Just enjoy the ride

Jonah Simental Evergreen Club Sports reporter

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A bike can represent the competitive spirit, a healthy exercise decision and even a life-long passion.

For Cycling Club President Zach Bowden, a senior from Vancouver, Wash., he has raced competitively for close to ten years.

“What inspires me to keep going is people telling me I can’t do things, it’s one of my biggest motivators, and just being competitive. I love beating people,” Bowden said.

Outside of the cycling club, he races for the Audi Developmental Team, a Seattle based cycling team that’s sponsored by Audi USA.

“On a mountain stage of a race, watching people climb and go through all that pain just to be the winner is pretty cool to watch,” he said. “You’re just standing there watching someone push through all that pain just to get up a hill on a bike.”

Michael Klein, a junior from Richland, Wash., is in his first semester with the club and chose cycling to help him stay healthy.

“It’s good for your health. It can either be a physically demanding sport or it can be a casual sport,” Klein said. “You can do either in the club. It’s just a great thing to do; gives you something to do on Saturdays and Sundays.”

Along with filling his weekends with cycling, Klein enjoys the physical benefits the sport brings. He said he has a few torn ligaments in his knees, and the cycling motion helps alleviate pain from exercise with fluid movement.

Jason Hurdlow, a technical specialist in enrollment information, is a WSU staff member as well as the public relations representative for Cycling Club.

“I’ve loved cycling since I was a little kid. I grew up in the boom of the freestyle BMX era,” Hurdlow said. “I moved into mountain biking when I got older for a couple years, and more recently, I got into road cycling and cyclocross.”

He still has memories of childhood Pogo Hop contests with fellow neighborhood kids and building ramps to jump off with bikes.

Hurdlow said memories can always be made in the cycling club, and he enjoys the freedom of cycling and seeing the beautiful scenery around the Palouse. He said he likes going places one couldn’t go on foot and challenging himself to complete a route.

“One of my favorite places to ride around here is the Old Winchester Grade between Culdesac and Winchester,” he said.  “It has the most spectacular views of the valley, some days it has just amazing weather and it’s so gorgeous you want to pinch yourself; it’s like you’re on a postcard.”

Every Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m., the WSU Cycling Club meets at the Thomas Hammer coffee shop in downtown Pullman for a cup of coffee before heading out for a ride across the Palouse.