A&M rivalry brings new competition to on-campus cycling classes

Cara Daeschner

UT students are competing against Texas A&M University this week to see which school cycles the most miles during various cycling classes.

A&M has hosted the competition at its school for the past few years and wanted to bring the tradition to UT to rekindle their rivalry in a fun way, said CieCie Leonard, UT Recreational Sports assistant director for fitness and wellness. All cycle classes in Gregory Gymnasium’s cycle studio between Nov. 11 and 15 are free for UT students and RecSports members to attend, and they will count toward the total number of miles cycled at UT.

Alongside the cycling competition, A&M and UT are competing to see which school donates the most canned food during RecSports Sport Clubs’ annual canned food drive, which benefits UT Outpost food pantry, according to the RecSports website. The drive occurs throughout November, and cycle participants are encouraged to bring canned food, which enters participants into a raffle to win a free spring TeXercise pass, Leonard said.

“All Longhorns seem to … be invested in the A&M vs. UT rivalry, and the fact that we are trying to win in more ways than one, I believe, will motivate them (to participate),” Leonard said in an email.

Public health senior Zubia Akhtar said she cycled about nine miles during a class Monday and has attended cycle classes before.


“I am probably going to come every free day that I can,” Akhtar said. “I met a few people who have not come before … and a lot of my friends are coming … I feel like they stepped up their game with the music (and) adding the challenges.”

Biology junior Meaghan Martinez said the class she participated in played Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande songs back and forth, and the students would cycle to the beat.

“I think it is a really good idea because it gives people a chance to tryout these classes if they did not have a TeXercise pass, and (they can) start getting interested in partaking in these classes,” Martinez said.

Leonard said RecSports wants to get students “up, moving and active” through the cycling competition.

“We think it is important to encourage philanthropy and healthy lifestyle habits in a fun and safe environment,” Leonard said. “This challenge has ignited students of both schools to get involved for a great cause.”