Riders from CS Velo, a Philadelphia based Elite Cycling Team traveled up to Berks County this past Saturday to survey the new Reading 120 course. Meeting at Wilson High School early in the day members suited up ready to take the 6 mile connecting ride to meet the 120 mile course which begins just below the Pagoda in City Park.
We caught a ride with Jeff Schaeffer, Wyomissing resident and driver of the teams support vehicle to find out what it’s like to aid an elite team during a competitive race. What we found was a team that didn’t let the ever changing scenery and topography of Berks County get them down. From sharp turns and grueling up hill climbs to speeding past corn fields in Oley, the team certainly faced their fair share of challenges along the route.
During our trip Jeff noted that cycling isn’t just about speed and agility, its more like a game of chess, moving your pieces at the right time makes more of a difference than all out power.
To any outsider CS Velo may seem like any other bunch of rage tag elite cyclists. However, having the courage to overcome obstacles is everything the team stands for. The “CS” in CS Velo stands for Combined Strength. Founder Luke Bunting had the idea of starting the CS Velo Cycling Club in honor of this father who was battling cancer.
Thinking of others who may be in the same situation, Luke invited fellow cyclists to race or ride for someone they feel needed to be uplifted. Members of the newly formed club were encouraged to add the names of those who they were riding for on their jerseys as a constant reminder of their strength as a team.
So how did the CS Velo Cycling Club start a cross country traveling elite racing team? Let’s meet Kurt and his wife Meredith Dodds. Kurt, as a competitor at heart, vied to become a professional cyclist but with the lack support wasn’t able to realize his dream.
Instead he chose to do the next best thing, invest in Luke and CS Velo by taking his own time and money to develop the CS Velo Elite Racing Team. With only a year under their belt so far, Kurt and Meredith (the teams manager) have used their expertise to find sponsors, source equipment and keep members to a persistent training schedule.
We learned the team’s overall goal is to compete in the June 2017 Philadelphia International Cycling Classic. Both Club and Elite Team are active in the community, volunteering at local charity events, supporting youth cycling programs and participating in bicycle safety advocacy campaigns.