Speed, thrill and adrenaline are only a few of the elements senior Nick Matecki craves when riding his bike.
The president of Bike Enthusiasts at St. Thomas, also known as BEAST, has a passion for biking but said the club is missing one important part: racing.
As leader of St. Thomas’ bike club, Matecki is beginning to take on all the responsibilities that it entails.
Many know BEAST for its work to sponsor the Bike Share program in which students can rent and borrow used bikes supplied by the group. All of the bikes are donated, Matecki said.
“We just put them together and make them ride-able,” he said. “We have a bike rack, which is below Morrison and you can rent them out from the Wellness Center.”
But the president wants to turn the club in another direction. Matecki plans to enter interested members of BEAST into bike racing events to take the group to a new level.
Fellow BEAST member Hans Pflaumer is excited to be part of the racing team spring 2010. Biking has been a part of Pflaumer’s life since his junior year of high school.
According to Mateki, the team has already looked into available racing opportunities.
“We want to try to race collegiate in the spring,” he said. “But there’s a lot of traveling and everyone’s swamped with school, so we may just do local races.”
Matecki said the club has not received any budget yet, but one thing he plans on putting money toward is jerseys for the racing team. Currently most of the club money goes to the Bike Share program, but Matecki said he is trying to focus more on the racing aspect for the spring.
Along with planning a budget, the new president hopes to increase support from the school for his plans to get the bikers racing this spring.
Pflaumer said he is not sure what to anticipate as far as the school’s reaction to the team.
“Finding support for clubs, whether it is monetary or administrative can be a bit of a shot in the dark at times,” Pflaumer said. “One of the questions that comes back is, should we have UST Bike racing be part of BEAST or do we create a separate club?”
Mateki, however, doesn’t think that the two clubs will both be allowed to exist.
“We’re kind of just taking up a base because there’s no way the school is going to give us a bike racing club and the bike enthusiasts club,” he said.
Ellie Galgano can be reached at email@example.com