The Official Newsletter of the Tyler Bicycle Club
Vol. 19, No. 1
Threatening Legislative Bill
By Galen Williams
One of our Texas Senators, Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio, has introduced Senate Bill No. 238 that concerns us as cyclists. If passed, it
will prohibit groups of three or more cyclists from using all Farm to Market and Ranch to Market roads without improved shoulders. This
would effectively end our group rides on our county roads and would end bicycle tours throughout the state. Only cyclists riding in pairs
and displaying the slow moving vehicle safety emblem on the rear of the bike will be allowed on these roads.
There is a lot of discussion on the subject over the internet, but we are asking you to write personal letters to our state senators ? Bill
Ratliff, David Cain and Todd Staples ? expressing your disapproval of the bill. This bill has been tried before in one form or another and
been defeated, but it keeps coming back. We have to keep coming back, too. The address for each senator is the same: P.O. Box 12068,
Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711. Be sure to preface their names with the title Honorable and keep your language clear and
professional. We need to do our part to defeat this bill and also support the Texas Bicycle Coalition who is fighting this thing on the
(Editors note ? as Jim Walker pointed out online, this bill contradicts Wentworths published political goals, which you can view at
http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/Senate/members/dist25/dist25.htm. Also, an employee of the Texas Bicycle Coalition indicates this bill
has the strong support of the Texas Farm Bureau. If you do any business with them, you might take the opportunity to express your
disapproval of this bill.)
Cycling in TylerThe Early Days
By Dave Williams
In 1931 Grady Faulk sold his bicycle and appliance store in Corsicana and came to Tyler to open a bicycle shop. At that time Grady
felt that the economy in Corsicana was going to follow the "Great Depression" and judged Tyler to be a good choice for a business due to
the East Texas oil boom. He located an excellent location at 105 South Broadway and rented a small storefront. Three months after he
opened the entire block of buildings was gutted by a fire which started in an adjacent cleaning and pressing business.
Grady was determined to make the business a success and expanded to three of the renovated storefronts. The name was "Grady's
Bicycle Shop - Texas Largest Bicycle Store." Within a year Grady had three salesmen-mechanics working in the store. The cycle shop
offered Schwinn and Colombia bicycles, the finest quality equipment available at the time. This quality line of high performance bicycles
contrasted sharply with the cheaply built models offered by Sears, Wards, Firestone and Western Auto in much the same way the cycling
ware sold by Target and Wal-Mart is today. During the early years Murphy the Jeweler was the only other business in Tyler offering
quality bicycles for retail sale.
After about eight years at the original location Grady was forced to relocate due to construction of the now defunct Tyler Theater at
the 105 S. Broadway site. The College Street location chosen proved to be a mistake and landed the business in bankruptcy along with the
tennis court facility also owned by Grady Faulk. Thanks to the help of his friends Grady was the successful bidder for the tennis courts
sold in bankruptcy and opened a small cycle shop in the clubhouse at that location on Glenwood Boulevard. In those days bankruptcy gave
one a "bad name" and Grady was eventually able to pay back all of the creditors.
After selling the tennis courts and clubhouse Grady moved the bicycle business to his expanded garage on Fenton Street in the early
1950's. At that time he limited the line of bicycles to Schwinn and England's Raleigh Light Weight. The shop also had a franchise for "Solex", a French motorbike that sold for $125.00. The machine was an instant success and sold well until the police and a lawyer got into the act. Seems there was some controversy about the need for a license to operate on the streets of Tyler and all of the riders were under-age to get a license. In 1953 Grady's eyesight began to fail and Grady Jr. left the teaching profession to become a partner in the business. In 1955 Billy Quick became a third partner and the business moved to Bergfeld Center. Later in 1955 the Faulks sold their share of the store to 0. R.
Cooper, Jr. and eventually the business became Billy's Bike and Boat Corral.
Even today, Grady Jr. still has people relating to him about their first bike being purchased from "Mr. Grady." Many were sold on
credit to a kid who otherwise could not afford a bicycle. Some had jobs using their bicycles to earn money making deliveries for
businesses such as drug stores, Western Union and Postal Telegraph. Grady Jr. recalled a trip to Chicago to attend a national bicycle
dealers convention and a trip through the Arnold-Schwinn Factory. At the convention he was asked to help judge a rebuilt bicycle
contest. At the time he wondered why they had not shipped one of Grady Sr's. rebuilt bicycles to be judged since he did not see any
to compare with those in Tyler. Grady Jr. said, "Daddy could build bicycle wheels coming and going." One memory Grady Jr. has
of being in the business was trying to ride a sidecar-equipped bicycle. He stated that this was the "hardest cycling" one could
imagine. A right turn was almost impossible and the left turn was sure to tip you over.
Cycling in Tyler has been alive and well for a long time. Remember, when in doubt, ride your bicycle.
Just a few weeks ago I had no idea I was about to start the year with a new responsibility. It was not in my program, believe
me. Well, I guess it didn't take long before I said OK, and here I am.
I have accepted to be the president (not the queen!), because I have
great respect for our club. I have been in the club for six years, and I have had a great time learning about cycling. It all has been
possible because you are my friends. The members of this club are like my family, and over the years you have given me, not only
the advice on how to go faster, to endure rides, to pull through on those bad days but also have given your love and affection. Each
one of you is dear to me, and I'll try to do my best in following all the good example that others have set before me. It's all about
team work, and I know that the new group of officers (some not so new) feel confident that we'll have your support and will help
make this year 2001, a year to remember. Keeping up with the membership is a big task, but we have a great, sweet lady in charge
named Sue, who has her ways, too. She promises to continue the harassment, just like I've done in the past (Hm, maybe more). So
watch out for her.
Remember, this is the time to renew our memberships. I thank all those who support our club by faithfully renewing each year.
We welcome new members. Each member is a recruiter. So, you have to do your job, too.
We're looking forward to a good year and are also asking for your suggestions on how to make this a better club. Also, there is
legislation that will be introduced in the Texas State Legislature in January named the Matthew Brown Act (MBA) that could
monumentally change bicycle safety in the State of Texas.
Our own Beauty & the Beast is scheduled for April 28th, and the committee is already hard at work. Let's set some goals for the
upcoming cycling season, and we could start with planning to ride "Freeze Your Fanny" in early February. Knock the cobwebs off
your bicycles, and get the blood flowing in your legs, for spring will be here before you know it. Lets go riding! Galén
TRASH PICK UP SCHEDULED:
Our third trash pick up for Adopt a Highway will be Feb. 10th. That's a Saturday. We'll meet at 8:00 a.m. at Faulkner park. We'll have sag and refreshments. Bring gloves and wear long pants. Bags and ties are provided. And don't forget the best part. Yes. You get to wear a fantastic looking orange vest. Hope to see you there. The more we have, the less time it takes.
TBC SWAP SHOP:
The monthly club meeting for February will be Tuesday night, Feb. 13th, at 7:00, at the regular meeting place-Chamber of Commerce. As usual, we will have refreshments, a raffle prize, and a short business meeting. For our program, we're going to do something a little different. We'll have a swap meet. Bring your unwanted or unused bicyle parts or gear and we'll sell, give and trade amongst ourselves until everyone is satisfied, or at least until it's time to go home. Don't be shy, now. Like they say, one man's junk is another man's treasure. It should be a lot of fun. I have heard the club used to do this years ago, and it worked well. See you there!
Birthdays: 12/6 Butch Willingham, 12/6 Mrs. Robert Helt, 12/10 Josh Canal, 12/10 Jim Cox, 12/10 Daniel Chilton, 12/12 Stacey Gray, 12/16 Michael Ware, 12/21 Shanok Chilton, 12/22 Russell Cox,
12/23 Brad Smith, 12/24 Vanessa Cox, 12/27 Gabe Canal, 12/30 Eryn Wilson, 12/31 Youngest of the Lee Family, Cindy Azghani, 1/2 John Wilson, 1/5 Steve Farris, 1/8 Sherri Kathan, 1/9 Demi Rodriguez, 1/15 Pat Stephens, Michael Simpson, 1/17 Linda Stone, 1/21 Laurie Pintsch, 1/26 John Fabac, 1/29 Paul Douglas
by Galén Williams
We had good weather with lots of people watching and waving at us. It was great to see so many faces gathered around the town square. The only problem was that only four of us showed up, Joe Canal, Frances Singleton, Eric and me. Where were other members? A good opportunity was wasted in showing our community that Tyler has a bicycle club. I feel the parade is a good way to give our club some publicity. Beauty and the Beast would certainly benefit from it. We can't let opportunities like these go by. The parade was organized by the Tyler Jaycees and it was cheered by the crowd. I hope they confirm our participation again this year, and more cyclists show up.
Thanks to those who participated. I'm not going to give up. We'll be there next Christmas with lights shining on our bikes.
2001 Beauty & the Beast
This years tour is scheduled for April 28th and will again start from the UT Tyler campus. Registration is $10$20, depending on
the tour selected.
Volunteers are still needed for all sorts of positions. Contact any club officer to volunteer your skills and time, either before or after the tour.
Last years event was a great success, and were hoping to make it even better this year, so lets get the support of the entire club behind this.
By Manny Samaniego
Welcome to the 2001 cycling season. By now each of you should have a set of goals you would like to accomplish either on the
road or trail. As with every new year, the club goes through a change: new officers, new members, new bikes, and so does Spoke Signals.
Talking Cycling is a new section intended to help members of the club with every aspect of the sport, from training tips, to racing
advice to just funny "war" stories. Trivia, information, internet sites, history and a lot more can be expected on this section. If you
have a topic you would like explained, or you are in need of some information, this is the place to find it. Just drop us a quick email
with your questions or comments and we will set the wheels rolling.
2001 promises to be another exacting year for the club and its members...and remember, ...when all else fails, ATTACK!!!!!