The Gaston County Cyclists began humbly in the late 1970s as the Piedmont Pedalers.
Dan Overcash was president back then and Bob Bell was the club vice president. Most activities were weekend rides, but there were occasional weekday rides in the summer months.
The club remained the Piedmont Pedalers until the early 1980s. The club then became the Gaston County chapter of the Catawba Valley Cyclists. Four counties teamed up in that coalition to form a more organized club.
Many events were held including the Valley Hills Mall Criterium. These activities inspired the Gaston Chapter to have more organized events, and even a criterium in downtown Gastonia. These proved to be a profitable venue for the club.
The late 1980s brought changes to the Gaston Chapter. All of the original founding members had gone on to raise families, and pursue other interests. The new members had grown tired of the chapter’s lack of identity and seceded from the Catawba Valley Cyclists to form the Gaston County Cyclists.
Kevin Robinson was the first president of the new club. He fostered much growth and helped to start many of the events that we still hold today. During this period another large change occured to the club.
The membership roster of the Gaston County Cyclists was shared strongly with the Gaston County Runners, the local running club of the area. After this discovery, the members of both clubs voted to merge the two and form the Gaston County Cyclists and Gaston Road Runners.
From then to present day the club has grown to over one hundred members. Four major state rides each year are organized by the club as well as private club events such as the Assault on Land Harbor and Mountain Bike Weekend. Many of the club members also participate in several runs each year along with the Multiple Sclerosis Breakaway to the Beach bike ride and M.S. Walk. The club has also assisted state and county officials in developing bike routes in Gaston county and placing Share the Road signs within the city of Gastonia.
With the growth and effort that has been shown over the last three decades the Gaston County Cyclists and Gaston Road Runners will be strong into the 21st century and continue to be a great asset to the community.