Club History


The Early Years:

1987

The first Beauty & the Beast 100 tour/race was the highlight of the year. With Medical Center Hospital as sponsor, an estimated 2,400 riders turned out for the event. This was said to be the largest turnout for a first time tour in Texas. TBC member/racer Mike Maqouirk finished first in the 100 mile route race with a time of 4:37:00. Andy Fay, UT Tyler Cycling Team took third. The Saturday April 4th date was selected to match with the Spring Azalea and Spring Flower Trail. TBC President Rod Hadfield and Chip Chilton along with a corps of dedicated TBC members worked hard to pull off the B & B event and established a tradition that has endured through 10 years at this writing. Elaine Mariolle, ‘86 Women’s winner (10 days, 2 hr, 14 min) of the grueling Race Across American participated in the B & B event at the incitation of TBC & the sponsor. Celebrity Guest Mariolle, a California native signed autographs, gave talks and interviews. Ride events included 6.2, 25, 50, 64, and 100 mile routes. Registration fee was $12.00 and included the ride “T” shirt. Rest stops, sponsored by local businesses were spaced at 12 to 15 miles apart. Proceeds form the event went to the Life Bank of East Texas, an organ donor organization. TBC membership numbered about 120, up from around 30 members in 1986.


1987 also saw the “Tour of the Little Apple” (New York Texas that is) happen on June 27th. This tour was started informally by Charter Club President, Mike Young. The exact year of the 1st Tour escapes me right now, but it is recalled with Mike leading out from Teasleville, no maps, no “T” shirts, just a bunch from the club out for a little more adventuresome experience. Usually the “Mayor of Teasleville” gave a short pep talk and sent us off behind Mike. (The way Mike Young rode, most of us were behind him). Note the crossing of the Neches below the Lake Palestine Dam. In the event of a rain that caused water to top the spillway, this crossing was not possible and a detour on Hwy 175 thru Cuney back to FM 855 was required.

1988

The USCF racing events included the Rude Dog Time Trial Series location, Gould Texas near Troup. This is a fairly flat 10 mile out and back course on an FM road roughly parallel to the railroad. Team Captain Mike Magouirk used a point system to qualify racers for the team. Racing points were awarded for Club, Regional, Stage Race, District (State Championships) and National Championships. Club Service Points were also awarded. Sponsors for the year were: Bike World & Simpson’s Bike ‘N Sail. The sponsored racing team was limited to a maximum of 20 riders. It was noted that the Race Team made $700 last year (‘87). In April several on the TBC racing team participated in the USCF sanctioned “Wildflower Road Race” sponsored by the Texarkana Club. Starting at Linden, Texas, the race covered a triangular course from Linden to Avinger to Hughes Springs, returning to Linden with distance covered 36.2 miles.

In 198_ TBC member Bob (Road Toad) Bright cycled from sea to shining sea with a group starting on the west coast. When Bob was asked afterwards, what he would do different if he had to do it again, Bob said “I wouldn’t.”

The early 80′s saw the Club as a group of 6-8 cyclist who met mostly on the road. Club meetings were held at John Bongiovanni’s 10 Speed and Sport in Green Acres Shopping Center (prior to relocation to the old Troup Highway where the Nut N Fancy bakery is now located). The “President” (by default, usually) during these years was Mike Young. Prior to this time, Gaylon Dingler provided leadership to a young group of aspiring racers (including a young lady named Laura Peycke), helping them train and by motor pacing them with his Vespa scooter.

Time Line – Presidents:
John Schofield 19__
Roger Singleton 19__
Gaylon Dingler 19__
Mike Young 19__
Rod Hadfield 19__
Gary Glenn 19__
Larry Terry 19__
Nelson Smith 1988
Rodney Overman 19__
Steve Sansom 19__
Sandy Douglas 1993
Bob Sanford 1994
Bob Sanford 1995
Steve Sansom 1996
Eric Williams 1997
Eric Williams 1998
Steve Sansom 1999
Bill Cornelius 2000
Galén Williams 2001

YEAR

PRESIDENT

VICE-PRESIDENT

SECRETARY

TREASURER

MEMBERSHIP

2002

Eric Williams

Galén Williams?

Gary Lesniewski

Tal Glenn

Bob Hebb

2003

Butch Willingham

Galén Williams

Francis Singleton

Tal Glenn

Cathy Cockrell

2004

Butch Willingham

Rick Hensley

Francis Singleton

Tal Glenn

Galén Williams

2005

Butch Willingham

Joe Canal

Nancy Jennings

Rhonda Shaw

Kathy Willingham

2006

Joe Canal

Bill Cornelius

Nancy Jennings

Rhonda Shaw

Brian Cox

2007

Joe Canal

Eric Williams

Kristin Blaise

Carole Burroughs

Sport Prater

2008

Joe Canal

Bob Hebb

Kristin Blaise

Carole Burroughs

Ginger Cobb

2009

Carole Burroughs

Bob Hebb

Eric Williams

Rhonda Shaw

Andy Kutach

2010

Carole Burroughs

Michael Lewis

Steve Farris

Rhonda Shaw

Galén Williams

2011 Mike Butler Michael Lewwis Steve Farris Rhonda Shaw Galén Williams

Interview with Mike Magouirk by Eric Williams 1998

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 multipanelled 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.

Mike moved from Tyler in 1992 and has come back for some mountain bike races and to visit socially, but this was his first B&B since he left. However, he is still remembered and appreciated for what he has done for our club.

See also The Early Days of Cycling in Tyler, Texas