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Cyclist Sets Wheels in Motion
Evan Murphy 11 FD leads the winning breakaway in the Men's A crit in April. Photo by Chatura Atapattu.
At RISD, art and bicycles come
together before students even arrive on campus. As part of their admissions application,
students submit what has become famously known as the “bicycle drawing” – a
unique and personal rendition of a bicycle, from any angle, as a required part
of their portfolio.
But the association doesn’t end
there. Cycling has risen to become RISD’s first and, so far, only varsity sport. As a result of a
stellar season, team founder and captain Evan Murphy 11 FD qualified
for and competed in the Collegiate Road Nationals held May 6-8 in Madison, WI, racing against some of the
best collegiate riders in the country.
On the Cycling team’s blog, Murphy
describes the race as a “fast-paced blur” with speeds ranging
between 27 and 53 mph. Over three days, he competed in a 72-mile circuit
through Blue Mound Park with sections up to 14% grade and a “next-level race”
that he sums up by saying, “Rarely have I experienced those speeds in a crit,
so I was pleased to get the results I did. It took everything I had to get [to
the front].” He finished the weekend in 11th place.
RISD's cycling team shows the
competition how it's pronounced.
The competition at Nationals
was Murphy’s last with RISD, but he is leaving the team in good hands. The
eight artist-athletes who compete on the team have spent long hours training
together, consistently helping each other and traveling to weekend-long races
while also managing to keep up with studio projects. Current members George Coffin 12 FD and Oliver Henderson 12 ID will
be co-captains next year and have plans to build broader sponsorship, in-depth
training and a more extensive blog to document their races.
As for Murphy, after graduation in June, he’ll continue to juggle
bikes and art when he moves to New York City. He plans to work with artist
Tom Sachs in building and
maintaining “quasi art bikes” for Sachs’ 2012 Armory show and already has a
spot on a NYC racing team. “I’m not trying to plan too far ahead, but I am
excited to combine my two passions,” he says.
Murphy is also excited about the
great team he’ll be leaving behind at RISD. “We’re the only art school in the whole nation competing in cycling as an
organized team,” he says. “It’s kind of a big deal.”
tags: Furniture Design