It may be the most unusual reason for applying to Franklin & Marshall College.
When Rob Burnett ’12 of Denver, Colo., was thinking about where to go to school, he heard that F&M was located in Lancaster County.
“They must have great riding there,” he said.
Burnett, 19, has been bicycle racing for nearly five years.
“I met five or six kids who had bikes and were looking to be competitive. It went from there,” Burnett said.
Burnett captains the Franklin & Marshall Cycling Club.
He and his fellow riders petitioned the College to recognize the club and got several sponsors, including Rudy Project, which supplies helmets and glasses for the team. Sports-drink manufacturer Accelerade supplies free sports drinks and energy bars. The Lancaster Bike Shop, owned by Joseph Soldner ’76, provides the team with technical support.
The 22-member bicycle racing/riding squad consists primarily of bike enthusiasts who joined to have a good time riding together, Burnett explained.
Six team members, which includes him, are training to race the collegiate circuit this spring.
The team will race in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference including teams from Rutgers, Bucknell and Penn State.
“We definitely have some potential. Everyone seems to be motivated, and we keep each other going,” Burnett said. “Lancaster County not only has good roads, but there is a strong cycling community here.”
The team takes regular training rides, even when the weather turns cold, of between 20 and 30 miles. He said the rides average about 18 mph. After winter break, training will begin to pick up with longer, harder rides, he said.
Soon members will be donning their new team kit, a lycra jersey and shorts combo designed for the team by Primal Wear.
Already the team has made its mark locally. Before Thanskgiving, several team members took part in Cranksgiving, a charity race in York, Pa. They raced from supermarket to supermarket, collecting food items for a local food bank.
Team members took second, third, fourth and fifth place in the race.
Next year Burnett plans to seek official recognition from the Athletics Department. Recognition allows the team to access funding for travel expenses to and from races.
Visit the team Web site for photos and information on joining.