About the BBC
The Berkeley Bicycle Club (BBC) is a group cyclists that includes former, current, and future competitive cyclists. The club is a member of USA Cycling and boasts senior founding members with exceptional accolades in racing, as well as current competitors with a range of experience from introductory racers to professionals. The club provides the social and training structure to facilitate each individual's improvement in fitness, skills, and enjoyment of cycling. Many successful racers have spent some of their time with he BBC. Our Hall of Fame includes District and National Champions as well as International Racers.
Current Board of Directors
President: Ben Swiggett
District & National Champions
The Berkeley Bicycle Club traces its roots back to the 1950’s when Peter Rich, the owner the VeloSport bike shop, founded Velo Club Berkeley. Peter Rich also started the Berkeley Hills Road Race in 1957, which is the oldest continuously-running road race in the United States and is one of the two races hosted annually by the BBC. In 1971 Peter Rich promoted the first edition of the Tour of California.
The contemporary BBC was established in 1979, when the racing team of Velo Club Berkeley merged with the Berkeley Wheelmen, a recreational riding club looking for a new image and direction. At the time, the BBC emerged as the premiere amateur racing team in Northern California. Mark Walsh gives a description of the early club history at the time.
As many BBC racers migrated to professional teams in the 80’s, the focus shifted towards developing new talent. Many of the old riders who didn’t move on are still around over a quarter century later. By the mid 80s, the Berkeley Bicycle Club had grown to the point that it could support a semi-pro team of riders scattered around the state but racing in the green-and- white jersey of the BBC.
At the time, the money for the club was generated by the local riders and enthusiasts and spent on the elite team, as was typical in European cycling clubs of the era. Then in the early 90s the club took off in a new direction, fired the professional athletes and turned the resources towards the majority of the club-member racers instead of the elite few.
In the following era, the club grew to more than 200 members and put on as many as four races in a year, in addition to 20 weeks of Twilight racing. With the explosion of Northern California and Nevada (NCNCA) amateur racing there are over mnay amateur cycling club options for racers to choose from, and the BBC membership sits at about 100 members strong. The club averages about two dozen active racers each season and puts on at least two events; the Berkeley Hills Road Race and the BBC/Albany Criterium, each year. As always, new and current members will continue to leverage the club’s strong race history, its member’s race knowledge and the club’s commitment to the promotion of the sport.
Orignial Club Members
Jim Van Fleet
K. Duke Masters