North Texas Daily

Cycling club competes throughout region

Cycling club competes throughout region

April 16
22:27 2013

William A. Darnell / Staff Writer

Pre-English senior Matt Iserman’s legs ache, the hundreds of ounces of water he’s consumed pour from his body, he’s already burned thousands of calories and yet he keeps riding for 50, 60, 70, 80 miles.

“Your legs are screaming at you, but you have to push through it,” Iserman said.  “Surprisingly you can, and your legs recover. You’re gasping for air, trying to catch your breath, your heart rate is maxing out, you’re physically out and you realize your output is going down even though you’re giving it everything you have.”

Iserman is the president of the UNT cycling club, which races against universities from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana in the South Central Collegiate Cycling Conference. Iserman rides 70 to 80 miles for training on the weekends on his Trek road bike in preparation to race.

The club has more than 15 members whose skill levels range from the recreational to those like Iserman, who consistently ride more than 35 miles per day. Iserman, 26, is one of the older members of the team, with the youngest being 16-year-old TAMS sophomore Flora Yan.

The more serious members of the club compete year-round in events at universities across the region. The fall is mountain bike season and UNT hosted a race at Solavaca Ranch, located in the limestone hills of Bluff Dale, Texas. In the spring, the club competes in road bike races, including team distance races, time trials and criterium races, which are races held on a small course usually less than one mile in distance.

At its most recent race, last weekend at the Texas State Ultra Road Race 2013 in San Marcos, communication design senior Ryan Breault won two races – the men’s D division criterium and a time trial.

“It was pretty exciting,” Breault said. “It was only my fourth road race, so I’m still pretty new to the sport.”

Breault, Iserman and their teammates stayed with members of the Texas State cycling team while in San Marcos. Iserman said he enjoyed the camaraderie and lack of egos in comparison to triathletes.

“Cycling is addictive, and the people you meet in it is worth riding alone,” Breault said.

Breault works for Bullseye Bike Shop on Locust Street, which also sponsors the cycling team.

Bullseye is in its first year of sponsoring the team and offers members priority maintenance, discounts on parts and bikes and training.

“In cycling there can be an elitist mentality, where people take it super seriously when the whole point is to show that they’re better than everybody else,” said Kevin Marshall, owner of Bullseye Bike Shop. “I haven’t seen that with the guys from the cycling team. They are laid-back, but they really enjoy cycling.”

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