The Little 500, an annual bike race at Indiana University, has been called "the largest intramural event in the nation". Teams train throughout the year for this 50-mile race in which all of the teams use a standard, single-gear bike to ensure that no one has an edge by having better equipment than any other teams. Event coordinators report that over 25,000 fans are in attendance each year.
Amidst a windy, and at-times rainy, afternoon, 33 teams took the track for the Men's Race on Saturday, April 16th. Many of the teams participating represent Indiana University's fraternity chapters, and there are a number of "independent" teams that represent cycling clubs or dormitories.
Historically, the Acacia Fraternity Cycling Team has been a consistently strong contender, winning the race in 1961, 1983, & 1991. The team website (http://www.acaciacycling.org/ ) provides additional information, and has this to say about the history of the team: "Since the race was first run in 1951, Acacia has participated in every race except one. This extensive race career, coupled with consistent top performances, have given Acacia Cycling the distinction of ranking second all-time among teams ever to participate in the Little 500."
This years team had a very strong race, after a less-than-glorious qualifying spot, starting 30th out of 33 teams. However, that just meant that the men had an opportunity to make huge strides once the race began, and that they did. Leading the entire field for a number of the laps, our team held strong and competed until the end. Finishing in 5th place, the team won the Dixie Highway Award, which goes to the team that advances the highest number of spots from the start to the finish of the race. They also set the event record for that particular honor, no team has ever advanced that many spots over the course of the race.
This years team was comprised of brothers John Ferry, Brian Howaniec, Blake Swinehart, Greg Bortz & Josh Minnick. Each team is only allowed to dress 4 riders with one reserve rider. Ferry, Howaniec, Swinehart & Bortz dressed for the race, and Minnick was geared up and ready to go in case we needed a replacement rider. View the Team Roster here.
Congratulations to this years team! None of these men will be graduating this year, so we will have one of the strongest teams going into next year. Join us in congratulating these Acacians who exemplify dedication and excellence!