The Highland Rimmers Bicycle Club was chartered in 1974. It’s name was changed to Highland Rim Bicycle Club in 2011. It is a non-profit corporation chartered by the State of Tennessee whose objects and purposes are to promote the general interests of bicycling in all its phases; to encourage and facilitate touring meets, races, cycle outings and all forms of recreational cycling activities; to defend and protect the rights of bicyclists; to promote public awareness of the bicycle as a vehicle for pleasure, health, and economical transportation; and to cooperate with public authorities in the observance of all traffic regulations.
The Rest of the Story…
In the early 70s, bicycling was undergoing a resurgence of popularity. Bike sales and interest were up. In Tullahoma there was a small core of adult riders but no organized riding. Several unsuccessful attempts had been made to start a bike club. In early 1974, USAF Colonel William O. Rennhack, the Director of Procurement at Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), was introduced to bike riding by one of his new employees, Bob Crook. Within a couple of months, Colonel Rennhack declared his intention to try to start a bike club at AEDC.
Despite the skepticism of his riding partner, Bill persisted. Assisted by Don Frazine and Dale Smith, he organized a large meeting of all interested persons in the A&E Building at AEDC. The group agreed that a club was needed. The group, most importantly, decided that they wanted a community club—not just an AEDC club. They sought legal advice, the essence of which was to incorporate as a non-profit Tennessee corporation. A constitution was quickly developed, modeled on other clubs’ constitutions. The first set of officers drew entirely from the AEDC populace and included Air Force military, Air Force civilian employees and contractors.
The decision to base the club on the general area rather than AEDC turned out to be a wise one. It didn’t take long before the membership included a broad spectrum of individuals from the community. This continues to the present. The decision also influenced the choice of club name. We wanted to appeal to individuals from the general area, not just one community. The name “Highland Rimmers Bicycle Club” was felt to do this.
Club operations began immediately with weekly rides scheduled. By September 1974 the club had run its very first Century Ride, the initial Elk River Valley 100.
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