Boulder/Denver Cycling History Project

How extensive is your Boulder/Denver History knowledge? Can you help presearve history and fill in all missing gaps you know of. With the comments I'll rebuild the page. Should be fun. I'll also gladly take photos to post, send them to kris at 303cycling . com

See other past Boulder History Articles

Boulder Velo Racing Team cira late 80's?

Niwot Road Race: 1971-1980(?): 70 mile race (7 laps), traditional start of the CO “spring classics”

Grey Quiz: 1971-‘73: One of the spring classics, week after Morgul Bizmarck (I won Morgul in 1974) (the name of the companion cat to Morgul Bizmarck, that I am pretty sure owned by Kalman Halsi, a pretty classy rider—looked like Jacques Anquitil.) The race was a two-lap eighty mile road race that touched on the flatter sections of the Morgul then went north through Boulder County.

Vail Criterium: 1972 & 1973 & 1976 (@ Lionshead in ’76 – I was 2nd)

Horsetooth RR: 1972.

Flagstaff HC 1971-1976 (I won in ’76… 16:52 that included lap at Chataqua Park)

Larimer Square Criterium (Denver) 1973-1979 (I won in ’77 when it was Pro-AM)

Aspen Alpine Cup 1971-1976. A 3 day stage race. Day one: 15 mi TT, day two: Aspen to Vail, final stage: Vail to Aspen. (3rd in ’75)

Boulder Mountain Road Race: 1973(?) – 1975 (I won the race alone by 5+min and the prize? $5.00 gift certificate at Baskin Robins!) When I was racing in France in ’76 there was this slogan above the door as you entered the director sportif’s office. Can’t remember the French but it goes like this: “If you enter the race to when the prize, you’ll lose the race, but, if you enter the race to when the race, you’ll win the prize.”

Keystone Classic Stage Race 1975-1979 2-day stage race that had TT RR and Crit (I was first in ’75.)

Denver Bike Shops:

Ross Bike Shop Denver

Big Wheel Owned by Chris Van Ghent—a former 6-day rider. Went back to 1968? Had a mail order catalog as well as store. One of the top stores in the country until mid 70’s, then competition

Both Ross and Big Wheel were the places in Denver to get started in bike racing. While I was working at Ross, I met Steve Tesich, (Oscar winner for Breaking Away and movie American Flyers, among other movies!). Steve really got me started into bike racing. We were great friends. Steve died in 1996

Life Cycle: Started by Bill Snider (longtime great sports filmmaker) opened a classy store in Larimer Square. It was the classiest store for several years. Bob Cook and I worked there trading off training days.

Cool Gear in Boulder. I worked from 1974 – 1976. They produced bike clothing & kids ski wear called hot gear. They sponsored many teams that included Bob Cook, John Howard, Tom Sain and others (sorry if I left some guys & gals out). We had week nite races that would leave from their facilities and do various loops around Boulder county.

News Item: 


BVC - 80'S

Not sure of the year... Dig the Scott "Drop in" bars that were the rage at the time.

Back Row, Left to Right
Kirk Olson, Matt Ferdinand, Jim Hargarten, Blaine Bateman, Dave Finamore, Lee Carter
Front Row, Left to Right
Ed Morey, Dale Riley, John Berger, Mac Caldwell (Blake's Father... Blake was probably like 8 years old at this time..) Only Kirk Olson & Dale Riley are still active racers.

Boulder Velo Club peaked out at over 300 members, many racing for other teams, joined just to do the "Chicken Farm" club race mid week.

BVC promoted the "Flatiron Park Criterium" in the Flatiron business park (55th) for multiple years, then promoted the last 2 Morgul-Bismark Road races before the town of Superior grew too much, and the race went dormant (till last year's reincarnation). The club then promoted the ORIGINAL "Coal Miner's Classic" Criterium in downtown Louisville.

Club slowly folded in the early 90s.


Just a point of info, the Drop-Ins came about in 91 or 92. It was only 89 when the aero-bars came to the fore thanks to LeMond (even though he actually saw them being used by 7-11 at the Tour Dupont)

BVC 80's

Dale laid this out right, and boy...I just found this article and WOW! Once we got the promotion of the "Coal Miner's Classic" going, and the club started to wind down, LVC (Louisville Velo Club) took over promoting it with very positive results. In fact, they still host the race (2012). I moved to LVC after BVC began to disband. I had the very distinct honor of being the M.C. for the Coal Miner's Classic for two years, and announcing the Morgul course for one of the years.

For the record, the "Drop-in" bars your seeing in those photos were actually pre-production that I got a hold of through some "connections" I had in the business back then. So, dating that picture, I think it's going to be right about '90. That was the new jersey design, and the old "Affiliated Banks" one was the old version up until that point.

The "Chicken Farm" races were outstanding and epic for their time. This was full out insanity on Tuesday nights. We even had ridiculous prizes and someone always held the cow-bell for the last lap. That was you, wasn't it Dale???! Not to give too much away, but I certainly recall having to drive at least on person to the E.R. because things got nuts during those races.

Good Times

I had one of those BVC jerseys (and remember riding with you, Matt). I joined for the chicken farm races too. Lost the jersey almost exactly 19 years ago, when it was cut off in the St. Anthony's ER. Good times!

Comment on Boulder Cycling History

This comment came directly to me so I'm adding it here for preservation sake. Thanks!

I think that was Kalman Halasi (note spelling with extra a). There are 2
brothers, Kalman and Charlie Halasi. I'm probably getting the spelling
wrong. They both rode Uragos from Basque Sports, a shop on 28th street. I
have seen Kalman in the last 5-10 years, I think he lives or lived in north
boulder. They were fairly dominant in the mid-70s, along with Tim Downing
and a number of others.

Don't forget the fire at the Cool Gear factory in Lafayette - we (who worked
at the Spoke on the Hill and in Table Mesa and hence sold Cool Gear products)
had smoke-filled Detto Pietro shoes for a number of years after that. Every
ride smelled like smoke.

Cycling in Boulder

I was very sad to read of his death. Kalman and Charley rode with me a lot in the 1960's. So did Adolph Weller whom I heard died by riding off a cliff, so did Jim Christ, whom won the nationals I think, so did Stuart Bailey whom I rode with in the nationals at the track in Northbrook. So did Mark Ross whose parents owned a hardward store which became a bike shop. I bought a Lignano for ninety dollars from American Cyclery. Old Carl sold it to me. I rode in the tour of Colorado in 1965, I was state champion a couple of times in the mid 1960s. We raced from Boulder up to Nederland, we raced in the parks in Denver, we raced south of Denver, we raced up Lookout Mountain, up Mount Evans, in the Black Forest near Colorado Springs.

Big Wheel, Ltd.

Big Wheel was originally owned by Bernie Witkin. I believe Chris Van Ghent was his chief mechanic. The story I heard Bernie had some tax issues, sold to Chris Van Ghent. The shop opened inthe early 60s - I started to frequent it in the summer of 1964, riding over initially on my Schwinn Superior from northwest Denver and checking out the bike shops along the way - Collins, Peppers, Ross Hardware. I could look at the rides for hours - Legnano, Pogliaghi, Gitane, Bianchi...I bought a Mondia which I had for many years; I still have my Big Wheel jersey. I met some nice kids - Davie Valas, (Bernard) Zuckerman, the Wilson brothers, Kenny Baird... Bob Lanham and Herman Kron also rode at that time. Most of the older riders were very nice to us younger kids... I especially recall the encouragement from Stu Baillie. For some reason I remember Charlie Halasi riding the only non-celeste green Bianchi in the world! :)