Since 1976, the streets of South Florida have been the playground for many EBC cycling enthusiasts of all ages, abilities and goals. Being a part of this wonderful organization has enabled us to make long-lasting friendships, participate in exciting riding adventures, and become one voice in a community where cycling continues to grow at astounding rates. Do come out and introduce yourself to fellow club cyclist at our monthly club meetings held every second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM.
As a member, we have lots of great club activities you can join in. We encourage you to come out for one of our leader-led rides, join our volunteer and bicycle advocacy activities, or participate in our out-of-town rides. All information about our activities will be posted on the EBC website (www.evergladesbc.com) and through email updates sent to our active members. What ever your interest or specialty is, at EBC we have a spot for you! We look forward to seeing you and having a great riding season for many years to come.
Board of Directors
Many current members have asked about the club’s origins and, as one of the “first generation of new members” to join EBC in the spring of 1977 (yes, 1977), I’ll try to share with you what I know of how he club first began, as told to me at the time by some of its original members.
There were several active bicycle clubs in Dade County during the early 1970’s – The Dr. Paul Dudley White Bicycle Club (Homestead), the Coconut Grove Bicycle Club (which originated out of the old Dade Cycling Shop, on the present site of CocoWalk), the BC Wheelers Bicycle Club (BC as the old Bicycle Center store on NE 163 Street), and most importantly, the South Florida Wheelmen, which held the majority of future EBC members.
By 1975, the South Florida Wheelmen was quickly becoming the most active of all the local “touring” clubs of its time, most rides leaving from the “Big D” at Dadeland Mall — a good site at the time due to its convenient location, ample parking and close proximity to rural roads (how times have changed), however, some were growing unhappy with the person in charge of the club, who seemed determined to lead the same rides week after week, so…
On the third Sunday of January, 1976, a group of South Florida Wheelmen members held an informal meeting at Fuchs park (SW 80 Street & US 1, which later became a popular starting place for many EBC riders). and on that cold Sunday afternoon, a vote was taken, and, it was agreed that this group would form their own club, and, it would be called the Everglades Bicycle Club, since most of the club’s rides would be held in the areas that border Everglades National Park.
It was also Agreed that the creation of a logo or club mascot was needed, so, the Mom of a 15-year-old Floridian Cycling Federation Junior Category (Road Racing) cyclist, who was also a member of the new club, sat at her kitchen table and drew the artwork (minus a computer) that became our popular “alligator on a bicycle” logo that is still in use today.
After a brief slowing for the 1976 Bicentennial celebration (at least one EBC member having completed the famous Trans-American bicycle trail from Oregon to Virginia that summer), the EBC grew steadily, and, in January, 1977, the club’s monthly newsletter began to be seen in local bicycle shops. The Echo of the 1970’s was typed on a manual typewriter, and, including a monthly ride schedule and articles that summarized each ride held during the previous month.
Finally (and this is where I came in), on the third Sunday of March 1977, the very active Everglades Bicycle Club, having 93 members at that time, joined the Dr Paul Dudley White Bicycle Club at Castellow Hammock Park in the Redland to celebrate that club’s 15th Anniversary (1962-1977) – it was a fine, cool, sunny late Winter day for a 25 mile bicycle ride and picnic at Castellow Hammock, and, as you can tell, many wonderful, joyous times were had by the members o the both clubs, and I’m sure that all of my dear old friends would be very pleased to know that cycling is still just as popular in South Florida as it was so long ago.
Written by Frank Marques