The Sault Cycling Club as we have come to know and love today was founded August 11th in the year 1977 by Marcel Van Daele who remained President of the club from 1977 until 1981 with the club’s membership being the highest in Northeastern Ontario.
The club became affiliated with the Ontario & Canadian Cycling Association and went through a few different jersey colours, the first being green & white which were ordered from Belgium and then changing to red & white with today’s colours being red, blue and green.
At that time, the SCC was involved in many activities from annual friendship games to “inter-school cycling team” championships. These friendship games were between Saginaw, Mi. & Sault Ste. Marie and lasted 3 years. The “inter-school” championships competition had all high schools participating and lasted 5 years.
In 1979, the first national coaching clinic was held by Don Sutherland, the Canadian Cycling Association technical director which involved technical 1 and technical 2 level courses attended by three of our present day members, Marcel Van Daele, Hans Metzen and Fred Severin. Also, in 1982, a Centennial fitness test was held to commemorate “100 years of cycling.” All age groups from 10 to 60 years participated at Hiawatha for a 5 km total fitness test.
The club also participated in many tours, a favourite was a three day tour to Mackinac Island which attracted riders from as far as Ottawa with as many as 86 tourists. Also during the 80’s, riders would enter in 15 km time trials at the Airways where they would compete for points in sprints, pursuits, miss & out, point race and Madison (team of 2 riders) which were well attending and great fun.
To raise money for club events, annual chocolate bar sales came into effect in 1986 raising anywhere from $500 to $1,000. These funds were used to offset club members traveling costs to regional events.
The newsletter started by Marcel Van Daele in 1978 is still being published today. In 1981, the club won the 1rst O.C.A. President Newsletter Award (editor Marcel) with help from Leona Carnigoy who took over newsletter in 1986. For many years the newsletter gained sponsors from as far as Woodstock, Traverse City and Sault Michigan.
All info by Marcel Van Daele, condensed by Jan Lefave.