Dateline 1967: George Rennie, Jack Kemp and Waldo Nielsen conspire to start a bicycle club in Rochester New York.
Dateline 2017: The Rochester Bicycling Club celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary and Volunteers Recognition Dinner at the Glendoveers Banquet Hall!
With what appeared to be the biggest ever “off-season” gathering of members, the Rochester Bicycling Club pulled out the stops combining two special events and had a blowout evening of food and drink, contests and rememberances to mark fifty years of club riding in the Rochester / Genesee Valley / Finger Lakes / Southern Tier / Western New York Region, all while recognizing the work of all it’s volunteers in the last year who make everything possible. It started with a cash bar and a scrumptious hors d’oeuvres table with slideshows of bikes and bikers …
A special display was set up to share images, news clippings, “classic” maps of the pre-digital age, and other momentos of the club’s rich history.
Bike clubs are colorful of course, and the RBC is no exception. Displays were set up showing the history of RBC club jerseys …
… and the special edition jerseys and t-shirts created for the League of American Wheelmen (so named at the time) Great Eastern Rallies (GEAR) that our club hosted.
Remember how cyclists used to collect “patches” for events and accomplishments? Your first Century Ride? A special annual club ride or a rally you attended? If you used to wear wool, perhaps. It was cool to sew patches on your riding jerseys before the days of nylon/spandex/lyra jersey billboards. Yes … car dealers, coffee shops, chiropracters, component makers and charity rides all claim a space on your back while riding these days, but it all used to be about “bicycling” in the days gone by.
Am I showing my age yet? Perhaps. But I can get into poking fun at myself for participating in the new age of plastic wrapped cycling too! We also had an “Ugly Jersey” contest and I won first and second places in the voting!
We had fun running a trivia contest too and although it’s safe to say that the old-timers (Tim, Jean and … uh … myself) did well in that game, what followed was a lot of sharing of great memories by a number of members, all led by three time Past President Barry Siegel.
A WONDERFUL evening with friends, a great buffet dinner served up by an excellent staff at Glendveers, and topped off with a birthday cake, of course. I might not be around for the 100th birthday party (don’t be too sure!), but I’m certain of one thing. The Rochester Bicycling Club will be bigger, better and even more fun in 2067!