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Final Beer Bike 2023 results: Penalties affect women’s, alumni races

Infographic by Robert Heeter

By Morgan Gage and Brandon Chen     4/14/23 3:54pm

Rice Program Council announced the corrected, final Beer Bike times and results following several appeals. Adjustments were made for the women’s and alumni races, and no adjustments were made to the men’s race.

Taking into account the adjusted times, Hanszen College overtakes the Graduate Student Association to win the women’s race, Hanszen remains the winner of the alumni race and Jones College remains the winner of the men’s race.

For Dani Knobloch, a senior biker for Hanszen, winning the women’s heat was a culmination of years of hard work.

“It’s really special to have won two years in a row, and especially for me since it’s my last year racing as an undergraduate,” Knobloch wrote in an email to the Thresher. “I think this whole team has worked really hard to build a strong group of women over the past four years, and it’s an incredible feeling to bring the win home one last time.”

In the women’s race, Jones suffered a 25-second penalty for excessive weaving during warm-ups that resulted in the injury of a McMurtry College biker. According to RPC, the injury resulted in McMurtry not having a full time since they did not have a complete team of eight bikers. Ultimately, the McMurtry women’s team was given a result of “Did Not Finish.” 

Terri-Jeanne Liu, a woman’s bike captain at Jones, said she is frustrated with the time penalty added to the Jones women’s team. According to the 2023 Beer Bike Violations and Fines policy, excessive weaving results in a penalty of 10 seconds, not 25. 

“Regardless of what actually happened during the crash, because right now, it could just be [an our word] versus their word [situation], it just didn’t seem fair the arbitrary amount of time that was placed on us,” Liu said. “I think there’s a lot of emotions, especially [with] me graduating … The past two years, we have put out a performance on the track that should have gotten [the win] and it just hasn’t happened for multiple reasons … [but] no matter what, I’m proud of our team.”

RPC campus-wide Beer Bike coordinators did not respond to a request for comment.

McMurtry bike captains said they were not aware of any appeal filed on behalf of the McMurtry College biker until the results were finalized. 

GSA, the previously announced winner of the women’s race, was given a penalty of one minute and 15 seconds for having a single biker ride three times. Ultimately, GSA placed seventh in the women’s race. 

Although Hanszen retains its original status as the winner of the alumni race, it faced a penalty of one-minute for not having an equal number of women and men bikers in the alumni race. Their team consisted of four men. RPC imposed a 20-second penalty for the three missing women on the team. 

Patrick Breen (Hanszen ’20) described the win, despite the added one-minute penalty, in one word: “orgasmic.”

Regarding the penalties, Knobloch said that RPC had previously only required two female bikers. This policy is still currently listed on their website, which their alumni used to confirm race details and procedures. Before Beer Bike, one of their female cyclists broke her ankle, leaving just one woman biker on their alumni team, according to Breen.

Appeals were submitted by several colleges, but according to the final results from RPC, decisions only arose from appeals submitted by Jones, Wiess College, Duncan College, Brown College and the GSA. 

Jonathan Lloyd, one of the bike captains at Will Rice College, was upset that their appeals were not addressed. Will Rice submitted an appeal asserting they finished approximately ten seconds before the Sid Richardson biker, but the RPC calculations stated Will Rice came in around one minute after Sid Richardson.

“I’m grateful to RPC for releasing the penalty breakdowns, but their inaction on fixing the massive Sid discrepancy is a glaring mistake,” Lloyd said. “I am hopeful that the processes that allowed this error to propagate will be fixed for next year.”

Many bike captains also called for more transparency during the appeals about what challenges are being leveled. Liu said that while she knows it’s hard for RPC to go to each college to talk about and respond to appeals, she wishes that there was a more open discussion about challenges and penalties so people know how appeals are reviewed.

“To all of the current captains who are annoyed about the results, I get it,” Breen said. “When I was an undergrad, I was that bike captain who would cry about the RPC official results all week when I should have been studying ... When you’re as old as me, you figure out that one, RPC ruins the results with penalties every single year and two, Nobody cares about the results weeks after the event has ended … Fighting that is a losing battle.”

In summary

GSA Women: +75 seconds

Jones Women: +15 seconds

Brown Women: -2 seconds

Duncan Women: +20 seconds

Hanszen Alumni: +60 seconds

[4/12/2023 at 7:30 p.m.] This article was updated to reflect that there are eight bikers in each race, not six.

[4/18/2023 at 10:30 p.m.] This article was updated with reaction quotes from bike teams.

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This year’s Beer Bike took place Saturday, April 6. After a seven-minute delay, the alumni races began, followed by the women’s and then the men’s. For the second year in a row, each of the races were divided into two heats. As usual, the times from both heats will be compared, along with calculated penalties, by the Rice Program Council to determine final results. Results are not available at time of publication, and the campus-wide Beer Bike coordinators did not provide a timeline for when they will be.


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