As the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame grows in scope, the flavor of its annual induction ceremony rides a course that is ever-evolving.
Based in Davis for four years, the cycling shrine has put its historical foot forward with constantly changing exhibits and displays singing the praises of pioneers who have made a difference in the sport of cycling.
On Nov. 16, at the fifth West Coast induction ceremony, four more giants of that world of competition and innovation will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. The event takes place at Freeborn Hall on the UC Davis campus.
Longtime event coordinator Vince Menci, off-road master Mike King, women’s champion Doris Travani-Mulligan and multi-sport participant Beth Heiden Reid are guests of honor at the local banquet.
“This induction will be different,” Hall of Fame trustee Brodie Hamilton told The Enterprise. “We will be more focused on having fun as opposed to sitting through a formal ceremony.
“We’re expanding the auction. In addition to the silent auction, we’ll have a live auction. We’re looking to focus on mingling, entertainments and the fun of that auction.”
Ticket prices have been dropped to $75. A table of eight can be reserved for $550 and Hamilton promises a ceremony “that will be a lot shorter.”
But those being enshrined are no less interesting than previous Hall of Fame classes.
Travani-Mulligan began riding for the Wolverine Sports Club in 1941. Living near Detroit, a 12-year-old Travani-Mulligan began bringing trophies home during World War II; she continued to ride for 10 seasons as more than 30 percent of national winners in track and road racing would come from her club through the 1990s.
In a 10-year competitive career, Travani-Mulligan would win four straight national road championships before adding international crowns in both sports in 1946 and 1947.
King — one-half of the renowned brother team of Eddy and Mike King — was a BMX and mountain bike champion for almost three decades beginning in the early 1980s.
With colleague Brian Lopes, King, 54, is credited with developing the clipless BMX pedal. He holds a handful of titles in BMX and mountain biking.
King was director of USA Cycling’s BMX program that would win three Olympic medals among Pan American, world and World Cup wins.
Menci, 86, is a native New Yorker. He opened his first bike shop in the 1940s, survived a 10-year road-racing career, then turned his attention to organizing races and serving on myriad bike organization boards.
Mentored by cycling legend Fred “Pop” Kugler, Menci was a founding father of the original U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in Somerville, N.J.
Heiden Reid was a cyclist for only five years, but she took many international and national titles, according to Hamilton.
She was the first American to win the women’s world road championship (in France, in 1980) and, after finishing third in speed skating at Lake Placid, N.Y., was named Sportswoman of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee that same year.
Heiden Reid won the NCAA cross-country skiing crown in 1983.
She was inducted into the U.S. Speed Skating Hall of Fame in 1989, along with her brother Eric. Beth was a member of the 1976 Olympic team, and won the world championships in ’79 and the 3,000 meters at the 1980 Olympics.
Originally from Wisconsin, the 50-year-old married Heiden Reid makes her home in Northern California.
Hamilton went on to say he hopes local interest in this year’s induction festivities will increase.
“There’s a certain energy of late in the activities behind the Hall of Fame that will support the entire community,” the longtime Davis resident explained. “And the hope is that, in turn, the community will reach out and support the Hall of Fame.”
Hamilton pointed to the recent Bike and Brew and Bingo Bike-a-thon events, “wonderful Tireside Chats with inductees and authors” and an “incredible building with incredible displays” as part of the draw of the local organization.
Notes: A busy induction-ceremony weekend includes a reunion of Hall of Famers at a reception Friday, Nov. 15, at the Hall, 303 Third St. downtown. A cycling symposium from 8 a.m. to noon the following morning features “a Peter Rich-hosted panel discussion with several of America’s greatest cyclist from the 1960s,” according to one Hall of Fame official. Hall of Famer George Mount will lead members of the Davis Bike Club on an afternoon ride to Winters before the ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 16. … For tickets — or additional information about the Hall of Fame — visit www.usbhof.org.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at email@example.com or 530-747-8047.