in the women’s C road race and 7th in the criterium. (For collegiate racing, racers are organized into letter categories, with the most advanced riders in A and beginner riders in E. Higher categories race longer distances, and riders can move between categories as they gain experience.)

The next weekend, the team participated in a CBB ride with members of the Bates and Colby cycling teams, going for a nice ride in the Lewiston area with beautiful views. That Sunday, two intrepid cyclists braved the cold early morning temperatures to ride in the Scarborough criterium, a local race that takes place just south of Portland. Daniel Strodel ’20 placed 32nd in the men’s race and Margaret Conley ’18 placed 4th in the women’s race.

Although the weather forecast was discouraging, four racers headed up to Dartmouth the weekend of April 14th for the aptly titled L’Enfer du Nord race. After a wet individual time trial on Saturday morning, Daniel Strodel ’20 and Sam Roussel ’21 raced in the men’s D criterium on an exciting course down frat row, with an 11th place finish for Daniel. Margaret Conley ’18 was poised for a top finish in her race before being involved in a crash during the final sprint, but thankfully suffered no serious injuries. Andrew Moore ’21 had a great race in men’s E, placing 4th. The road race for Sunday was cancelled due to forecasts of freezing rain.

Finally, Margaret, Sam, and Andrew headed to western Massachusetts for the ECCC Championships race the weekend of April 21st. They completed a challenging road race on Saturday, climbing over 3000 feet in just 30 miles, including steep grades and a dirt section. Margaret stuck with a small breakaway group to place 3rd in women’s C. Sam placed 36th in the men’s D race, and Andrew placed 3rd in men’s E. The beautiful weather continued for the criterium on Sunday, which took place along the Connecticut River in Turners Falls, MA. Sam placed 26th in men’s D after a valiant effort. Margaret placed 2nd in the women’s C field, and Andrew placed first in his field. It was a great weekend overall, with several podium finishes earning major points for the team and the first (and last) warm weather of the season!

Thanks to Bowdoin Safety and Security, who generously donated two used road bikes to the club over the winter, we were able to provide a bike for a new racer this spring. We are excited to keep growing the team to include both beginners and experienced riders. And we didn’t stop there – several team members competed in the Polar Bear Triathlon on May 5th!

ECCC Championships

In our second race of the season, Bowdoin Cycling competed at the Easterns Championship this past weekend, April 22-23. Hosted by Brown University and RISD, the races took place in Scituate and Charlestown, RI. The weekend started off cold and wet on Saturday with a road race around the Scituate reservoir. The course included a few sections of dirt road and a covered bridge. Conditions deteriorated quickly when it started raining, leaving both our riders and our bikes dirty and wet. Alexander Truitt ’19 finished strong in 5th in Men’s D, and Margaret Conley ’18 battled through to place 8th in Women’s C. Boyang Zhang placed 44th in Men’s D after a difficult first lap.

Sunday was a major improvement in weather, with sunny skies and relatively warm temperatures. We raced on a course designed for bicycles in Ninigret Park, RI, a flat loop with lots of corners and a good tail wind on one side plus a challenging head wind on the finish stretch. Alexander placed 12th in the Men’s D criterium in a large group sprint to the finish. Boyang started strong but suffered a flat in the middle of the race, unfortunately putting him out of the running. Margaret placed 4th in Women’s C, also earning points in a prime lap. This was a great weekend for the Cycling Team, and Alexander placed 4th in the overall standings for Men’s D. Though our season this spring was shortened by bad weather, we had a great time and we were proud to represent Bowdoin in the ECCC (Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference).

Army Spring Classic: first race of the season

After a difficult start to the season, with our April 1-2 race cancelled due to a snow storm, the Cycling Team had a great first race the weekend of April 15-16. We drove to West Point, NY for the Army Spring Classic, hosted by USMA. Saturday was the road race, with great weather and a beautiful course including a long climb, views of mountains and lakes, and several roundabouts. Alexander Truitt ’19 made an exciting first place finish in Men’s D in a 28 mile race, earning major points for the team, while Boyang Zhang ’17, also in Men’s D, finished strong in 58th. Margaret Conley ’18 raced in Women’s C and placed 9th in a 4   2 mile race.

On Sunday, we raced in a technical but fun criterium at Shea Stadium on the USMA campus, with great views of the Hudson River. Adding to the excitement were a few trains passing by on tracks that ran right alongside the course. In Men’s D, Alexander again placed 1st after a finish-line sprint, and also earned points in a prime lap, while Boyang finished 32nd. Margaret came in 9th in the Women’s C race. Overall, the weekend was a strong start to the season.

Spring 2016 road race season

Women's C criterium rounding the corner.

Women’s C rounding the corner in the Army criterium.

The Connecticut River

Turners Falls criterium: the Connecticut River.

Margaret Conley '18 cresting the hill.

Margaret Conley ’18 cresting the hill in the Turners Falls criterium.

The Cycling Club had a great 2016 season. We traveled to three races last spring, including L’Enfer du Nord (hosted by Dartmouth and UVM), the Army Spring Classic (hosted by USMA), and the ECCC Championships (hosted by UMass Amherst and MIT). We started the season in early April with a chilly hill climb and criterium on Dartmouth’s campus, followed by a beautiful road race in Burlington, VT, with views of Lake Champlain. The next weekend, Army hosted a tough road race in Harriman State Park, NY, where we tackled long climbs and saw many lakes, as well as a criterium around Shea Stadium, where riders were occasionally passed by a train on nearby tracks. We ended the season with a memorable road race featuring difficult climbs (4,000 feet of climbing in 40 miles for the C category!), exciting descents, and some challenging dirt roads in Western Mass, followed by beautiful weather and a steep hill for an exciting criterium in Turners Falls alongside the Connecticut River. After competing in individual time trials, road races, and criteriums, Bowdoin had several top 10 finishes in the women’s C category, making points for the team, and we hope to have more top finishes and increase our presence in races this coming spring.