Post by IU Newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino.
In the Krahulik household, Little 500 is a family affair. Andy and Joe Krahulik are the second generation of Little 500 riders in their home, racing for Sigma Alpha Epsilon this year. In the 1980s, their father Dave raced for Sigma Nu.
To many of the riders, Little 500 is more than just an intramural race requiring an amazing amount of preparation. It is an event that helps to shape their college careers, and in some ways, who they become.
Dave, an attorney from Indianapolis, raced from 1986 to 1989 and will tell you that his team didn’t win until the year he graduated. He said it doesn’t bother him, though. Little 500 was much more than winning and losing.
“The race is so mixed in with spring,” he said. “We had beautiful weather every time.”
Despite being associated with spring, Dave said the event was a year-long endeavor.
“When it’s over, no matter how you did, there’s relief and already a little bit of regret, already a little bit of planning for next year,” Dave said.
Dave still has a bright yellow racing jacket and a blue uniform shirt from two of his four years of cycling, and he said he thinks things like these are what inspired his sons to race.
Sophomore Joe Krahulik said he knew he wanted to be a part of Little 500 when he was junior in high school after seeing his brother race.
“I just remember it was a beautiful day,” said Joe, a physics major. “Spring time on the Bloomington campus, it just looked gorgeous.”
Joe said seeing his brother perform so well his first time at the race was incredible, but it was not the first time either of the brothers had raced.
Senior Andy Krahulik said he remembers having racing posters up in his bedroom when he was a child. By fourth grade, Little 500 was already so ingrained in his mind that he and his brother decided to find their own way to participate.
“My brother and a few kids on the street actually kind of copied the idea and tried to host a ‘Junior 500’ which was 50 laps around the neighborhood cul-de-sac,” said Andy, a biology major.
Despite copious amounts of advertisements, Andy said only three people showed up. Since then, he said, people have been much more supportive of his riding endeavors.
“I do love Little 500,” he said, “It’s been probably the defining choice in my undergraduate career.”
After briefly being part of the Cutters, Andy rushed Sigma Alpha Epsilon and became one of the founding members of a new, improved cycling team. Through a restructured, more personalized approach to training, he said the team was able to move from placing in the high 20s to finishing on the leader’s lap.
“It’s kind of sad that it has to come to an end, but I’ve really enjoyed my four years doing it, and I hope to still stay connected in one way or another,” he said.
For more of the Krahuliks’ story, see the video in the player above.