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A Hundred Years Of Cycling In Toowoomba
The Toowoomba Cycling Club was formed in 1910 & was at that time known as the Toowoomba City Wheelers. As there was no track, the clubs activities were confined to road racing. In order to train or race on specific roads within the city the club was required to obtain formal permission from the Toowoomba City Council.
Around 1915 due to a new regulation, clubs who catered for amateur cyclists were required to add the title of "amateur" to their name & so the Toowoomba City Amateur Wheelers was born. Cycling in Toowoomba continued under the new name until the late 80's when all registered clubs were required to adopt more streamlined names as a result of a ruling on this issue by Cycling Australia.
The Toowoomba City Amateur Wheelers from that point on became known as the Toowoomba Cycling Club. During its 100 plus year history the club has placed a heavy emphasis on the coaching and overall developement of its young members. The benefits of having its members "rub shoulders" with the best cyclists, coaches and officials in Australia was acheived by organizing a wide variety of major events in the local area.
The clubs coaching program has developed numerous state champions on both the road & track. Some of them have gone on to win Australian, Oceania, Commonwealth, & Olympic honours. The club produced its first Australian champion in 1956 when Howard Webb won the Australian 125 Mile Road Championship. The Championship was held in Tasmania in what was described as very wet, muddy, & cold conditions. Webb proudly acclaimed his win was due in part to his decision to use in-board gearing (whereas all others in the event used the more traditional derailleur gears) & to the quality & the reliabilty of his "City" bike which was manufactured in Toowoomba at Nuss & Sons Factory.
In 1977 the club took on the task of organizing & conducting the Oceania Track & Road Championships at a time when the Australian Amateur Cyclist Association was not prepared to undertake this venture.
The first Festival of Cycling held in Australia; The South Queensland Road and Track Championship Series; The Annual Queensland School Boys Championship are some of the long list of events conducted through the years by the Toowoomba Cycling Club. However, it was the clubs two day October Carnival that placed the national cycling spotlight on Toowoomba for many years. This carnival, was billed as the richest two day track meet in Australia. World & Olympic champions such as John Nicholson, Danny Clark, & Gary Sutton were regular competitors at this two day event which was held annually at the Griffith's Park Velodrome.
The clubs Womens Auxillary were very active in raising funds to assisst members selected to represent Queensland as well as for the further developement of cycling facilities in the city. The developemnt of an effective relationship with the Toowoomba City Council was forged at this time. It was little wonder that during this era (1970's - 1980's) the Toowoomba Cycling club or as it was known then Toowoomba City Amateur Wheelers was one of the strongest & most sucessful in the nation. The clubs fundraising activities resulted in the flood lighting of the Griffith's Park Velodrome. Following the official opening the Courier Mail featured an article on the front page announcing Queensland now had its first floodlit velodrome.
The Toowoomba Cycling Club still places a very strong emphasis on the coaching & develpopment of its members. Their program offers new, young cyclists, male or female, a very low cost opportunity to "try before you buy". Current model racing bikes of varying sizes are available for hire from the club for specified periods at very reasonable rates. This initiative has come about as a result of a sponsorship arrangement with the locally operated Platinum Health Group.
The Platinum Health Group's sponsorship also provides for tuition by qualified coaches who are supported by some of the clubs elite cyclists, who in their own right are among the best in Australia.
The club members are still active in organizing major events inc the FKG Tour of Toowooomba a 3 day National Road Series Event; the John Brooks Memorial Road Race meeting as well as the Oakey Two day Open Criterium Series.
Regular competition meets are held for its memebers in the local area year round by the club.
Credits to Jon Osborne
Monthly meetings are held on the first week of each month at Jilly's in Margaret Street in CBD.
President: Graham Day
Vice President: John Osborne
Junior Vice President: Matthew Locker
Secretary: Kent Bauer
Treasurer: Ian McPherson
Commisaire: Greg Vincent
The Club Management Committee meets two weeks before the monthly General Meeting so please contact us via email if you would like to submit Agenda items.