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McHenry County Bicycle Club
HomeHistory of MCBC

History of McHenry County Bicycle Club

In The Beginning
On December 11, 1980 John Sniel, Charles Howenstine, Jean Hervert, Lon Haldeman, Robert Morris, Erin Hynes, Rick Wolworth, Chris & Sue Sergel and Albert Christian (the founding  members) got together to talk about forming a bike club.  At that meeting, they discussed what they wanted a bicycle organization to be, how to get started and having a publicly announced open meeting early in 1981 to formally organize a club.

On January 8, 1981 they discussed the role of recreation vs. simply having fun as a bike club.  They also wanted to promote bike safety and act as a clearing house for information for bicycle riders.  They outlined needs for an open meeting to attract more members, an agenda, announcement of particulars through a news release and a list of club representatives to be distributed to persons attending the next meeting.  They suggested that the club could prepare or acquire maps of bike routes and roads suitable for bike travel in the area, and organize group rides.  Persons present at this meeting decided unanimously to form the McHenry County Bicycle Club for the purpose of promoting bicycle riding in McHenry County.  Membership would be open to anyone interested in supporting the purposes of the club.  The Board of Directors was established:  President, Recorder, Treasurer and Public Relations Coordinator.

On March 5, 1981 the group met, including George Mann and Norm Kocol, who have been long time members of the club, to establish an agenda for the first open meeting that was set for April 2.  They agreed the club    activities should include families, research historical bike trails, liability on bike trips, degree of structure (“man’s herd instinct vs. inherent need for freedom”), and distribute a survey to meeting participants to 
determine their interests.

On April 2, 1981 the first public club meeting was held.  Membership dues were $4.00 individual and $8.00 family, which would cover correspondence expenses.  

On July 22, 1981 fall rides were discussed.  Also asked for names and addresses of other organized bicycle groups in our region in hopes of having rides with them and learn from and ride with other bike clubs in the  area.  The riders enjoyed the camaraderie of riding together on the posted rides.  It was announced that Lon    Haldeman, our famous MCBC member, rode his east-west-east USA crossing in a new record time of 24 days (old record 36 days) averaging 240 miles per day.  He also set a record at the Northbrook Track and rode 264.8 miles in 12 hours on a one speed bike that he used to commute to work.

A meeting was held in November, 1981 to set goals and policies and involve more members in making things happen.  The “Constitution of the McHenry County Bike Club” was written.

Highlights 1981
• MCBC was formed by a group of riders (see names above) who rode fast and raced in organized races and wanted to start a social bicycle club in McHenry County.

Highlights 1982 
• Club T-Shirt - orange with black letters with the Club logo was available for $6.25.

Highlights 1983
• 1st Annual Udder Century was held and had approximately 100 riders.  Started at Fannie May Candy Store in Crystal Lake.  Cost was $3!  It was called The Udder Century because it was the same day as Harvard Milk Day, and the routes took the riders through dairy country.
• First overnight ride leaving Nippersink Trail (Keystone and Barnard Mill Road), included cycling, hiking, observing nature, camping and cooking dinner and breakfast over a camp fire (no hotel!).  Riders supplied their own food and camping gear.
• Lon Haldeman and his wife, Sue Notorangelo, completed their 24-hour tandem ride on May 14-15 on the roads of Harvard, IL.  Despite unseasonably cold weather, undiminished winds, and aches and pains, they set a new U.S. record and World Record for a man/woman team of 431 miles in 24 hours.
• This logo was used on the MCBC Newsletter

Highlights 1984
• First Udder Century Pre-Ride leaving McHenry County College.  The Udder would start at McHenry  County College for the next 6 years.
• 2nd Annual Udder Century had 250 riders.  Routes were 63 or 100 miles.
• Lon Haldeman formed the “Double Trouble” Ultra Marathon Racing Invitational, which would be an annual event.  This was a 2-day ride averaging 200 miles a day.

Highlights 1985

• 3rd Annual Udder Century had 401 riders.  Income of $3,900; expenses $3,100.  It was decided that MCBC would start putting aside a considerable amount in savings for future Udders.

Highlights 1989
• “Double Trouble” Ultra Marathon Racing Invitational was changed to “Little Trouble”.  This was a      2-day ride averaging 80-100 miles a day.

Highlights 1990
• 7th Annual Udder Century start was changed to Seven Acres Antique Village Museum, Union, IL (Donley’s Wild West Town and Banquet).   The highest southeast wind velocity that day was 45 mph!  The routes were 30, 50, 62 and 100 miles.
• Club T-Shirt - cotton yellow short sleeve with three pockets with MCBC logo in blue on front and back.  Cost was $12.
• Weekend camping trips started.

Highlights 1991
• 9th Annual Udder Century had 800 riders.

Highlights 1994
• Contest to name the MCBC Newsletter won by Mary Jane Haldeman.  Winning name:  McHenry County Peddler.  The name was changed to McHenry County Pedaler.

Highlights 1997
• 15th Annual Udder Century had 1,350 riders.

Highlights 2000
• Plastic Ride (2-days) created by Ruth Blair.
• 5-day camping trips were originated by Ruth Blair.

Highlights 2001
• Club jersey - yellow polyester with cow, logo and barn on front and McHenry County on back was available for $25 (Club paid $53).  Jersey designer was Lisa Flodin.

Highlights 2008
• 26th Annual Udder Century – total number of riders 1,631.  This was the highest documented number of  riders on the road in the 36-year history of The Udder Century.

Highlights 2010
• 5-day camping trips taken over by Roger and Elaine Foin.

Highlights 2011
• Dominoes during the winter months was originated by Elaine Foin.

Highlights 2018
• 36th Annual Udder Century – total number of riders on the road 1,105.  This would be the last Udder Century hosted by MCBC.

Highlights 2021
 • 40th Anniversary of MCBC with a party that included several of the founding and early members: Lon Halderman, Sam and Charlene Wexler, Erin Hynes, Chuck Howenstein, John Sheel and George Mann