With this blog, one of my big goals is to grab and pick little sections of West Virginia’s cycling scenes and locations, and be able to convey them to others who may not live in this state, or may not get to travel to areas that posts are created.
This time, I have interviewed the Cycling Team President of West Virginia University. WVU has around 29,000 students and the main campus is located in Morgantown WV. if you’ve been in WV at all, or follow any sport – you know that WVU is a big deal.
I wasn’t able to make it up to motown this week to interview Ryan, but I was able to speak to him on the phone, and email him some questions. Lets get started!
Ryan started competitively cycling in 2005, starting with MTB. He is a USAC Official, and often promotes races, and still has time to race himself. I remember first meeting Ryan in Phillipi in 2008, during a criterium where he was logging times and data. I volunteered to use my car to block off an entrance/exit point in the crit loop. He became President of the WVU Cycling Team/Club in 2007, and became President of the WVU Sports Club Federation in 2008. Funny enough, in 2005-6, he logged over 300 miles on a unicycle! Talk about dedication!
20Q With Ryan Post
1. What was it like racing with the WVU Team in the 2009 season?
The 2009 MTB season was the most suspenseful and exciting I’ve ever participated. In previous years, it was normal to send around 10 people to distant matches, but this year, Virginia Tech was sending 20+ people every week to try to steal our 10th consecutive conference title. We luckily had 5 members who were top 6 in the overall conference standings, with two women also, and narrowly won 1400 to 1405.
2. Who are you racing for next year?
We race in the ACCC conference which includes schools from MD,WV,VA,NC.
3. Top 3 goals for 2010…
- Have fun at races,
- Make chaos without getting in trouble/caught
4. Future goals in cycling?
Get more cyclist commuters in Morgantown and West Virginia. Get more racers/races in the region. Get more people educated about cycling.
5. Best race experience ever…
This year, at NC State, in the Mens B short track race, there was a long climb, followed by very tight single track, and a large grass field. I knew I couldn’t win, so I blocked for some teammates throughout the single track. I lost ground in the grass section, but always passed people on the hill, and repeated blocking through the single track for the entire race. I blocked nearly half the field for the entire race, and really wore myself out attacking on the hill to be sure I could block through the single track. It paid off and a few teammates had higher finishing positions, although I ended up DFL.
It’s an activity I can do alone or with others, and when I want, I can go hard, or I can just be lazy. It’s also a utility, in that I can ride my bike anywhere, and leave my car untouched in the driveway for weeks.
7. Toughest thing about bike racing?
Committing to racing every weekend during the season while still maintaining the grades. I haven’t figured it out yet.
8. Best thing about bike racing?
All the women.
9. Do you have any tips for those getting started in bike racing?
Initially, it’s all about riding your bike. You only need a bike that’s good enough to ride, doesn’t have to cost $1000s. As Eddie Merckx said, “Ride Lots”.
10. Any comments on the cycling scene for people in West Virginia? Do you see where it could be improved? Do you know of any programs that are working well towards improving participation numbers in competitive cycling in West Virginia?
Ride your bike, on the mountain or on the road. Don’t be afraid of the hills, they invented gears (and coal mining) to flatten them out. If you’re afraid of the road, there is a clinic you can take called Traffic Skills 101. Mountain bike racing is quite popular throughout the state, organized by WVMBA. We restarted road racing in the past few years, and it’s starting to take off, now organized by ABRA.
11. Best Thing about Morgantown / WVU
The hills, and low enough traffic roads.
12. Favourite cyclist of all time…
I don’t believe in professional sports.
13. Other WV cyclists we should keep an eye on and why…
Anyone on a bike on the road. So you don’t hit them; that ruins their day.
14. Staying in shape over the winter months is a challenge for many cyclists. What do you do? How much time on the trainer during the winter?
I have no issues with Winter. The cold doesn’t bother me, except if it’s raining. Snow is way fun to ride in. I absolutely hate the trainer, I ride my bike for fun, and the trainer is not fun.
15. What are the five best places (Road or MTB) in the WVU/Morgantown area?
16. Anything different in the Morgantown/WVU cycling scene than anywhere else in WV?
Yes, 3 previous National Champions.
Locally, we ride our bikes and participate in local government things which are involved with cyclists issues.
18. What kind of store discounts do you get? Want to give a shout out to your sponsors?
We recently switched to Pathfinder of WV as our local bike shop do to a sweet deal with Cannondale to get custom bikes. It’s been a great relationship, and most certainly made the difference in winning this year’s championship.
19. Why are you at WVU and what degree(s) do you have and are working toward?
I’m at WVU because it’s cheap and local for me. It was also a good school in my area of interest, Engineering. I have 3 bachelors degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Computer Science. Currently seeking a Masters in Electrical Engineering.
20. Final question; who inspired you to be the rider you are?
I moved from light commuting and rail trailing riding to serious mountain biking when I me Dave Buchannon, who was the director of the WVU Craft Center in 2004.
If anyone wants to ask you more questions, contact you how?
WVUCycling@gmail.com – Ryan Post
First off, I’d like to thank Ryan for giving me time out of his day to be able to do an interview like this. I hope this is able to display some of the dichotomy of WV Cycling, and shed light on how much this state has to offer!