Tulane Cycle Club Awarded USAC Status
USA Cycling is the internationally recognized organization that oversees amateur and professional cycling races within the US. Having obtained team status through USA Cycling, TUCA will be able to race the collegiate circuit. Excitingly, Tulane has some local rivalry as both LSU and Centenary have also recently created cycling teams which will be racing in USA Cycling’s South-Central Collegiate Conference.
The club was formed with the intention of bringing the excitement of a good criterium, road race, circuit race or time trial to a greater number of New Orleanians. The team is accomplishing this through its blend of experienced riders and new-comers. Although many of our riders have years of racing experience, others have little or no experience. The team’s objective is to expand cycling not only through developing accomplished and successful racers, but also by bringing a healthy exercise alternative to New Orleanians. This will be accomplished not only through group training rides and racing the collegiate circuit, but also by bringing collegiate races to New Orleans. Many collegiate cycling teams host races for the other teams within their conferences, and TUCA looks forward to bringing such to Uptown New Orleans.
As an unofficial group of cyclists, TUCA’s riders raced as part of the New Orleans Bicycle Club through the spring, summer and fall of 2009, and traveled to Georgia for the challenging Six Gap Century (a 103 mile ride). Once the team had begun to seek club status through Tulane’s Club Sports, they were able to obtain a discounted entry to the Tour de Jefferson, a ride which helps promote bicycle awareness and safety in Jefferson Parish.
Collegiate Cycling also has strong foundations in outreach, and TUCA is no exception. The club looks forward to hosting group cycling clinics which will make cycling more accessible to those in New Orleans, by sharing information on group riding, bike maintenance, the basics of racing, and more advanced topics related to training and sports nutrition. Tulane’s newly formed cycling club is currently looking into opportunities to participate in the World Bicycle Relief program. The World Bicycle Relief Program seeks to offer the incredible leap in productivity and access to healthcare, education and economic development opportunities that bicycles provide. TUCA is beginning to plan an event in which the proceeds will benefit the World Bicycle Relief Program.
Through its potential as a competitive collegiate cycling team, its efforts to bring cycling to greater numbers of people as a means of obtaining a healthy active lifestyle, through its own outreach and through its cooperation with long-standing programs such as the World Bicycle Relief Program, the Tulane University Cycling Association is proving to be an exciting opportunity for students and community members alike.