Between The Wheels

During this offseason, area cyclists brushed up on their skills by participating in a relay bike race from a fixed position.

On Saturday, the Urban Cycling Performance and Exercise Studio, on Fairmount Avenue, hosted the inaugural Cabin Fever Breakaway Indoor Cycling Stationary Bike Race.

The purpose of the race was to raise funds to benefit the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys and Girls Club of Jamestown, and was organized by Susan Stancombe. According to Stancombe, who is a member of the Boys and Girls Club board of directors, the idea for a stationary bike race came from her son’s college.

“The idea actually originated with my son, Andrew, who is a student at Slippery Rock (University),” said Stancombe. “It’s a fundraiser that (the college has) done. So we took that idea, and we have a lovely resource with Urban Cycling. They were very supportive when we approached them (about this), and they were fully on board.”

“I am a huge proponent of exercise, especially in youth,” she continued. “Right now is a time when kids really need to be encouraged to get out there and do these physical activities. The electronic world seems to monopolize them, so we want to show them and (have them) emulate us.”

The race is being held in conjunction with Urban Cycling’s one-year anniversary – which, according to Lynn Smith, owner of the Urban Cycling studio, opened its doors during mid-March of last year. Stancombe also said that holding the race in early March provides a good opportunity for cyclists to train for the summer.

“It’s preseason and, (for) those who are active cyclists, it gives them an impetus to train,” she said. “And they’ll be better prepared when the weather breaks and they can get out there on the road. And I’d like to encourage people to be doing that in a safe environment.”

The race field was made up of 28 cyclists composed of seven teams of four members each. The names of the teams were: Over 50 Plus One; the Sycling Sanfords; the Cyclogical Thrillers; the Northside Spinners; Heels on Wheels; Wheel Crazy; and DAWGs.

One race contestant was Byron Bilicki, a member of the Northside Spinners, who said that he chose to participate in the race for several reasons.

“We’ve been coming to Urban Cycling for several months and doing some indoor spinning and cycling classes,” said Bilicki, who is also a member of the Hollyloft cycling team. “(The race) seemed like a great way to continue with our fitness, and at the same time, help a great organization like the Boys and Girls Club of Jamestown – which is a fantastic organization. So we wanted to support them.”

The heat ran for two hours, until 3:30 p.m. Each individual team was assigned one stationary bike and raced relay style, changing riders at their team captain’s discretion, with a goal of achieving the highest total mileage. The overall mileage was calculated by a built-in computer on each bike, and was recorded by a team member at specific points in time throughout the race in the event of a computer malfunction.

The entry fee for the race was $100 per team. At the end of the race, a $100 prize was awarded for the team with the highest overall mileage during the event in three divisions: an all-male team, an all-female team and a co-ed team.

According to Stancombe, she has every intention of making the race into an annual event.

“We are absolutely looking at next year,” she said, prior to the race. “We’re hoping that every team that comes here goes out and talks about it, because I think it’s going to be fantastic. We have had phenomenal community support, and the community has really been behind it from a sponsorship and donation standpoint. I think people are a little bit intimidated by the word “race.” Maybe we need to emphasize the ride element of it. Anybody can do this. All you have to be able to do is turn the pedals. And, because you have a four-member team, you’re able to switch out so no one person is exhausted.”

Sponsors and donors of the race included: Urban Cycling Performance and Exercise Studio; Jamestown Cycle Shop; Hollyloft Ski and Bike; Evergreen Outfitters; M&T Bank; Moore & Myott LLP; Mastercuts; Salon 1; Allied Alarm Services; Guppy’s Good Time Food Restaurant and Tavern; SNAP Fitness; Jamestown Pediatrics; Eight Limbs Wellness Studio; Jeremy’s Belview; Tim Hortons; and John Adams Cycling and Fitness.

Stancombe also said that the race would not have been possible without the support of Lynn Smith and the Urban Cycling studio.