UB seniors bring back cycling club, hope to see it continue to grow beyond founders’ graduation
The return of UB Cycling
Jonathan Linfield’s love for cycling grew as he traveled through the streets of New York City, delivering anything from baby formula to pizzas for various companies.
“The motto was ‘anything and everything in under an hour,’” Linfield said. “I was going up and down the city with a ton of different things … I lugged stuff back and forth, but it didn’t matter because I was cycling, I was helping people and I enjoyed it.”
He took on the various odd jobs across the city for two reasons – to get paid and to reinvigorate his love for biking.
Linfield, a senior civil engineering major, found that the only cycling club at UB was recently disbanded. During his junior year, he wanted to bring his cycling passion back to UB.
A little more than a year later, he accomplished that feat.
The UB Cycling Club is a community on campus built on the love of cycling and bike riding. The Student Association officially recognized the club in 2016 after it was a temporary club in the summer of 2014. Along with Linfield, seniors Adam Schultz, Jesse Bauer and Evan Klein form the executive board for the club with the goal of bringing more students once they all graduate. There are roughly 25-30 official members currently in the club. While attempting to recruit, Linfield said the goal for the club was to create a “family-like atmosphere” as he continues to offer students the ability to join the club.
“It’s been easy to get people to join, but tough to actually get the word out,” Linfield said. “Our goal from day one has been to create a community with the fellow members and talk in the group. We’re a club and a team, but we want to be more family-orientated. We want to go out and enjoy cycling together as like our own little community.”
The club receives $140 from SA and received an additional $250–300 through fundraising for supplies and resources to help fix bikes.
The first step in establishing the club was to devise a meaning. The founders sought out to help members repair their own bikes as well. Schultz, a mechanical engineering major and secretary of the club, joined Linfield’s e-board as both a friend and as someone who truly developed a love for the cycling. It was the retooling of a bike that got him into cycling.
“It was the summer of 2014. I really wanted a bike. Got one on Craigslist and it was too small. I’m still trying to sell it,” Shultz said. “I got another one and spent the summer trying to convert it from a road bike into a fix-gear bike. Took some components off, got some new wheels, repainted it and once I got it to work, I truly fell in love with cycling and going out traveling to new areas on my bike.”
The long-term goal for the club is to have a crash course on proper bike upkeep and how to make sure that a fellow member’s bike is up to date, clean and able to work among several different terrains. Linfield said helping students who might have trouble is another reason why he wants to build a community in his club.
Bauer, an aerospace and mechanical engineering major and club vice president, gained his interest in cycling from seeing his brother and Linfield get into cycling, sparking an interest in himself to start cycling. While he doesn’t see bicycle repair as the club’s top priority, he said it’s something he would like all members to have in the future.
“It’s not our top priority, I think our top priority is to keep people to join, meet new people have them enjoy ourselves, but it’s a nice thing to know,” Bauer said. “It’s important just to know the basics, taking your bike apart to put it in your car to ride at the park, things like that. It’s a good thing to know.”
The e-board is also hoping that the club could one day participate in collegiate races as a team. By next season, UB Cycling will be able to fully participate in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC), the biggest conference in the country for participating cyclist, as well as obtain a USA Cycling license.
According to Bauer, the club didn’t officially partake in any events because the club’s jerseys didn’t come in time. But next season, they expect the next group of cycling members at UB to be eligible to participate in races and other events the ECCC holds.
“USA Cycling assists us in everything for us. It’s a major competitive organization, like the NCAA for the cycling community,” Linfield said. “ECCC wants to see you be a club and compete. They’re very helpful and made the ability to get into events fun. We want to see students have the ability to go out and enjoy an event if they want, too.”
With four members of the cycling e-board entering their senior years, Linfield, Schultz and Bauer are attempting to establish a community for fellow cyclers at UB beyond their personal graduations. The expectation is that Klein, currently the club treasurer, will assume the role as president and continue to enforce the same ideas that his fellow members started.
For Linfield, the goal has always been to bring together a group of people who enjoyed to get on their bikes and travel around to unknown areas around campus and around Buffalo. Now that he’s got that off the ground, he hopes to see the tradition continue.
“It was all about the love of cycling,” Linfield said. “My mom asked me how I could cycle for hours and hours and I simply said that I loved it. When I got here, we didn’t have that and I wanted to bring it back. Now, we ride as a community and it’s fun. There’s nothing better than riding as a group. And hopefully, the next set of people love cycling the same and continue to maintain the tradition at UB.”
Quentin Haynes is the co-senior sports editor and can be reach at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @HaynesTheWriter