Discussion Room

We’ve noticed everyone has taken a liking to talking about the race. So we’re giving you a place to do that, and just that.

Feel free to use this area to discuss anything and everything about the Little 500 — Qualifications, Spring Series, the race itself.

Please, no character attacks. Trash-talking is great, but slandering people isn’t. Let’s keep it clean. Or your post will be deleted.



2,560 thoughts on “Discussion Room

  1. Seeing a disturbing lack of character attacks during this trying time. Did we forget what 33to1 is about??? Seems like everyone is too busy virtue signaling their social distancing and/or getting dropped by Logan brown and Jazz Briggs at worlds to come up with some witty comments

  2. Fall is coming to an end, what teams are looking good this year? Men’s and women’s? Or just men’s or just women’s. I need something on here

    • Yo, did you guys start doing crack with no L5 this year? Fall started on September 22nd and this is week 5 of the semester.

  3. Spring 2021 – Wonder how will IUSF treat riders that have already had the virus compared to those that have not? And, is it true that the Cutters coaches are sending their riders to JB’s COVID parties hoping to also obtain herd immunity by Quals?

  4. Who ya got for Fall ITTs? Strobel at -50 is way too easy of a bet to take. Remember to account for your jewish bookie’s hidden fees :/

  5. ITTs will give a decent read into who really improved. Still lots of info left out on those teams that didn’t or couldn’t sign up for them this fall. Curious to see who top 5 is

  6. ITT’s had only 72 riders for men’s and women’s fields. Where the hell was everybody?? Was Andrew Lavalle too scared of ripping another 2:50+ Fall ITT to get Phi Si out there? Is Sig Ep too busy snorting coke in their bike shed to get out all their energy on the track? 2019 really was the last Little 500 if we’re gonna keep having only 31 teams take the track for quals.

    • You realize some greek houses were still on quarantine right? Unless u wanna put the entire race at risk by having potential covid ridden Greeks at the track

      • Yes, IUSF has tested 100,000 riders so far. It’s fairly impressive that an organization who can’t host MNO in the rain can manage to provide such quality Covid tests despite having no resources, authority, or means of doing so.

  7. According to the IU Covid webpage
    Chapters Directed to Quarantine
    1. Delta Phi Epsilon

    According to the IUSF “team captain” list. 31 Men’s and 29 Women’s teams.
    That includes the 1 quarantined team.

  8. Really? Greek teams being to SCARED to show face when it really matters? Just sell your equipment and turn your bike rooms into hazing dungeons if you’re not even going to participate in the community other than getting shit faced with RC and on riders week. Even the sororities showed out on Saturday.

    • “The Riders Council is made up of veteran riders that have been around the race. They are charged with increasing participation, ” – Cover Page of the Little 500 Rider Manual –

      So how about these 9 RC members who didn’t show up. Including EVERY RC Officer
      Natalie Peele (President) Kappa Kappa Gamma
      Matt Cooper Vice President Fiji
      Rhys ivory-Ganja Secretary Sig EP
      Jennifer Cech AOPi
      Pablo Fierst Garcia SigEP
      Andrew La Valle PhiPsi
      Margaret Nicholson Ski
      Nicholas Olsen Fiji
      Evie Peterson Melanzana

      • Love how all these people mentioned always advocate for the race! Unquestionably dedicates to cycling and pushing the race forward!

      • the RC officers this year are just embarrassing to little 5. done a piss poor job and clearly have no real interest in bettering lil 5, clearly all they wanted was a resume booster. no chance they can even pull off a fair lil 5 race this year

      • I want to inform you that many the people you named could not participate for various reasons. These reasons range from having or recovering from covid, training with immuno-compromised teammates, and not being allowed to race because of their Greek House affiliation. Even I narrowly decided to race ITTs after recovering from covid the week prior.

        I hope you’re trolling or misinformed. Otherwise, please refrain from attacking amazing people when you have no idea what’s going on in their lives. Anonymously attacking people over an intramural bike race is not a productive use of your (or anyone’s) time.

      • Rob, this is not trolling, it is an observation, a wakeup call if you will. When the entire RC Exec is not participating or cannot participate the optics are disturbing. RC is proclaimed by IUSF to be the best and the brightest, the shining face of the best Little 5 riders. Over the years, RC has evolved into a group that is less about their responsibility and more about their perks and jackets (and bar crawls). The RC selection process is deeply flawed primarily due to IUSF’s (read: Andrea) inability to demonstrate any leadership. which is my position. Little 500 would be incredibility served if this RC, your RC would reverse this downward spiral.

        Consider this, the 2019 field was the smallest men’s field since the early 1960’s. If there had been a race last year, the field would have been 32. This is a disturbing trend that has not been addressed, this is something RC should be all over. (If Andrea will let you.) Show us how amazing you all really are.

        Go ahead, I dare all of you.

  9. Madame IUSF Director,

    I mean, seriously,…what is the REAL criteria for RC membership, it can’t be what’s stated in the manual. How can a person who’s Little 500 career looks like this be on RC, much less President.

    2018 Race 25th (8 laps down)
    2019 Race 24th (10 laps down)
    2018 Quals 27th
    2019 Quals 24th
    2018 ITT’s 129th
    2019 ITT’s 138th

    • Considering AB doesn’t have sufficient experience herself, it will affect everything below her. AB has no real involvement in cycling outside Little 500, and her L5 experience was mediocre at best.

      Little 500 needs a RD that has experience cycling outside of L5 and can apply those experiences towards creating a culture that can keep up with the times. There’s many recent riders within the past 2-3 years who could run an efficient race.

  10. I hear a lot of fraternities (thus Jet Blach too) are sitting out until the women’s race is 200 laps, a women’s Breaking Away rendition is made, and Andrea runs the Beer Mile.

  11. Can these conversations happen in RC meetings and not in 33to1? Isn’t that what your supposed to do? Discuss issues within the race and the community and help fix them? Why hide in here? We’re all adults, call out each other if you need to.

    • No, they cannot, you do exactly what Andrea says or you are toast. There is no race, there is no effective RC, there are no coaches and there is certainly no community. There is Andrea, period.
      Andrea controls RC the way she controls the race, with her substantial ego, not asking what riders think, just telling us what we are supposed to do. I was on RC and the meetings ended up 15 minutes long with no discussion on non-Andrea approved topics. I finally just quit going. I’ll bet unless to are on RC, she won’t even let you attend.
      And as director, she’ll just be worse. Is it true she banned coaches from ITT’s ? Even if that is not true, she operates in a near-total news blackout mode. Their social media presence is somewhere between pathetic and non-existent. The handful (that’s one handful) of IDS ads send you to the IUSF website. But if you click “Events” it is blank and has been blank for the past 4 years. I was once told that Andrea cares about 2 things. 1. Andrea and 2. perceived threats against Andrea. I was skeptical at first, but I’m a true believer now.
      ITT’s last week were a stealth event. If she cared about the event, the riders, the IUSF members, the IU community, L5 alumni she would have set up a webcam and webcast the event. I heard stories about how there used to be a the rider community, how they had a voice and it was a voice IUSF valued. No more. For IUSF, every challenge is considered a threat and ultimately comes down to “No Comment” or you are out. As she told some riders a while back, “I decide who rides in Little 500”. That is as much a threat as anything. This is the regime you all operate under. and the riders deserve better, the coaches and L5 alumni deserve better, IU deserves better. But most of all Little 500 deserves better! This board is the closest you have to a voice and voice that has been silent far too long. Andrea has gone virtually unchallenged and the one time she was challenged, she invented some rules (without any student input) and got rid of the threat. And be clear, that threat was not to Little 500 it was a threat to Andrea Balzano. IUSF Director. You all need to realize that you don’t need Andrea as much as she needs you.

      • This is an awfully cowardly attitude. Hope your social anxiety does a 180 or you’ll never get anything in life. First step is you have to ask. Andrea is a person, as much as all the drones in the field hate her (without ever talking to her, coincidentally these same people don’t ride their bikes or really care about little 5 anyways, just looking for someone to blame their insecurities on) she is kind of forced to listen. No riders means no race which means really no job for the student foundation. It’s in her own interests to see this race survive.

  12. Am I the only one fully ready to quit if the race doesnt happen this year? Talk of potential alternatives if pack riding still isnt allowed…..

    • “If you make every game a life and death proposition, you’re going to have problems. For one thing, you’ll be dead a lot.”

    • The race will absolutely happen this year. If they are allowing football and other sports to happen, Little 500 will go on as normal. Maybe without fans and riders wear masks when they aren’t riding, but it is perfectly safe to have a bike race. This madness has got to stop

      • That’s a pretty naïve comparison.

        BigTen football is operating under stringently regulated and expensive guidelines. They and the rest of the BigTen desperately need the money that TV revenue provides. They do daily testing. Their workouts are highly structured. Games can be instantly cancelled on the positivity of Covid testing. The athletic dept. has scores of people to manage all of this. IUSF has Andrea and Beth and Emily. As a person commend here a few days ago, IUSF can’t run M&O in the rain. They are going to mirror the athletic dept. testing regime? Ultimately, IUSF/IUF do not have the resources nor the clout to force a 2021 race.

        IUSF/IUF will not make the decision about the 2021 race. It will ultimately be made by the Monroe County Healthy Dept. (I’m pretty sure Andrea can’t bully them the way she does riders and coaches.)

        Additionally, IUF is not going to fund a race where they can’t charge admission, no lucrative TV money is waiting. The logistics and costs of a 2021 race are crushing. Things don’t happen simply because YOU “want” them to. There is no “normal” in Little 5 anymore and that pretty much applies to everything given Covid19. And as the rider editorial in the IDS last April said, the race was in trouble before the pandemic. That is still the case.

  13. yooo so ppl were telling me if you ride for Sig Chi the alumni let you slam their wives on the bike trips????? sounds legendary. would love some clarification on the matter, could really affect my recruiting process. Thanks for the help!

  14. Starting off, BKB: Strobel might be one of the most experienced bike racers Little 5 has seen, and his palmares suggest he’s the most dangerous rider in the field. Brown is as fast as they come, but he has no experience along with most of this year’s field. Are they a strong enough 1,2 punch to hold off other teams that may have stronger 3,4 riders?

    JetBlach is undoubtedly the strongest team. RobK comes from a notable Little 5 pedigree, while Clements and Goode can be a #1 on any team besides BKB. They have Courtney in the pits. Can they outrace an experienced Strobel by making him work hard early in the race?

    Goats: Tisdale had a dull ITT that means nothing, he will be top 5 on race day. What isn’t inspiring is the thought of Richards and Dunsford as your next two. Can Richards rise to the occasion like his brother did for Bears, and can Dunsford ascend with him? Only time will tell.

    Cutters: It’s a rebuild year. It happens, and then suddenly you have a 4peat with Eric Young and a 2peat with Noble. Don’t sleep on them, they can take 4 rookies to the top 10 but it gets harder after that.

    Greek teams…..oof. XA and Phi Delt are the only ones that showed anything at ITTs. LaValle is will be ready to race, but can he round up the cavalry? Are Beta, Ep, EX, or Fiji even riding? Current indicators say only XA will show up to the race with four capable guys. It looks the Geeds will be executing Order 66 on once great teams like PDT, Beta, and Ep to disappear for good.

    Who’s the wild card this year? Who is sneaky fast? Who will be a completely different team on race day? Who is most likely to win Jersey night? Debate.

    • @Back to the race predictions

      Think you’re rating Buck too high by saying he’s one of the most experienced racers Little 5 has seen…you ever heard of Eric Young, Noble, Hans, Luke Momper, Kevin DePasse, or Paul Smith?

      XA isn’t a Greek team, but they are fast and will contend. Beta doesn’t have a team, and Fiji and Ep will be upper mid-tier in the Spring at best. You should probably spend more time on the road with these teams rather than using Fall ITTs as your metric for who’s good

      • Of all the delts guys you choose to leave out the best of them all in RJ Stuart? You know nothing pea brain.

  15. Jetblach has been tattooing each other and apparently they now all have AIDS from sharing needles!!!! If your just doing your daily EPO or roids doping or tattooing be sure to replace your needles for health and safety purposes!!!

  16. Strobel had a lucky ITT and could have easily been surpassed by any of the top 3 riders on Jet Blach. As far as I’m concerned 2020 is JetBlach year to lose. I don’t want to sound sarcastic, but they’re just built different. Clements LITERALLY hasn’t had a rest week since February, what a beast.

    Also don’t sleep on EP. They may be ripping drunk cigs rn, but that seems to be a staple in their fall training and they always manage to be a presence on race day.

  17. In addition to the coupons, which would be excellent!

    Try to have a relevant and compelling social media presence. (Former Steering Committee member’s weddings seems to be the focus.)

    When you congratulate the people who work on the events, take the photo when there are actual participants in the stadium.

    How about posting photos of the events. How about streaming the events.

    Don’t cancel events a few hours before the event is to take place. Athletes hate that.

    When you start assessing 15 second penalties for violating a rule that does not appear in the rider manual (and still does not appear in the rider manual), have a better response than “No Comment”. Especially if you are on the front page of the IDS.

  18. A way to have more attendance and interest in the race, is actually hold more events. Kirkwood sprints would have been excellent to still have. Just shorten the amount of people per heat. That gets people interested and it’s an amazing event. Instead you keep CX which nobody gives a shit about.

  19. I don’t know when you named SC & RC, but this question should have been discussed back in April or May, basically when they were selected and you had ample time unlike now. Actually it should have been a question on the application forms. No race last year and the lowest number of men’s team participating since the 60’s in 2019? Come on. guys,

  20. How about changing the damn rules. Everything about this event is so beyond out dated IUSF should be embarrassed. There is no changing this event with AB in charge. It’s what she lives and breaths.. rules. That’s it. They are what they are and you have to follow them to a tee or she will ruin your life. it doesn’t matter what we as riders want or what RC tries to push. At the end of the day RC is just glorified rookie week teachers that have no power to make change. To all of those on RC STOP TALKING TO ROOKIES LIKE THERE STUPID. Only impression any rookie gets from rookie week is that everyone’s a condescending dick. For those who only race little five you are missing out on a truly wonderful world of cycling instead of this cancerous shit show of insecurities and power struggles. Branch out and enjoy the real world instead of the small circle of bad athletes

  21. First, you are spot on with your observations. An additional one. The Rider Manual lists the rules, however, the rules are not what the manual states, the rules say what Andrea says they say. Every rider is at the mercy of Andrea’s ego. The unforgivable sin is to ask Andrea “why”. Yours is not to question, it is to comply.

    Here are some her actions that have reduced participation since she was hired.

    In 2017 she screws up the results of the Women’s race. She tells one team that they lost a lap during the race, (they didn’t). That team asked to have her show them where they lost the lap. Her reply over 5 days was to lie to their face, in emails and in text messages. She constantly said she had taken a very close look and they lost a lap, but fails to show them where. It was finally pointed out to her by their coach, the error occurred one lap 1. She made no apology, infallible people usually don’t.

    In 2018, the results are again screwed up. The team that benefited from her error, came to her after the race and said they were a lap down and wanted to be placed several positions back from where the results indicated they finished. “I’m not going to change it”, Andrea said. Only after multiple teams complained in person, did she finally correct the error. With Andrea, the cover-up is always worse than the crime.

    2019, Andrea bans all Alumni Coaches from the Bike Shop. She says it is in the rules, (it wasn’t and still isn’t). Curiously, only one coach is informed of this by email, the mechanic is also told. No one else was, no other coach. No need to guess who the coach was.

    She makes rule changes during the summer of 2018. At an early RC meeting, she has the group vote on the rules. No discussion, no input, just an up or down vote on all the rules at once. The coaches’ rule was in that group.

    How can a person be on RC who is a senior, never rode the race and only rode quals once for a team that qualified in the low 20’s. When Andrea is overlord of course. And lest we forget Hannon sending a fellow RC member to the hospital with a concussion. And joking about it a short time later.

    Rookie M&O in October 2018. 19 accidents and 5 ambulance runs (one transported 2 riders). The head EMT said it was the worse night she had ever seen. Andrea never left the press box.

    In any other organization, Andrea would have been reprimanded or fired. But not her, she is currently basking in the glory of her promotion to Director and is excited about her career development. Development that consists of treating every rider like a boot-licking supplicant and alumni riders even worse. Every day that goes by where Andrea in running Little 500 puts the race two or more days closer to extinction. You want to increase participation? Remove the virus that is killing one of the great events in the nation, eradicate Andrea!

    • Pretty much spot on, although I can’t say rookie MNO crashes are Andreas fault she’s not on a bike lol.

      The eradication of the race will come because there’s a lack of community engagement.. possibly that’s Andreas fault, but it’s also looking like Greek life is eroding on IUs campus because now everyone just cares about partying, once upon a time the imaginary hierarchy used to be influenced by how your bike team did! Wouldn’t that be something, value an org based on their ability to commit, be disciplined, pursue excellence in some way… some of those values stand true but seeing some places unable to field even two people to participate in an event that is symbolic of everyone’s favorite party week, that’s a head scratcher

      • This couldn’t be more spot on. The Little 5 started as a Greek event and with less Greek teams taking the race seriously (or making a team at all) the race will continue to decline

      • 19 crashes and five ambulance appearances and IUSF does not stop the competition, IS ANDREA’S FAULT! And were was the vaunted RC who is tasked with rider safety. Get a grip! The question is, how many ambulances have to show up before Andrea stops the carnage. Or does she fancy herself a Roman Emperor sitting in the press box.

        When rookie M&O is mandatory, and the rookies have attended only 2 skills clinics primarily consisting of exchange practice, that is just reckless. and demonstrates gross negligence. But what seals the deal is that the 35 rookies who were there (and remember if they skipped this they would not be eligible to ride) were split into 2 heats one with 17 riders and one with 18. Who in there right mind would run a rookie M&O with that many riders in one heat, it is insane! Someone here rightly questioned Andrea’s cycling credentials.

        At the RC meeting the following week she wanted make the next one mandatory for rookies. There was a lively discussion with some RC members saying there would be more injuries with others defending the decision. The RC president commented: “Well they signed a waiver.” There you go, problem solved!! These are actions of sociopaths. Fortunately, the last TRS was cancelled because of weather.

        I lost two very promising riders that night. One because she was completely disgusted with how the event was run and the other who was at the hospital until 1:30am and left with her shoulder and arm immobilized for the next 3 weeks. That is how IUSF treats potential riders.

        I might as well add this. One coach who has been coaching his team for around five years, posted this on a Facebook Little 500 rider forum (not the one Andrea deleted) in the spring of 2019.

        “It pains me to say that this doesn’t surprise me. I have attempted to address safety issues with Andrea and the IUSF and have been told that my ‘interference would not be tolerated’. Anyone attempting to address legitimate concerns needs to hope they don’t hurt anyone’s feelings in the process….”

        But according to some people, Andrea Balzano, IUSF Director, is just a misunderstood genius and is being victimized.

        Finally, the decline of the Greeks is not new and given that IUSF is highly dependent on them is something they should have focused on a very long time ago. Funny how Dance Marathon doesn’t have a problem drawing a substantial Greek contingent.

  22. Would love to see some suggestions on how things can be better rather than just tearing it all down without offering how it could be better according to yourself. Seriously, all it really says is I’m unhappy about something but i can’t quite pinpoint what it is because i can’t quite say how it can be better (my guess is much of it isn’t even little 5 related :P)

    If your unhappy about something, usually the change starts internally. Ride more, engage your friends or organization to be interested in your pursuit of winning the little 500 (or bettering yourself if that’s not quite your goal) Andrea controls some things and RC helps lay out the foundations for the little 5 experience but you have the freedom to make it what you want, you can be upset about certain things but Andrea and RC aren’t there to guarantee your happiness. And it sounds like a lot of you are sad 😦

  23. This is a great time to address the cat 2 rule. IUSF is struggling with rider attendance and I think it would go up if they addressed that rule, seeing as it’s been in a linear decline since. After all, collegiate A is the same thing as cat 1/2 which is allowed. I think that just shows the people that passed that rule hadn’t ever raced a bike.

  24. This sounds like it was written by a team that can’t finish on the lead lap. This race has become a joke. The level of competition has dropped drastically. As mentioned already the culture of Greek life has changed and we are seeing a decay in the social status of being a good L5 team. The cat 1/2 rule is worthless and was just to hurt cutters back in the day from dominating the field with cat 1 athletes. Also said already that there is zero advertising or engagement on social media, emails, posters, flyers. You never hear about the race at all until it’s about to happen. IUCC’s presence is also non existent. And something that’s already been said is that there’s no engaging events. 75% if not more of L5 riders don’t like cross. Street sprints is a riot. Why not get ride of cross for an L5 crit? That’d be sick. Then ontop of all this massive amount of hours rookies have to put in on the track can be deterrent. Especially in the spring when exams are happening and nobody wants to go out in the cold/rain/snow. Rookies need to spend time on the track absolutely but to a certain extent they’re wasting there time. Instead of wasting there time with pacelining and jumping on the bike which there own team should handle. Have short races and events. Get the competitive juices flowing

  25. Wrote this about a year ago….still relevant.
    IF there is a decline in attendance and participation its largely caused by the decline of IU’s greek houses over the last decade or more. Please correct me if I am wrong but if we exclude Cutters (Delta Chi) only the Greek houses have histories stretching back more than 20 years at IU. With decades of existence comes institutional support. A greek house brings many more fans to the race than the average independent team – alums and their families, families of the riders as well as current house members. A house permanently kicked off campus results in a loss of more than a hundred fans in addition to removing a year in and year out team.

  26. Just gonna drop this here.
    All greek teams that no longer exist. Whether they were kicked off or recently lost all their riders. That’s a whole lotta people not coming to the race. The fraternity and the sorority they’d normally bring. Without Greeks this race is nothing.

    • Hit the nail on the head. IU’s orchestrated policies on Greek Life that grow more strict each semester will be the ultimate downfall of the race.

      That being said, Andrea is only helping expedite it with her indisputable incompetence. Another consequence of this incompetency is unsafe riding conditions and an overall decrease in the quality of the Little 500 riding experience.

      TL;DR IU is killing the lore, Andrea is killing the experience.

  27. IUSF has sucked the enthusiasm out of Little 500. The last straw is them selling the rider email list to anyone willing to pay $250.00. There are no riders, just product.

  28. Ideas to improve L5 that IUSF should consider:
    1. Hill climb race on firehouse with L5 bikes only
    2. Parking lot fixed criterium with L5 bikes.
    3. Multiple Madison races throughout fall as a series with some kind of scoring system.
    4. Some sort of IUSF ball to engage members outside of the community.
    5. Organizing events with the crimson guard point system to reward spectator attendance.
    6. Welcome week breaking away watch party for freshman with information about Wilcox rides.

    There are tons of options, RC & IUSF needs to try stuff instead of doing the same old events each year.

  29. *Women don’t race against the field; they race against the challenges thrown at them and do it with a passion that is unmatched anywhere at Indiana University.”

    • You obviously don’t remember when 2-3 women’s teams wanted a 200 lap race and they were shut down by other women…..

      They don’t face any challenges the men don’t.

  30. If women want equality then they should push for merging the mens and womens races. Watch both fields squirm when DG qualifies 17th in the mens fields and everyone gets embarrassed. Low tier mens teams because they realize how shit they are, and womens teams because they realize that their 50 mile per week training plans are just symbolic pat on the backs

    • Some climbathon, why couldn’t they have chosen a real hill not some 50 second sprint or at least use the whole hill instead of portion of it. Obviously designed the event to play to there advantage of sprinting. For the dipshit response of ThErEs No HiLlS oN tHe TrAcK stfu, I couldn’t imagine the depressing life you live jerkin off over cinders and ignoring the rest of the world of cycling

  31. Will Jim Kirkham apply for race director? Andrea has said he is a leading canidate. Could you imagine all the favors cutters will get…

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