On November 26, 2016, the TUJ Bicycle Racing & Riding Club participated in the 11th annual SeoCycle Festival, in the four-hour team enduro race. The team, comprising of 4 students from the club, came in 55th place out of 119 teams. This was TUJ’s first student-run team to participate in such an event. John A. Tevis, the club’s captain, and Kento Jorge, the club’s co-captain, had the following to say about the club and the event:
“Our club was formed from my belief in the value of club activities and my passion for cycling. Clubs played a huge role in my success in high school, and recognizing how TUJ didn’t have that many clubs, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to start a racing team. . So in Fall 2015 I started the “Bicycle Racing & Riding Club.” I knew recruiting members was going to be an uphill battle, given how equipment-heavy the sport is and how small the student body is. Inspired by the TUJ activities’ trips, I decided to host cycling trips to scenic sites where people can rent bikes. This was to focus first on building club recognition and membership while staying on the look-out for potential racers. After several successful trips during fall & spring my patience paid off. On one of the trips I met Kento, who already had a bike and was interested in racing. In Derek Siver’s Ted Talk “How to start a movement” he says “The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader.” Kento became the first to commit to being part of a team, and with him followed two more, then another joined to create our SeoCycle team for fall 2016. Kento accepted the position of Co-captain in November.
The next step was to develop our team more and compete in a multi-stage race (similar to the Tour de France) in spring 2016. The goal was for our team is to be recognized and included in inter-university races. These races will provide us the opportunity to network with seven university teams.
Anyone can join the club and be a part of our team. All they need is a racing bike and helmet.”
—John A. Tevis
“When the decision was made to participate in the four-hour endurance race at the 11th Annual SeoCycle Race Festival to be held in November 2016, the team had only eight training sessions to prepare for race day. Each practice was designed to help each member improve their fitness, skills and cycling etiquette. While training was difficult, as expected, we fell more in love with cycling in and around Tokyo as we discovered cycling routes along the Tamagawa River – with views of Mt. Fuji, as we saw the beautiful Tokyo skyline and harbor at Wakasu Seaside Park, as we experienced the countryside along the Arakawa River.
With SeoCycle Race Festival being TUJ cycling team’s debut, we used it for the experience, but mostly to enjoy ourselves. For the first time in 56 years, it snowed in November across the Tokyo/Chiba area. Snow and ice on the track made it intimidating, but it made us more excited than nervous. The race was a relay style event, so we got to take turns giving it our best. Out of the 119 teams, TUJ cycling team came in a surprising 55th, surpassing our intended goal of coming in at around three quarters of the way in our category. This strong showing has boosted team moral and determination, and we aim to do better in our next race.
We wore our TUJ jerseys proudly and represented our school well. The team is very grateful for the support the school has given us.”
For more info on the TUJ Bicycle Racing & Riding Club, check out the @TUJCycling Facebook Page.