Getting to know the UTSA Cycling Team

Mason Hickok, Editor-in-Chief

The Roadrunner Cycling team has been experiencing a resurgence, coming out of a state of limbo due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cycling is an activity that can be considered both a hobby and a means to compete. The team at UTSA welcomes all types of skill levels. In October 2021, the team celebrated one of their cyclists as a national champion in a USA Cycling mountain bike competition.
Miles Jones is the current president of the UTSA Cycling Team. The team is considered a club sport; thus, some funding does come from the Campus Recreation Center. In the spring, the team competes in the South Central Collegiate Cycling Conference (SCCCC) alongside other colleges such as Texas State, Texas A&M and Midwestern State University.

Jones described the structure of the team’s season as essentially split by semester.
“What we focus on is training during the fall for the spring road racing season,” Jones said. “We race in the SCCCC. The whole goal of the organization is to build up a team and build up our fitness as a team to go and race together.”

UTSA sits at a unique spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Interconnected greenways around the campus allow for quick transit between locations. For cyclists, accessibility to these greenways is perfect for group rides. Jones believes that group social rides are essential to the team’s composition and flexibility in riding interests. 

“We [will] do rides on the greenway out to The Rim to get coffee or just hang out and ride,” Jones said. “The greenway system is awesome for us because it allows us to open up to people who don’t ride as seriously as we do. A lot of the time, we [are] riding on the road, and if you [are] not confident riding, [then] it can be dangerous.”

While the team receives funding from the Campus Recreation Center, several sponsors lend gear and donations.

“We reached out over the summer to some very generous sponsors and donors,” Jones said. “One sponsor is giving us money, and we have two giving us discounts on hydration mix and sunglasses. We [are] grateful to them for helping us out because this is not the cheapest sport.”

The SCCCC is under the umbrella of USA Cycling’s collegiate branch. With that comes additional discounts that allow these club teams to compete. The team also holds fundraisers over the fall and spring semesters to help with costs.

Jones finds the growing presence of bikes on campus to be a positive sign. UTSA’s BeakCycle initiative is leading the way in providing bikes to the UTSA community.

“For biking on campus, I think there [has] been a growing community of people that do it,” Jones said. “With the recent ride-share bikes that were put on campus … I have seen people riding those all [of] the time; it has encouraged people to ride more often.”

To Jones, San Antonio is quickly becoming a city that welcomes its cycling community.

“San Antonio is definitely one of the growing cycling metropolises of America right now,” Jones said. “[Cycling] is super popular here. There [are] a lot of people doing it, and there [are] a lot of great local shops that are supportive of new cyclists. We [are] supported by Ride Away Bikes, [which] is one of our sponsors.”

Furthermore, San Antonio won a bid through L’Étape, the cycling group affiliated with the company that hosts the Tour De France – the premier road race for cycling. During Fiesta earlier this year, the race used UTSA’s East Campus Lot as its starting and finishing point. For Jones, this further solidifies San Antonio’s support of its cycling community.

“It was kind of a testament to the support of cycling in San Antonio,” Jones said. “There were probably about 500 people out there in the morning. It was a fun time.”

For more information on Roadrunner Cycling, check out their RowdyLink and their Instagram, @roadrunnercycling