The International Cycling Center
This glamorous event was hosted by the International Cycling Center at Billera Hall on the campus of DeSales University. The ICC plans to showcase the sport of cycling, bringing together the entire cycling community. With plans for an interactive museum and indoor velodrome this organization is thinking big.
Graphic displays recalled cycling’s past and looked to it’s bright future.
ICC board member Dr. Paul Shrivastava said that is the vision and dream of the ICC to create a destination, which would include a museum, Hall of Fame, and sports facility. He added that this black tie affair with Greg LeMond as keynote speaker will set the tone for the quality of the venture to come later. Bruce Donaghy, also an ICC board member, National Champion, and Olympian said, “we deserve what baseball has in Cooperstown, help us realize that this is good for the sport.”
Steve Hegg, 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist, was introduced by possibly his biggest fan and friend, World and Olympic Champion Marty Nothstein. “His poster hung on my wall twenty years ago when I was dreaming of a Gold Medal,” said Nothstein. Inducted into the Modern category-post 1975, Hegg reminded Marty after he only won a Silver Medal in Atlanta that it “wasn’t good enough, you’re not part of the club yet.“ According to Nothstein, Hegg was also the first to call and congratulate him when he did join the club after winning Gold in Sydney.
Steve Hegg was joined on stage by his very proud son to accept his induction.
An emotional Hegg said, “why do we ride? We ride as kids but for some of us it’s a lifestyle. “What am I doing now, “said Hegg? “I’m the Manager for Team Successful Living and I’m watching my son ride around the cul-de-sac, wondering if we’ll go to the Tour De France. I’m still soaring.”
The latest in cycling technology was presented – from 100 years ago.
Bob Pfarr was a multiple Pan American Team Member, Olympian, and has won several National titles. Pfarr also co-founded the Kenosha Wheelman club in 1945 and served as their President for 40 years. His son accepted his father’s award in the Modern, 1945-1975 category: “My father followed the exploits of many of the people in this room,” said the younger Pfarr.
Victor Hopkins used to ride his
bike to races – 1000 miles away!
One Tough Guy
Victor Hopkins was given up for adoption at the age of one, and his adoptive parents died when he was six he was placed in an orphanage, said his son who accepted the award for him. Hopkins, inducted into the Pre-1945 Competitor Category, pedaled his single speed from Davenport, Iowa to Milwaukee’s Washington Park for the 1924 Midwest Olympic Cycling Trials where he placed 2nd. He then rode pack home and then another 1000 miles, many of which were over dirt roads, to compete in the National Olympic finals, which he won. This allowed Hopkins to compete in the Paris Olympics that year. Following the Olympics Hopkins competed in more than 70 events in the dangerous world of motorpace racing.
Ted Ernst, inducted into the Contributor category, has been a coach, team manager, official, promoter, and worn several other hats in the world of cycling. “I was just going along doing my own thing. I didn’t think about ending up in the Hall of Fame,” said Ernst. He added that old timers would come into his dad’s shop and talk about the “stars of the 90’s, and how they didn’t wear shoes, they wore slippers and how they didn’t ride their bikes, they were in them. Ernst was referring to the 1890’s.
Greg LeMond –USBHOF 1996 Inductee, ICC award recipient 2006
The International Cycling Center presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Greg LeMond, the three-time Tour De France Winner, two-time Professional World Champion, and successful businessman. LeMond had us laughing when he said “this is what you get when you have grey hair, and can’t ride a bike. Looking fit and youthful in his tuxedo Greg said that the goal of this evening is for the collective minds of the USBHOF and the ICC to get together. All the volunteers and organizers are doing such great work. “We want the Hall of Fame to honor all athletes and innovators of the sport. This is the start of the process to lead to a home. The sport of Cycling deserves a great Hall of Fame,” said LeMond. “In 2003 I went to the Centennial edition of the Tour De France and sat with 21 of the last Tour winners. I think we all felt cycling started when our careers started and ended when our careers stopped. We need something important, permanent, like Cooperstown is for baseball, “ said LeMond. LeMond said that “it was great to see the Lehigh Valley community so into cycling.”
Greg LeMond got a life time acheivement award, and Dave finally got that jersey signed…
The floor was opened up and the first question came from a junior on Team Bike Line:
Q: This may sound like a dumb question but when is your birthday?
GL: No, it’s an excellent question. My birthday is June 26, 1961, I’m 45, but I look a lot older than I should.
Q: What was your toughest time on the bike?
GL: All the time. Actually my career was incredibly blessed. Except for one blip in 1982 when I had a broken collarbone and in 1983 when I was sick and pushed myself through the Tour of Spain. Until 1986 I never had bad days. Getting shot in 87 by my brother-n-law who thought I was a turkey and going from 150 lbs and 5% body fat to 121 lbs and 15% body fat was hard. I lost 70% of my blood volume and my team said they were terminating my contract at the end of the year. My worst days were the last three years of my career but I’ve come to accept that now. There were problems with doping and the peloton just excelled. Thank goodness I had the good years.
The silent auction always has some great memorabilia up for grabs – like a Scott CR1.
A live and silent auction added more to the night, with some cool items including two Scott CR1’s both donated by Sickler’s Bikes and Sport Shop.
More information on the International Cycling Center and its sponsors can be found at www.bicyclecrossing.org
More information on the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame and its sponsors can be found at www.usbhof.com