Nov 26

The Inspiration Behind Team Freak

We oftentimes overlook how precious life is. Our routines, regimens, and even our interactions with those around us can change at a second’s notice.  Brian Muscarella, who graduated from the Villanova Business School in 1980, had that life-changing event happen to him at the age of 53. Two and a half years ago, Brian suffered a rare spinal stroke that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Losing the function of your legs can be a very big blow to ones moral, especially since before the stroke, Brian ran marathons; snow skied, golfed, and frequented the gym. What do you do now?

Brian endured. He faced months of grueling physical therapy and began to adapt to a new life of living in a wheelchair. His go-to sport was handcycling and his outlet became his passion. His team would regularly train throughout the week and head out on 25mi rides. Imagine a 25mi bike ride, using only your hands! Team Freak would travel throughout the Southeast participating in US Handcycling Federation races and it ignited a new fire within Brian. Handcycling provides him with a sense of serenity, one of the few times he no longer feels disabled. It is just him pushing down the road. Brian’s racing this summer in the US Handcycling Federation series gave him the opportunity to place in enough races to be ranked second nationally in the H1 (Tetraplegia) category! We would like to recognize Brian as our second Featured Athlete of November for the Villanova Cycling Team. Keep on pushing Brian! You have the Nova Nation family supporting you every step of the way!

NBC segment on Muscarella 2013 Cycle to the Sea

Read more about Brian’s story below and check out the documentary about Team Freak!



“I never really cycled before my injury.  I ran marathons, snow skied, golfed and went to the gym.  Two and half years ago a rare spinal stroke forever changed the way I participated in sport activities.  The stroke rendered me paralyzed from the chest down.  After months of grueling physical therapy, I started to adapt at the age of 53 to a new life of living in a wheelchair.  Through the Carolinas Rehabilitation Center I was introduced to the Adaptive Sports and Adventure Program (ASAP).  ASAP provides the training and adaptive equipment to allow disabled individuals participate in sports and activities that otherwise would be physically impossible.  I participate in quad rugby, skiing and handcycling.  These activities provide mentoring and camaraderie that breeds self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment and pride.  I have taken to handcycling and discovered a new passion for the sport!  We have a team that trains throughout the week and regularly does 25m rides.  That’s with your hands!  We travel throughout the Southeast participating in US Handcycling Federation races that include time trials, criteriums and road races up to 28m. It is an incredible feeling to be able to compete in these races! I am in better shape both physically and mentally as a direct result of these programs.  When I am in the “grove”, it becomes quiet and eerily calm.  It is one of the few times I no long feel disabled….just me pushing down the road. Go Cats! Ignite Change! \V/ “

Nov 17

California Dream: by Glenn Davis

Last week we posted about Glenn Davis, our first Featured Athlete on our Facebook page. A Villanova alum who graduated with his MBA from the Villanova School of Business in 2010, Glenn has taken some interesting journeys, especially on his bike. There are very few people in this world who dread being wrapped in the sun’s warm embrace…unless of course you are allergic to the sun. But back to the point, we would trade this awfully cold weather here in PA for the beauty of Cali riding any day Glenn! Check out Glenn’s story below.

Glenn - Villanova Alum 2010


Our family has a long history of cycling, with my grandfather owning a Bicycle shop in London in the 1950′s and all of our family are avid cyclists.
After graduating in 2010 with my MBA from the Villanova School of Business, we relocated to Silicon Valley several years ago.

I can say what you may have heard about California is true, its cycling heaven. ( Sorry guys ) and I have been very fortunate to live in Australia, Europe, Southeast Asia, Japan and the USA.

A typical ride starting in the bay areas provides many opportunities to practice your climbing skills in the Santa Cruz Mountains  and popular rides are Old La Honda ( 3 Miles – 8% grade 1600+ ft ) , and Kings Mountain ( 4.2 Miles – 7% Grade 2000+ft ) to ascend up the ridge of Skyline Boulevard, which bounds the bay area to the west. Alice’s in Woodside is a great restaurant to stop for lunch or post ride celebration; and offers an amazing view amongst the Sequoia trees together with quite a collection of Motorcycles and Exotic Cars that all drive up in the Santa Cruz Mountains.   If you head southeast, you can climb the 18 mile ascent to Mt Hamilton Observatory of  4000+ FT.

Generally speaking the bay area is very fortunate to have numerous cycling lanes and the traffic is mostly bike aware. Heading over the Golden Gate bridge also offers fantastic riding around Marin County and for the adventurous Sonoma and Napa can provide amazing rides.

Sylvia ( my wife ) and I both ride Orbea, and find the bike really well suited to climbing which we have had to quickly adapt to. I have an Orbea Orca Gold, with SRAM red, Sylvia is a Campy girl. I am riding a Normal 53-39, with a 28-11 rear cassette which seems to suit my abilities. Initially I bought the bike with a 26-11 but found this slightly too high on long climbs of 5+ miles up. Specialized home is in Morgan Hill, south of the bay area, so we see many Tarmac SL4′s on the road too.  Currently I am using HED wheels which are reasonably light and offer consistent braking for the steep descents.

So if you have the opportunity to be on the west coast I would strongly suggest bringing your bike.

Oct 24

Homecoming Pride


Photo was taken from the 2011 Wildcat Pride Ride

Some go through their university years knowing a few characters that are kept close in their lives. Others, however, are more outgoing and know many. Regardless of how you spent your undergraduate years, homecoming holds a special place in our hearts. The camaraderie, the festivities and, let’s face it, the beer remind us of our fantastic college years.

Villanova’s Homecoming is this weekend and the campus is already in its final stages of being set up. The massive tents now dot Sheehan Beach, soon to be filled with endless tables with food, drinks, and more food.

Villanova Cycling will be holding our annual Wildcat Pride Ride this SUNDAY (October 27th) to round out the weekend’s celebrations. The ride will leave from Pike Lot (corner of Lancaster Ave & Ithan Ave) at 8am and will take a loop around Valley Forge.

Have a bike? Come join the team and past alumni for a brisk Sunday morning ride this weekend!

Sep 23

Fall Riding

The night’s are getting colder and the sunlight is slowly dwindling. Fall is here. Jeff Yau and Tim Feeman, club advisor, recently went out for a ride around the Villanova area to take advantage of the still warm weather. The rolling hills around the Sharp’s Wood Preserve and the closed road on a stretch of Darby Paoli made for an interesting ride. Check out the ride stats here:

Sunset is getting earlier by the day. Remember to wear reflective gear and have a bike light ready in case you get caught out in the dark! Enjoy the ride.Stretch down Sugartown Rd. Snap before crossing Darby Paoli Rd

Sep 10

Nova Cycling Live on Instagram

Follow Villanova Cycling on Instagram @NovaCycling!


Aug 16


The site has been dealing with a few issues over the summer, so give us a few days to sort them all out!


We’ll be up and running right before classes start!

Apr 04

High Road Cycles Sunday Morning Rides

Villanova Cycling joins the HRC crew on a brisk Sunday morning ride! Let’s make this a tradition! 8AM rides leaving from the Wayne HRC shop every Sunday!

Jan 19

Get Out and Ride!

Beautiful blue skies at Villanova, PA. Perfect conditions for an outdoor training ride! Take advantage of this spectacular weather before it really gets cold! Extra motivation to get out there and ride!


Dec 25

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from Villanova Cycling!!

Sep 25

Wildcat Pride Ride

This year’s Wildcat Pride Ride will be:

October 28th at 9:30am!

Meeting in Pike Lot!

More details soon…

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