312 TRS instructor pedals to victory, fitness with Air Force Cycling Team

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- With summer right around the corner, it's time for some recreation. Some activities to do could be going to the beach, boating on the lake or camping.

Here's a new one for you to try: cycling. In the endless pursuit of excellence, however, not just any ordinary cycling will do: try going 470 miles in a single week in Iowa during the hottest month of the year. On top of that, try acting as a recruiter for the Air Force and representing our military while you're at it. Does it sound like a bit much?

That's exactly what Staff Sgt. Christy Compeau, a technical applications instructor with the 312th Training Squadron, and the Air Force Cycling Team are doing this July as they engage in the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa and act as a recruitment tool for the Air Force in the process.

The Air Force Cycling Team has been around for 15 years and is used as a recruiters' program to show a fit and healthy attitude and to tell people about the Air Force.

Each year, somewhere between one-hundred and one-hundred and fifty Airmen from the nation-wide team go to RAGBRAI.

Unlike the other riders, who are there mostly for competition, the Bike Team takes their time during the race to stop in the communities along the way and represent the Air Force.

This will be Sergeant Compeau's second year to attend RAGBRAI. Master Sgt. William Yohman, Master Sgt. Benjamin Passons and Staff Sgt. Brad Graves from the 312 TRS will be going for the first time to tell people about the different tech schools and jobs available.

Colonel Mike Buck, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 847 commander at Angelo State University, will also go for his first time to talk about the officer program.

In addition to the Goodfellow team, teams from Lackland, Laughlin, Randolph and Sheppard Air Force Bases in Texas, and other teams from Colorado and the District of Columbia, will symbolize the Air Force at the competition.

To be part of the official AFCT, there is a simple application process. Once accepted, team members must meet simple requirements in dress, appearance and behavior.

But the cycling team is not just for those interested in becoming part of the team itself. Rather, it is a great way for cycling enthusiasts to ride together. If you would like to be involved with the team but are unable to ride a bike, you can still contribute.

"The Air Force gives a permissive temporary duty assignment to go do this," Sergeant Compeau said. "Everything else is coming out of our pockets, including transportation, fuel, food and camping gear," she added.

"You don't have to ride, you can support us by helping transport our stuff across Iowa, with tents, and stuff like that. You can help with fundraising and spreading the word. Anyone who is interested is welcome to participate," Sergeant Compeau said.

Even though registration for RAGBRAI is long over, there are still other opportunities to ride. Hotter 'N Hell, an event in Wichita Falls, Texas, is a series of different races from a hundred-mile endurance ride to a 10-mile off-road race. Early registration ends July 31 and the event takes place August 27-29.

Remember, the Air Force Cycling Team is a means to get out and encourage physical fitness and teamwork while at the same time promoting the Air Force.

If you're interested in becoming a member of the bike team or would like to help, contact Staff Sgt. Christy Compeau at 654-4517 or by email at christy.compeau@goodfellow.af.mil.