To Whom It May Concern,
Gil de la Roza and I, Stephen Wilde; began to share a vision back in the early ’70′s here in Marin when we realized that cycling was more than just a fun means of getting around. We were forming friendships with other like-minded people at a time when bicycles were thought to be little more than toys by most of society,
As our cycling grew more serious, we began to consider the possibilities of bringing together these bicyclists, and we wondered what we might accomplish for cycling as a whole. We definitely were not looking to just create another social club. This was a time of change in society, and the two of us being young idealists, envisioned more.
Thus Gil and I laid the cornerstone for Velo Club Tamalpais, which we conceived to be an instrument of change. We knew we didn’t have all the answers, but we knew they were out there, and we strived to create a groundwork that all could work within.
Velo Club Tamalpais has a proud and positive tradition here in Marin County’s cycling history. We did affect how cycling is perceived here in the county, work that goes on to this day through the excellent efforts of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.
Concerned V.C.T. members conceived and implemented a “Bicycle Safety” program for local schools so parents and kids could appreciate the validity of cycling in a safe environment here in Marin long before “Bike to School” and “Bike to Work” programs became commonplace.
Velo Club Tamalpais also became a solid road racing power. We changed sponsorship rules within the national organization, and many of NorCal’s best wanted to ride under our banner. Ultimately several V.C.T. Members became national champions.
The nucleus of the early mountain bike industry, for the most part, evolved out of Velo Club Tamalpais, with Marin now being considered “the home of the mountain bike”.
With all that said, Gil and I also laid the groundwork at that time for the Marin County Velodrome Association which unfortunately never acquired the necessary funding, despite receiving land appropriation from the County of Marin. While the concept of a velodrome here in Marin has remained dormant for years, the organizational structure has remained in place. I’m glad to see Gil de la Roza taking up the reins once again.
Marin & the north bay with it’s legions of cyclists deserves a velodrome. It needs to happen…
Stephen J. R. Wilde, Co-founder Velo Club Tamalpais