In the early summer of 1968, Audrey Belarde, sister of Cliff Belarde, read a notice of a moonlight bike ride in the newspaper. A group, including members of the Belarde Family and Miles "Woody" Wood, decided it sounded like fun and agreed to attend. The ride was sponsored by the American River Wheelmen. They rode from Eppie's in Florin Center to Elk Grove starting at 11:00 PM and returning to Eppie's for breakfast at 3:00 AM. The group joined the American River Wheelmen and enjoyed the biking, but as time went by decided they could not live with their style of leadership. So in the Fall of 1968 they were motivated to organize their own bike club. Woody became the first president and Cliff his vice-president. The club affiliation was with A.Y.H. (American Youth Hostel). And thus was born the SACRAMENTO BIKE HIKERS. Their dedication for many years provided the sound foundation that has made the Sacramento Bike Hikers the oldest remaining bike club in the area.
This history was compiled from old ride schedules, fliers, and newsletters that are in the club archives and from the records of Sam Lambert. If there are things of significance that you know have been left out, please let us know. The long term goal of this history is to preserve the records of the club as accurately as possible, and as such, is presented here so you may know how our club has evolved to the present (Hopefully, additions to this club history will be made by the current members of the club. If there's anything you can do to help, please let us know).
In this picture, Co-Founders Cliff Belarde and Miles (Woody) Wood present a patch to Dwight Eberly, the designer of the club's first logo.
In the early years, club meetings were held at the A.Y.H. facilities at Cal Expo, in members' homes and sometimes after one of the rides.
In 1969, the club adopted the name SACRAMENTO BIKE HIKERS, suggested by Pat Dane. In August l970, there was a pilot North Coast Tour and in August 1971, a pilot Lassen Tour. The members voted for an annual North Coast Tour - so in August 1972, our first North Coast Tour started. Cliff Belarde led the first six tours assisted by Miles (Woody) Wood, Dwight Eberly and others (1972-1977). Gene and Susan Chase led the tour for three years (1978-1980), and then Frankie and Wayne Kincannon took over and along with Bill Ralston. Mike and Sandy Fox led the last Tour in 1995, Ken Montgomery ran it as a 'weekender' in 1996 and its fate is unknown for 1997.
The first club logo & ride schedule masthead were designed by Dwight Eberly in 1971.
The club's rides have always been posted on a quarterly basis. Our earliest surviving ride schedule is from January-February-March 1971. The club started with 4 to 6 rides each month which ranged in grade from what would now be called an 'F' ride, such as along American River Drive, to 'A' rides from Plymouth to Fiddletown. The Rating code used at the time was E, C, C+, B, A and AA. Anyone could come on the 'E' rides, but you had to have completed a 'Qualification Level' to do the harder rides. A 'C' ride had a '25-in-3' (25 miles in 3 hours or less) qualification. The 'C+' a '25-in-2'. The 'B' level was a '50-in-5'. The 'A' grade was a '75-in-7'. And the AA was a '100-in-8' qualification. You earned a patch, like the one drawn here, that you would sew to your jersey. This would allow you to do the harder rides.You could bring your single speed or 3-speed to the 'E' rides but the upper qualifications required a 10 speed bike.