By Daniel Gaz
The bicycle may be only a means of transportation on many college campuses, but racing a two-wheeler is practically a varsity sport at Indiana University in Bloomington, home to the legendary Little 500.
Small wonder, then, that when five Phi Kappa Psi riders decided to give Indiana’s harsh winter weather the slip in favor of logging a few miles in sunny Southern California, they were delighted to find themselves taking a few pulls with RadioShack’s Chris Horner.
Phi Kappa Psi, a perennial Little 500 favorite, hooked up with Horner in San Diego on the last day of their escape. Team director Jim Kaese of AthleticMindedTraveler.com, who met Horner a few years back while covering the Amgen Tour of California, made the introductions while the under-23 riders fumbled for their cameras and cell phones. Horner then took over, leading the team east through the rolling hills of Escondido, around Lake Hodges and back down to the coast.
Phi Psi’s other captain, Adam Mercer, enjoyed picking Horner’s brain about racing in general, ProTour racing in particular and Mark Cavendish (he’s not as brash and cocky as he appears, said Horner).
Time will tell whether the pro’s tips pay off when Phi Psi Cycling hits that quarter-mile cinder track in Bloomington come April.