The Tyler Bicycle Club is comprised of cycling enthusiasts and volunteers who support the cycling community. Club members are eager to help new riders experience the joys of bicycling in our community. Visitors are always welcome on our weekly rides!

  The interest in cycling is on the rise in East Texas and The Tyler Bicycle Club (TBC) is leading the charge!  In January of this year, we had sixty or so members and now, we have over three hundred.  The TBC is now offering eight road­-rides a week, to which we may add a ninth.  The city of Tyler has recently extended the bike routes in the city and several of our members (Mike Butler, Tyler Simpson and Michael Lewis), are working behind the scenes to expand these routes, create even more routes and promote all aspects of cycling in our community.  The club is working with TxDOT to designate certain roads in the county as “bike friendly” with share the road signs. 

  The lazy days of summer have come to an end and the Tyler Bicycle Club is gearing up for a busy fall and winter.  Our monthly meetings began in September; we have several community service events coming up and our annual Christmas Party is in December.  September 7th was our first fall club meeting. During these meetings, we will start planning for the Beauty & the Beast Bicycle Tour (B&B) and for our new mountain bike event, the Lindsey Four Endurance Race. 

  As many of you know, the B&B is our signature event and it takes six months to plan, so we need to get started now.  In addition to the B&B, we are planning a new endurance trail race called the Lindsey Four.  Our tentative date for the race is Saturday, January 5th.  Help will be needed in planning the race and volunteers will be needed to work the day of the event.  The proceeds of the Lindsey Four will go to the Trails Fund, which is used to fund the upkeep and improvements of the Faulkner and Lindsey trails. 

  In the coming months, we will be participating in several community service events.  Under the direction of Tim McCellon, the club will be participating in Cranksgiving, Santa Sleigh and the Linus Ride to deliver food, toys and blankets, respectively, to area charities.  We will also be participating in the City of Tyler’s Christmas Parade. 

  To finish off the year, we will have new officer elections in November and a joint Christmas party with our sister club, the East Texas Triathletes, at the Cedars of Lebanon.  New officers will be announced at the Christmas Party and we will acknowledge the outgoing officers as well.  The TBC has had an exciting year thus far and we have much more to do. 

  For information about the Tyler Bicycle Club, you may contact us at membership.tbc@gmail.com or president.tbc@gmail.com.  You may also go to our web page at www.tylerbicycleclub.com for a list of events on our calendar and to join our tbc forum or visit us on facebook for up to the minute information on our club. 

 

 

Mission

  To promote cycling, cycling safety and cycling education throughout our community.

Club History

  The first club for cyclists in Tyler was the Tyler bicycle Racing Team started by Gaylon Dingler in the late 1970′s. Each year the racing team sponsored a race called the Rose Petal Stage Race held at Mt. Selman. When the race lost the sponsorship of Heritage Bank, the race quickly dwindled away, and so did the racing team.

  In 1982, John Bongiovanni opened “10 Speed and Sport” bicycle shop. In order for him to promote cycling and his business, John held a get-together on a November night, in 1982, at his shop. The meeting was attended by the diehards left over from the racing team, and Tyler Bicycle Club was born. The first members were John Bongiovanni, Mike Magouirk, Gaylon Dingler, John Dailey, and Gary Cochran. Each of the 5 members chipped in $25.00 in order to pay the $125 for the USCF license.

  The next order of business was to come up with a club jersey. Since Gaylon Dingler was an artist, he took on the task of creating a design. The first TBC jersey was a multi-paneled yellow and red jersey that really stood out on the road. This was in 1983, the year that Ray Thurman became the first dues-paying club member. The recruitment of members soon produced a young, former TJC women’s basketball player named Laura Peycke, who went on to prominence as a member of the US Women’s National Team.

  In order to be USCF sanctioned, a club had to sponsor a race once a year and the Mt. Selman time trial came into existence. The time trial started at Mt. Selman, went north on 69, right on the Mixon cutoff road, over to Killer Hill road and up Killer Hill to HW 69 — about a 15 mile loop. Mike Magouirk was a Cat-4 rider, and the club was composed of about 40 riders.

  1985 and 1986 saw the club really takeoff in membership because of people such as Rod Hatfield and Chip Chilton who joined the club and influenced friends and family to join. Tyler wasn’t the most cycle-friendly city back then, and people going by in cars looked at you like you were crazy. The club had outgrown John’s shop as a meeting place, so the club meetings were held at a different member’s house each month.

  Gaylon suggested that the best way to build club membership was by promoting time trials, since it was the cyclists racing against the clock and not against each other. The initial club time trials were held in Teaselville and was about a 15 mile circular course that went east toward Bullard on FM 344, right on a farm road to 855, right on 855, and right on 346 back to Teaselville. It was not unusual to have 60 riders at a time trial. There were so many riders that it became difficult to finish before dark. The name, of course, was the Rude Dog Time Trial, as it still is today.

 In 1986, The Medical Center Hospital contacted the bicycle club wanting to get involved in some community service activity such as a bicycle tour. It sounded like a good idea to the club. Roby Christian, the director of Hotter ‘N’ Hell, was contacted and proved to be invaluable with his wealth of information and experience. The first weekend in April, 1987, saw the inaugural ride of the Beauty and the Beast Bicycle Tour with 3,200 riders in attendance! Rod Hatfield was the President of Tyler Bicycle Club at the time.

  The first 2 tours were so successful that races were added in 1989 with Magouirk being the technical director. The race was a 2-day affair that saw 1,200 racers competing for $20,000 in prize money. From 1989-1992 The Beauty and The Beast was one of the largest races in the south, and no one dared schedule an event on the first weekend in April–that belonged to B&B. The races attracted some of the top racers in the U.S., including the Shaklee Team and the Coors Light Team.

  1991 was the year of the Coors Light fiasco, when Texas Alcohol Control Board would not permit the Coors Light team to wear their uniforms because of Smith County being a dry county. It was quite an embarrassment for everyone involved and was written up in all of the cycling journals. Still, Magouirk believes that even with the death of a spectator in 1988 and a subsequent law suit, the main reason for the decrease in the number of riders for the B&B was the moving of the tour from the spring to fall of the year. The “Beauty” in “Beauty and the Beast” stood for the beauty of East Texas in springtime.