Tandem looks promising for ISU Taus

12 April

Dan Walters of Alpha Tau Omega and Erin Cole of Delta Gamma helped their team place first Saturday in tandem race qualifications at Recreation East.

Under clear blue skies, Walters and Cole zipped around the track to finish with a time of 42.288 seconds, earning them the “Hot Wheels” title. The total team time was 4:04.759.

“I feel as if our hard practice has paid off with our qualification round, and I believe it will help us do well in the race,” Walters, a freshman business and marketing major, said. “We have been riding and getting used to the track two hours a day for the last couple of months, and the time and effort we have been putting into this race, I believe, has us well prepared to be successful in next week’s race.”

Cole, a senior elementary education major, described being on the track as nerve-racking and said the risk of mishaps makes it “pretty scary.” But once adrenaline kicked in, she said, all that was on her mind was pedaling as fast as she could.

“We have been practicing hard, and our pairing is with an amazing and athletic group of guys,” Cole said.

Qualifications kicked off the annual Spring Week events on campus. The 75-lap race is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Rec East. A committee of students organizes Spring Week activities to help boost school pride toward the end of the semester.

Greek members cheered on their teams outside the Michael Simmons Activity Center.

The morning was not without its mishaps—broken chains, pedals and awkward rider exchanges—but none of the participants required the ambulance that stood by.

The tandem race bears similarities to Trike, which is held at the same location during Fall Homecoming. But instead of one person pedaling to the finish line, two are paired together from teams of fraternities or sororities. Two teams also represent ed the Residence Hall Association this year.

The history of the tandem race dates back 40 years. The race was first held at Fairbanks Park as part of the inaugural Spring Week activities, according to a history of the event posted on ISU’s Web site. The first race was 25 laps.

Tandem has moved several times over the years – from the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds to Marks Field and the Driver’s Education facility, according to the Web site. The race has been held at Rec East since 2000.

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