HISTORY OF THE WHEELMEN

BACK IN THE DAY

The Queen City Wheelmen was founded during the late winter of 1971. 1972 was the first year the club was recognized by the Amateur Bicycle League of America, the precursor to the United States Cycling Federation and USA Cycling. It was an “amateur” league because that was the only kind of bicycle racing there was in the United States at the time. To make sure riders remained amateur, and eligible to compete in the Olympics, there were no cash prizes. Entry fees were usually around $2.25 and racers competed for bicycle components and trophies.

QCW was formed from an off-shoot of the Cincinnati Cycle Club by a couple of members who wanted something more than just long fast rides, they wanted to challenge others in races. Les Gesell and John Gilmer are the founding fathers of the organization. Les was earning a degree at the University of Cincinnati, while John was in his sophomore year at Aiken high school. Meetings were held in the Gesell’s apartment, and Mary Gesell was instrumental in the overall management of club membership and organization.

The club was fully up and running by April 23rd, 1972 when they held their first sanctioned event, The University of Cincinnati Criterium, held in conjunction with the UC cycling team with additional support from the University. This event would survive through 1981, although after the first year the event moved off campus to Burnet Woods and eventually lost any association with UC.

In these early years the only thing the club received resembling sponsorship came from Dan Humpert, the owner of a Montgomery Cyclery franchise in Clifton called Campus Cyclery. Dan’s shop was one of the very few places in Cincinnati that came close to being a pro-shop, almost the only shop where you could even buy a tubular tire, much less something like a bicycle built with Reynolds or Columbus tubing.

Dan was very supportive of the club, using his shop van to take riders to races, employing racers at his shop, and selling race program advertising to all his small business friends in Clifton to fund the annual race. In 1977 Dan dropped his Montgomery franchise, changed the name to Campus Cyclery and increased his sponsorship of the club for a few more years. Dan did a lot to nurture Junior riders and a few years later sold his shop to one of those grown up Juniors by the name of Glenn Wolf.

Another force in the early forming of the club was Bill Gallagher and his wife Mary. They did a great deal of work in managing the organization and Bill was soon its’ most dominant rider. Bill was a teacher at Oak Hills high school and did a lot of training and coaching work with the Junior riders. Bill also organized a couple of “Little 500” style races for high school teams.

Bill went on to become a premier Senior rider in the Midwest. He eventfully joined the Cool Gear/Exxon team. Riding with the likes of Wayne and Dale Stettina, John Howard and Tom Schuller on the very first carbon fiber frame the Exxon Graftek G-1.

The club got its start with the assistance of some very much older riders who raced the “Veteran” category age 40+. One of the club’s most important veteran’s was Watson Nordquist. Watson had an extensive racing resume which started while living in Connecticut in 1938 and carried through being one of the most prolific attendees to the Cleves Time Trial Series where he rode nearly 200 times from 1974 to 1989.

Watson played a large role in the club administration and nurturing Juniors. I can remember more than once traveling to races in Watson’s car where he always had a propane tank filled with compressed air for filling his tubbies. Another part of Watson’s passion for helping others was his work with the Blue Ash Lions Club who QCW co-sponsored a race with in Blue Ash called the Southwestern Ohio Bicycle Championship for a few years.

As Les, John and Bill moved on others came into the organization to help fill the voids they left. One of these was Phil Kennedy Jr., his son Phil Kennedy III was a dominating Junior rider. Phil Jr. was an attorney and assisted greatly with the organization of the club and taking his son and other Junior riders around the Midwest in their Airstream trailer.

The club continued to chew through officers and around 1977 acquired a very helpful resource in the form of Greg Hanfbauer. Greg was Vice City Treasurer and possessed the ability to devise, organize and follow through on any task he put himself to. One of those tasks that he and I were determined to put together was a bike race in downtown Cincinnati. This culminated with a unique, one time event called the Rivertown Rally Gran Prix of Cycling. The race was a serpentine course that incorporated Riverfront Stadium and a pedestrian bridge over Ft. Washington Way.

With the running of the Rivertown Ralley the club acquired the assistance of Betty Lane who was our main liaison with the Downtown Council, the organization that runs Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. Betty would do much to hold the club together with her newsletter writing  from 1980 through 1986, and then as one of the behind the scenes organizers of the Cyclebration race series that ran from 1988 through the 1990’s.

That’s about it for my knowledge of the early years. Perhaps someone with better knowledge about the great Cyclebreation years can add to this.

Newsletters:
We’ve had a few prolific newsletter editors over the years. Visit the Grant Wearne Newsletter Library to read about the myriad of events QCW has undertaken throughout the years. If you have any newsletters we’re missing and would like to contribute, please contact us.

Website:
In 1995 a forward thinking Curt Austin created the first QCW website. In 1997 Curt registered the qcw.org domain name narrowly beating out the Quaker City Wheelmen for the easy to remember name. The numerous photos that Curt posted in the early years were quite popular. The website has gone through a few hiccups in attempts to keep it relevant. In 2008 Mark Strecker created the format which has endured due to the ease of adding new content until 2018.  NKY Bluegrass Computers redesigned the newest site to mobile standards and new technology that is in place today.

Officers:
The club officers list below provides links to bios of some of the individuals involved. If you would like to add to these bios or provide some more history please contact us.

YearPresidentVice-PresidentTreasurerSecretaryNewsletterBoard of Directors, or Dedicated Volunteers
1971Les GesellBeth GesellJohn Gilmer   
1972Les GesellBeth GesellJohn Gilmer Mary GallagherBOD: Watson Nordquist, Larry Nordquist, Bill Gallagher, Alan Bolten
1973Gesell/GallagherBill GallagherLarry NordquistDon SchillingMary GallagherBOD: Watson Nordquist, Dan Humpert, Larry Nordquist, Beth Gesell, Stu Pray, Phil Kennedy, Jr., Frank Gall, Alan Bolten
1974Jack ChristensenBill GallagherJohn GilmerWatson NordquistSam FrancisBOD: Phil Kennedy, Jr., Dan Humpert, Paul Hollingshead, Bill Lapthorn
1975Watson NordquistPhil Kennedy, Jr.Gene CornewllJonathan SpickerJonathan SpickerBOD: Dan Humpert, Bill Gallagher, Bill Lapthorn, Jack Christensen, Bill Froschauer, Carol Cornwell
1976Jonathan SpickerWatson NordquistBill FroschauerBob AtkinsJonathan SpickerBOD: Phil Kennedy, Jr., Dan Humpert, Bill Gallagher, Bill Lapthorn, Sam Francis, Dell Williamson, Glenn Wolf
1977David K. MooreBrian JonesGreg HanfbauerJohn MontagKent FrazierBOD: Watson Nordquist, Phil Kennedy, Jr., Dan Humpert, Klff Hodgkin, Dell Williamson, Mark Vincent, Dave Burleigh
1978David K. MooreDave GecksGreg HanfbauerRick JankeJonathan SpickerBOD: Watson Nordquist, Dan Humpert, Klff Hodgkin, Dell Williamson, Dave Burleigh, Kent Frazier
1979Jonathan SpickerDave GecksGreg HanfbauerDavid K. MooreJonathan SpickerBOD: Watson Nordquist, Dan Humpert, Dell Williamson, Mark Vincent, Betty Lane
1980Jonathan SpickerDan HumpertGreg HanfbauerBetty LaneBetty LaneBOD: Watson Nordquist, Bill Mirbach, Roger Auge, Kent Frazier, Mike Albrinck, Mark and Nancy Vincent
1981Greg HanfbauerMike AlbrinckGreg HanfbauerBetty LaneBetty LaneBOD: Watson Nordquist, Bill Mirbach, Roger Auge, Jack Schmidt, Walt Smith, Mark and Nancy Vincent
1982Greg Hanfbauer Greg HanfbauerBetty LaneBetty LaneBOD: Watson Nordquist, Bill Mirbach, Roger Auge, Jack Schmidt, Kent Frazier, Mark and Nancy Vincent
1983Greg Hanfbauer Greg HanfbauerBetty LaneBetty LaneBOD: Watson Nordquist, Bill Mirbach, Mark and Nancy Vincent
1984Greg Hanfbauer Greg HanfbauerBetty LaneBetty LaneBOD: Watson Nordquist, Bill Mirbach Mark and Nancy Vincent
1985Jim Obert Greg HanfbauerBetty LaneBetty LaneBOD: Watson Nordquist, Ellen Obert
1986Jim ObertRobin BruelheideGreg HanfbauerBetty LaneBetty LaneBOD: Watson Nordquist, Frederick Mause
1987Tim GehlingRobin BruelheideJim ObertTim GehlingTim GehlingBOD: Watson Nordquist, Betty Lane, Ed Thuering,
1988Tim Gehling Jim ObertTim GehlingTim GehlingBOD: Watson Nordquist, Fred Steinbrecher, Ed Theuring, Tom Vanover, Ellen Obert, Steve Trapp, Mike Scully, Ivan Forsythe
1989Charley GehlingJim FlahertyDave CarrJim ObertCharley GehlingBOD: Watson Nordquist, Larry Haubner, Ivan Forsythe, Lois McKnight, Victor Roth
1990Charley GehlingJim FlahertyDave CarrLois EllisonCharley GehlingBOD: Watson Nordquist, Fred Steinbrecher, Victor Roth, Larry haubner, Roy Roberts
1991  Dave Carr Jim FlahertyBOD: Watson Nordquist,
1992Jim FlahertyChip EllisonDave CarrGayle GoldsmithRob WestendorfBOD: Watson Nordquist, Dan Roketenetz, Charley Gehling, Charlie Wright
1993Jim FlahertyFred SteinbrecherDave CarrCharley GehlingRob WestendorfBOD: Dan Roketenetz, Jim Obert, Charlie Wright, Lois Ellison, Roy Roberts, Jim Clingman
1994Jim FlahertyChip EllisonDave CarrCharley GehlingRob WestendorfBOD: Dan Roketenetz, Kurt Etter, Scott Lyle, Roy Roberts, Roxanne Westendorf, Charlie Wright, Jim Clingman
1995Jim FlahertyChip EllisonDave CarrCharley GehlingRob WestendorfBOD: Dan Roketenetz, Jim Obert, Charlie Wright, Jeff Vaught, Roy Roberts, Scott Lyle, Kurt Etter, Jay Faberman
1996Jim FlahertyChip EllisonDave CarrCharley GehlingRob WestendorfBOD: Dan Roketenetz, Jim Obert, Charlie Wright, Jeff Vaught, Roy Roberts, Scott Lyle, Kurt Etter
1997Jim FlahertyChip EllisonDave CarrCharley Gehling BOD: Dan Roketenetz, Jim Obert, Charlie Wright, Jeff Vaught, Roy Roberts, Scott Lyle, Kurt Etter
1998Jim FlahertyChip EllisonDave CarrCharley GehlingToby CostelloBOD: Dan Roketenetz, Jim Obert, Charlie Wright, Jeff Vaught, Roy Roberts, Scott Lyle, Kurt Etter, Curt Austin
1999Jim FlahertyChip EllisonDave CarrCharley GehlingToby CostelloBOD: Dan Roketenetz, Jim Obert, Charlie Wright, Jeff Vaught, Roy Roberts, Scott Lyle, Kurt Etter, Curt Austin
2000Jim FlahertyChip EllisonDave CarrCharley GehlingToby CostelloBOD: Dan Roketenetz, Jim Obert, Charlie Wright, Jeff Vaught, Scott Lyle, Kurt Etter, Curt Austin
2001Bob RichDoug DobrozsiDave CarrEvan SayerToby CostelloBOD: Dan Roketenetz, Jim Obert, Charlie Wright, Jeff Vaught, Scott Lyle, Kurt Etter, Curt Austin
2002Bob RichDoug DobrozsiDave CarrEvan SayerToby CostelloBOD: Dan Roketenetz, Jim Obert, Charlie Wright, Jeff Vaught, Scott Lyle, Kurt Etter, Curt Austin
2003Doug DobrozsiTom CrossDave CarrLarry HaubnerToby CostelloBOD: Dan Roketenetz, Jim Obert, Charlie Wright, Jeff Vaught, Scott Lyle, Kurt Etter, Curt Austin
2004Doug Dobrozsi Dave Carr   
2005Bill LorenzJim RolloJonathan SpickerRandy Frauhiger BOD: Doug Dobrozsi, Jonathan Spicker, Rick Hoeting, Bob Schoettinger
2006Bill LorenzJim RolloJonathan SpickerRandy Frauhiger BOD: Doug Dobrozsi, Jonathan Spicker, Rick Hoeting, Bob Schoettinger
2007Rick HoetingPeter WimbergGrant Wearne  BOD: Doug Dobrozsi, Jonathan Spicker, Bill Lorenz, Dave Riemenschneider
2008Rick HoetingPeter WimbergGrant WearneNathan Bremer BOD: Doug Dobrozsi, Jonathan Spicker, Bill Lorenz, Dave Riemenschneider, Dave Nissen, Dell Williamson, Mark Strecker
2009Peter WimbergRick HoetingGrant WearneLisa Hender BOD: Doug Dobrozsi, Jonathan Spicker, Bill Lorenz, Dave Riemenschneider, Dave Nissen, Dell Williamson, Karen Rokich
2010Peter WimbergTracy SegarGrant WearneGina McCafferty BOD: Doug Dobrozsi, Jonathan Spicker, Dave Riemenschneider, Dave Nissen, Dell Williamson, Patrick McMullen, Karen Rokich, Jerry Hayes II
2011Peter WimbergTracy SegarGrant WearneKaren RokichJonathan SpickerBOD: Doug Dobrozsi, Jonathan Spicker, Dave Riemenschneider, Dave Nissen, Dell Williamson, Patrick McMullen, Jerry Hayes II, Barbara Walker
2012Peter WimbergTracy SegarGrant WearneKaren RokichJonathan SpickerBOD: Doug Dobrozsi, Jonathan Spicker, Dave Nissen, Dell Williamson, Patrick McMullen, Jerry Hayes II, Rick Hoeting, Patrick Bendel,
2013Tracy SegarDave NissenGrant WearneKaren Rokichx xxxxxxxxxxxxxBOD: Jonathan Spicker, Dell Williamson, Patrick McMullen, Rick Hoeting, Patrick Bendel, Peter Wimberg, Jeff Seeley, Robin Zuend
2014Jeff SeeleyDave NissenJohn BeyerKaren Rokich BOD: Dell Williamson, Patrick McMullen, Rick Hoeting, Patrick Bendel, Katrina Savich, Jim Halpin
2015Jeff SeeleyDave Nissen &
Jim Halpin
John BeyerKaren Rokich BOD: Rick Hoeting, Pat Bendel, Patrick McMullen, Melissa Kurzhuls, Nicole Wheeler, Brian DeSoto
2016Patrick McMullenJim Halpin &
Peter Wimberg
John BeyerKaren Rokich BOD: Pat Bendel, Melissa Kurzhuls, Nicole Wheeler, Brian DeSoto, Rob Westendorf
2017Patrick McMullenPeter WimbergJohn BeyerKaren Rokich BOD: Mark Illingworth, Rob Westendorf
2018Patrick McMullenPeter WimbergJohn BeyerJohn Dallman BOD: Ross Bowman, Mark Illingworth, Ginny Lenahan, Rob Westendorf
2019Rob WestendorfMark IllingworthJohn BeyerJohn Dallman BOD: Ross Bowman, Ginny Lenahan, Joe McAfee, Peter Wimberg