Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame Nominations: Class of 2013
Robert Rodale – Class of 2003
Publisher. Humanitarian. Visionary. Bob Rodale was a Renaissance man. The only word that comes close to capturing his essence is “Passion.” An Olympic skeet shooter for the U.S., Bob was introduced to track cycling while competing in the 1967 Pan American Games and immediately fell in love with the sport. Bob fulfilled his dream as an Olympic skeet shooter, and then devoted his time to feeding the dreams of others. He helped transform the Lehigh Valley into a mecca of cycling His vision of a world-class Velodrome in the Lehigh Valley has become a reality. He built it and they came. They developed and continue to grow. His dream has helped in the discovery and development of Olympians and Olympic Champions.
Ardath Rodale – Class of 2003
With her husband, Bob, providing the initial vision, “Ardie” has continued his dream on a grand scale as a generous supporter and corporate angel. Under Ardie’s leadership, the Velodrome has undergone a multi-million dollar expansion that included expanded seating grandstands, the Velodeck, an athlete’s locker room facility and a spacious plaza area for family-style fun and entertainment. The staging of the 1996 Olympic Trials, the 1997 World Cup and the 2001 Junior World Championships all came under Ardie’s watch. Her quiet and unassuming manner behind the scenes allowed the Velodrome team and the riders to remain at the top of the podium. And when asked about her contributions, she always speaks of Bob’s dream and vision. For all of this, the Lehigh County Velodrome is eternally grateful.
Artie Greenberg – Class of 2003
A renowned wheel-builder, Artie Greenberg moved to the Lehigh Valley from New York City primarily because of the Velodrome. He earned a sparkling reputation as one of the first Americans to become a UCI official. In 1977 – footing the bill himself after the U.S. federation refused to pay for him – Artie flew to New Zealand, took the test for UCI commissar, and not only passed, but set a then-high score to become the youngest person ever, and the only one under the age of 30, to pass the exam. Artie met a tragic death in 1980 in a vehicular accident on Route 309. Today, the annual men’s 10-mile record attempt race at the track bears his name.
Alaric J.F. Gayfer – Class of 2006
From London, England, Alaric “The Guv” Gayfer was a seven-time British national track cycling champion. With his vast knowledge of cycling and pure love of the sport, “The Guv” turned to helping others as a coach and mechanic. He was head coach of the Air Products developmental cycling program and the Lehigh Valley Velodrome for 10 years. He was director sportif of the Future Champions Cycling Club and East Coast Velo Cycling Club. Using his booming voice and wicked sense of humor, he had words of encouragement and wisdom for riders of all ages and abilities. But he especially enjoyed getting kids started in cycling, always scrounging bikes, parts and cycling outfits for them, and having a profound impact on their development on and off the bike. Sadly, he lost his last race, against brain cancer, in June 2004 at the age of 47.
Nelson Saldana – Class of 2006
From Kew Gardens, New York, Nelson “The Rabbit” Saldana was the national intermediate champion in 1969 and national junior champion in 1972. In 1974 he was a member of the U.S. worlds team. In 1975 he was fourth in the kilometer at nationals and a member of the Pan Am gold-medal winning pursuit team. In 1976 he was second in the nationals 10-mile race and in 1977 champion in the first nationals points race. That year he also became part of the Trexlertown Express “home team”, along with Jerry Ash, Leigh Barczewski, Gibby Hatton Bob Vehe, and coached in the developmental program. He was called the flashiest competitor, noted for breakaway speed in the sprints and excellent bike handling, and had the biggest fan following. He was ranked second behind Jerry Ash in the standings for the 1977 Alf Goullet Trophy, equivalent to rider of the year. He went on to become a New York state trooper, and has been recognized for his underwater investigative work as part of the scuba diving unit.
Gordon Singleton – Class of 2004
From St. Catherines, Ontario, Gordon Singleton made his mark as the fastest sprinter in North America in the late 1970′s to early 1980′s while behaving like a gentleman on and off the track. He was Canadian national sprint champion in 1977, 1979 and 1980, as well as Canadian national kilometer champion in 1979. In 1977 and 1980, Gordon placed second in the Canadian national sprints. In the Pan American Games, he was a member of the Canadian team in 1975 and 1979 won gold in both the kilometer and sprints. He was also a member of the 1976 Canadian Olympic team. Disappointed at not being able to compete in the Moscow Olympics in 1980, Gordon went to the Mexico City Velodrome in October, and set three world records in two days, 200 meters, 500 meters and kilometer. At the World Championships in 1979, he earned the silver medal in the kilometer. After turning pro, he earned the silver medal in the world pro sprints in 1981 and 1982 and the World Keirin Championship in 1982. During his racing career he was a regular participant in T-town sprint tournaments and set three track records in one night: 200-meter, flying lap and kilometer.
Nicole Reinhart – Class of 2004
From Macungie, Pennsylvania, Nicole Reinhart was a home-grown cycling champion as a junior and senior, classy in every sense of the word. In 1992, 1993 and 1994, she won three junior championships each year. In the 1993 Junior Pan Ams, she earned a bronze in the sprints and gold in the points race. In the 1996 Pan American Games, she won three medals – gold in the 500 meter and road race, bronze in the points race. In 1997 she was national champion in the 500 meter and sprints and silver medalist in the points race. In 1998, she was silver medalist at the Nationals and the Pan American Games in the 500 meter, and first overall in sprint events in the EDS Track Cup series. She then switched her focus to good results on the road for her Saturn team. In 2000, after winning three events in the four-race BMC Software Grand Prix series, she was setting up for the final sprint when she struck a tree and died of her injuries on September 17. In her honor, the Nicole Reinhart Memorial Fund has been established to help support young racers who share Nicole’s qualities of caring, giving back to the sport, remembering where they came from, courteous treatment of others, and good sportsmanship.
Nelson Vails – Class of 2005
From Harlem, New York, Nelson “The Cheetah” Vails was a Manhattan bicycle messenger who hooked up with the Toga Bike Shop cycling team, got invited to a U.S. Cycling Federation development camp in Colorado in 1981, and wound up an Olympian and a media personality. At the U.S. Championships he was crowned sprint champion in 1984, plus tandem champion in 1984, 1985 and 1986. He was also the 1983 Pan American sprint champion. His crowning moment came in 1984 where he won the silver medal at the Los Angeles Olympic Games. In 1985 he turned professional and competed on the prestigious keirin circuit in Japan. During his racing career he was a regular at T-town and was truly a crowd pleaser for his outgoing personality. Now based in Colorado, he’s a television cycling commentator while also making appearances at a variety of charity events.
Mary Jane Reoch – Class of 2004
From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, “Miji” Reoch won the first women’s race on opening night at T-town and was a regular participant in its early years. She was national pursuit champion in 1973, 1974 and 1975, and also earned the silver at worlds in 1975. In 1978, she was both national pursuit and points race champion, then won the points title again in 1979 and 1980. She loved cycling and it showed. Miji was a crowd favorite for her warm personality and her habit of entering men’s races and performing well in them. She taught cycling and was a mentor to many, including Connie Carpenter. While coaching in Texas, she was struck and killed by a pickup truck on September 11, 1993.
Danny Clark – Class of 2003
Danny Clark dominated the Lehigh Valley Velodrome the way few riders have. The Rider of the Year title was not in existence from 1979 to 1981, but if it were, Clark would have earned three straight titles. He did win three straight World Keirin titles from 1979 through 1981. His presence provided a true international flavor at the then young track. He was a fan favorite especially with the ladies. His success here helped foster a strong connection for other Australian cyclists looking to make a living during the winter months “Down Under.” Legions of cyclists from Australia and New Zealand have been making T-town there summer home ever since Clark exhibited his world championship rainbow jerseys here.
Gil Hatton – Class of 2003
If Legends are invented, then Gil Hatton pretty much wrote the book on his own legend. His fiery personality and winning smile were a hit in the first days of the Velodrome. “The Bear” later turned professional and began to concentrate on the Keirin. He found his niche and dominated in this unique event, where he became the first North American ever invited to compete on the Japanese keirin circuit. He continued his success off the track, helping to coach youngsters, including three-time world champion Marty Nothstein. He has gone in and out of retirement as a racer the past several years while continuing to coach the stars of tomorrow.
Jack Simes III – Class of 2003
Jack Simes didn’t have to convince Bob Rodale to hire him as the Velodrome’s first director. The three-time Olympian and one-time Olympic coach held the most impressive cycling resume in the U.S. and Rodale knew that’s what a brand new Velodrome in the middle of a cornfield needed. Jack served as director of the track through 1978, then went on to help found U.S. Pro Cycling, becoming president of that organization in 1980. He also helped found the U.S. Pro Championship, currently held in Philadelphia the second Sunday in June. Simes, along with his father, are members of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame. Jack III still serves as advisor to many cyclists.
Dave Chauner – Class of 2005
From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dave Chauner was a member of the 1967 and 1971 Pan American Games teams and the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games teams. From 1975 to 1978 he was the first Velodrome program coordinator, putting T-town on the world map of track cycling by bringing in stars like Eddy Merckx, Patrick Sercu and Danny Clark. He was also T-Town’s first announcer, setting the style of colorfully explaining events while building up personalities of the racers. His philosophy is that people get excited about cycling by seeing top-level pros competing, which provides the inspiration needed to fuel grass-roots development. He went on to co-create and promote high profile cycling events to get the sport in the public eye, like the USPRO championship in Philadelphia and similar events in New York City and San Francisco.
Mark Whitehead – Class of 2008
Originally from Whittier, California, Mark “the Outlaw” Whitehead was one of the most ferocious and cunning riders to ever toe the line in T-town. Taught the skills and tactics of racing by his cyclist father, Pete Whitehead, Mark often dueled head-to-head in thrilling elbow-to-elbow finishes against the best riders in the world, earning a reputation as a fiery competitor with a winner-take-all mentality. An authentic all around racer, Mark’s ability to win across the full spectrum of track cycling events allowed him to become one of the only cyclists in American history to earn national titles in the junior, elite, and masters’ ranks. Throughout his career, Mark won numerous national championships, including titles in the 1981 Madison, the 1983 kilometer time trial and Madison, the 1984 points race, back to back team pursuits in 1984 and 1985, and the national professional sprint title in 1986. Mark represented the United States in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and at the 1993 World Championships in Zurich, Switzerland and won over 100 races in Trexlertown.
Hubert Schleh – Class of 2004
Hailing from Germany, Hubert Schleh has been a key component in the history of the Lehigh Valley Velodrome since its inception. The longtime lap card and bell official has graced the facility with his charm, wit and sense of humor to the delight of riders and fans alike. Here is a man that dedicated his life to his passion of cycling and the Velodrome will be forever grateful.
Bruce Donaghy – Class of 2004
From Audubon, New Jersey, Bruce “The Torch” Donaghy was the 1974 road and track intermediate champion. He was national junior kilometer and junior sprint champion in 1977, madison champion and team pursuit champion in 1980 and 1981. He was a member of the U.S. team for the Junior Worlds in 1976 and 1977, the Worlds in 1979, and the 1980 Olympics. He was the T-town Men’s Rider of the Year in 1978 and 1984. He was a crowd favorite for many infamous battles with other fiery riders in miss-and-out and Madison events. By speaking more with his pedals than with his mouth, he’s been a role model of what a cyclist and professional athlete should be. Bruce was one of the original Bicycle Racing League coaches, helping many junior win state medals and become nation-level racers. He served as a Velodrome board member. He continues to advise young riders, pioneering a junior scholarship program through Morgan Stanley, where he is a vice president.
Jane Eickhoff – Class of 2003
The first year Jane competed here, she won junior world titles in the match sprint and the pursuit. Before she retired she owned the only world record ever set at this Velodrome. Janie Eickhoff helped raise the bar for women’s performances in Trexlertown. Her sea-level world record in the women’s kilometer in 1991 furthered the reputation of the track, which by then was world renowned as “T-town.” A California native, she blossomed into one of the top women’s international cyclists in U.S. history. Her style and effort made her an instant fan favorite here, but her smile and her sincerity made her seem like the girl next door.
Curtis Harnett – Class of 2006
A world-class rider recognized as much by his good looks as his racing prowess, Thunder Bay, Ontario’s Curt Harnett capped a stellar international career with five Olympic and world championship medals in tandem with a world record in the 200m time trial of 9.865 seconds. Silver medalist in the 1000m time trial in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, Harnett cultivated a legendary history by winning his first national titles in both the sprint and 1000m time trial in 1987, gold at the Pan American Games that same year, followed on with victories in the sprints every year between 1989 and 1995. 1996 would mark the culmination of an incredible career for the Canadian, as Curt earned bronze at the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, a year after setting a world record and finishing a close second in the match sprints at the World Track Cycling Championships in Bogota, Columbia. A Trexlertown regular during his formidable years, Harnett broke the Lehigh Valley Velodrome’s 200m record three times, all the while upholding his rock star persona and well earned reputation as a great showman an and off the bike. Retiring from competition after the 1996 Olympics, he became a motivational speaker, a cycling commentator for Canadian television, and a leader in the Canadian Cycling Association.
Shaun Wallace – Class of 2003
He came from Great Britain, engineering degree in hand, to ride for Bicycling Magazine’s Madison Cup in 1980. Shaun Wallace finished last and vowed it would never happen again. He returned in 1984 to dominate the track until the rise of Marty Nothstein in the early 90′s. His training methods were unorthodox for their time, focusing on oxygen debt and perceived rate of exertion instead of heart rates and watts, but they worked to near perfection. His good looks made him the fantasy material of many teenage girls while his eagerness to mix it up in the keirin and Madison found legions of boys eager to adapt his tactics. He earned a tribute night at the track in 1997 and still continued to ride.
Paul Pearson – Class of 2006
From Bethesda, Maryland, Paul “The Animal” Pearson was a photographer who went from taking pictures of his cycling friends, to training with them, to becoming a fierce competitor who could race with the best on both the road and the track. He was Maryland State track champion for three years in the late 1970′s, 1979 Tour De Moore Champion in North Carolina, and Eastern Regional “Best All-Round” champion in 1980. In 1981 “The Animal” turned pro. In 1981 he was 3rd in the Tasmanian 6-day event, and in 1984 he was a member of the PRO team for the Tour of America. In 1984, he won the Keystone Open in Philadelphia, in 1985 the Winston Salem criterium, in 1987 the Tour of Somerville and in 1989 he was the US Points Race Champion, and three time Master Track Champion. He made top 10 in Lehigh County velodrome rider of the year every year from 1978 through 1987, ranking as high as 2nd on several occasions.
Jerry Ash – Class of 2003
Jerry Ash, “The Gentle Giant,” gave the Velodrome a personality. A dominant rider her from the track’s inception, Jerry was the first true star of the Velodrome despite picking up the sport at the late age of 23. The California native’s giant stature (6-foot-4) was more than matched by his giant heart. More than any other rider, he was directly responsible for the success of the Air Products Developmental Program. He took it as a personal mission to give back to the sport by not only coaching the program in its initial years, but by also taking a personal interest in the novice riders.
Lucy Tyler – Class of 2003
The first thing Lucy Tyler did after winning a world championship in the individual pursuit in 1998 was to call her friends at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome. “It’s my home,” she claimed. Raised in Kentucky, Tyler was an up-and-coming U.S. star who couldn’t quite wind her way through the maze of obstacles the national federation seemed to throw down. She became an Australian citizen and competed for the Land Down Under, winning gold and sliver medals at the world championships, plus a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Lucy also won the track’s Rider of the Year an unprecedented five times, always saluting the fans. She generously gives back to the sport, not only through coaching, but by helping youngsters raise money for equipment.
Leigh Barczewski – Class of 2003
Pennsylvania is a long bike ride from his home state of Wisconsin, but Leigh Barczewski traveled here at the inception of the Velodrome and has made the Lehigh Valley his home. He has played every role from rider to director, along with a new role in advising aspiring cyclist. From the start, he believed in Bob Rodale’s philosophy of preparing for life after competition, and upon retiring from riding in 1980, immediately took over the role of Technical Director at the track. Leigh also saw the worth of the Air Products Developmental Program and helped it grow. Known as “The Tree” in his racing days, Leigh earned an Olympic Team berth in 1976.
Karen Bliss – Class of 2003
Karen Bliss was that rare talent that comes along once in a generation. She entered the world of cycling at a relatively late age. A dedicated sports nut through her scholastic years in Quakertown, Karen found cycling at Penn State University and quickly excelled at the sport. She was the first local woman to earn the role of “star” and won a U.S. national points race title in her first full season on the track. She ended her career as a road rider, but she endeared herself to the people of T-town early with her riding and her intelligent, articulate conversations.
Patrick Gellineau – Class of 2008
Patrick Gellineau, originally from the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, was a national champion in his native land and represented his home country in the 1972 Olympics in cycling before moving to New York City and becoming a United States citizen. After construction of the new Trexlertown Velodrome in 1975, Patrick became a Friday night regular known for his stamina, skill, and competitiveness in the Madison and Points Race. An amicable, yet fierce and savvy racer, competitors and fans alike soon learned that Patrick was the undisputed champion of last-lap surprises, often succeeding in out-jumping his opponents in the final lap. His many victories on the Concrete Crater earned him the nickname “Master of the Mad Dash.” After hanging up his cleats in elite racing, Patrick continued his winning ways in age-graded track cycling competitions by winning a Gold medal in the Men’s 50-54 Sprint at the 2003 U.S. Masters Track Cycling Championships and a Silver Medal in the Men’s 55-59 Points Race at the 2006 UCI World Masters Track Cycling Championships.
Art McHugh – Class of 2004
From Flint Michigan, Art “The Dart” McHugh enjoyed delighting the T-town crowd with his bursts of speed, especially playing the devil in miss-and-out events. At the nationals in 1980, he placed third in the sprints and fifth in the kilometer. In 1981, Art placed fourth in the sprints and fifth in the kilometer at nationals. After turning pro in 1983, he was second in the U.S. championship sprints and sixth in the worlds. In 1985 he was T-Town Men’s Rider of the Year. He then turned to announcing for a few years, becoming the favorite of many fans for his racer’s perspective in his commentary and colorful phrases like “does he have any more suds left in those legs?” But his love of bike racing has drawn him back into competition several times when the urge strikes.
Warning: file_get_contents(http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=from:thevelodrome&rpp=3) [function.file-get-contents]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/thevelodrome/www/www/wp-content/themes/vel/sidebar.php on line 48