In the words of John Boles ’65, the William Pettus Hobby Professor of History, “The beer-bike race, perhaps Rice’s most colorful athletic event, began in 1957 with the college systemThe race among the four men’s colleges was run around the inner loop circling Lovett Hall, the Rice Memorial Center and what is now Herring HallAs soon as the drinkers drained their twenty-four-ounce cans of beer, burly pit crews launched the riders with a mighty heaveBarring wrecks at the four corners of the route, the exhausted riders were caught at the end of the course by the same pit crews and unceremoniously pitched off their bikes so the next riders could jump on and be thrust forward just as the next beer drinkers emptied their cans. [Today’s] races are hotly contested, the athletes are amateurs (though they ride decidedly professional bikes), and the fans are fervent in support of their collegesBeer-bike day has become a quintessential Rice event.”

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