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IU Little 500 led to lifelong love

When Bri Clark showed up to ride the Little 500 at IU in 2001, she and her teammates really didn’t know what they were in for. And she certainly didn’t know she was embarking on a journey that would be central to the next almost two decades of her life … or that she would circle back to cycling with renewed passion three years later.


The journey started simply enough: As an IU freshman, Clark saw a flyer about the race and just thought it sounded fun. That first year, her team wasn’t competitive, but she and her teammates found such a warm, welcoming community that they decided to try again the next year.

 

The summer between her sophomore and junior years, Clark returned to her hometown of Zionsville and trained with CIBA (Central Indiana Bicycling Association). Group rides made a huge difference.

 

“Having people help you learn how to ride in a pack, experiencing a group dynamic, that spurred you to ride even on a cold, rainy day, and just the overall support and camaraderie were life changing,” Clark said.

 

In addition to Little 5 training, Clark raced two years for IU’s cycling team, which traveled to schools across the Midwest to compete. Loving the competition, she continued to race on various teams after graduating. In 2018 and 19, she founded and raced on a semi-pro women’s team, Gray Goat Bullseye, which was successful in the USA Crits Series, winning the lap leader’s jersey and held the best young rider jersey for much of the season.

 

Despite traveling across the nation for races, Clark and her team always made sure to keep the IU Health Momentum Indy races – Indy Crit and Mass Ave Crit – on the race calendar, which was easy to do because Indy Crit was almost always on her birthday weekend! And it’s back on that weekend this July.  Clark won the Indy Crit in 2016, 2014, and 2012 and was on the podium numerous other times. She won the Mass Ave Criterium in 2016 as well.

 

Unfortunately, Clark’s racing came to an end in 2019, when she broke her leg – for the second time. Then COVID came and went, and she didn’t get back on the bike.

 

But then, in 2023, she joined Divas, and her new crew brought the passion flooding back. “My mind has been completely blown by the Divas,” Clark said. “It’s the most inspiring, driven, supportive group I’ve ever been a part of.”

 

Now Clark, a law partner at Dentons, serves on the Divas committee, working to further its mission of being the most inclusive group ever, welcoming everyone from experienced riders to people who, like Clark as a college freshman, just think getting on a bike with friends sounds like fun.

 

Why I ride?

“It’s a fun way to stay fit. Unlike running, you can talk while you’re doing it.”

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