The Highland Rim Bicycle Club was chartered in 1974 under a different name, Highland Rimmers Bicycle Club. The 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, even though several unsuccessful attempts had been made to start a bike club. Then, 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, Bill Rennhack persisted in his pursuit of organizing a bike club. He was assisted by Don Frazine and Dale Smith as 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. Over the past 40 years of the club’s history, these weekly rides and the ERV100 have continued.
Currently, the HRBC boasts a membership base of around 100 families from the area. In addition to the original Saturday club rides, several groups of varying riding styles hit the roads each Saturday. During the riding season, many of these groups post rides throughout the week, as well. The club has continued to be involved in our community in the Adopt-a-Highway program. Today, the club works with the Tullahoma Mayor’s office to promote cycling as a way to good health in the Get Fit Tullahoma campaign. To promote bicycle advocacy, May is proclaimed as Bike month, activities include: participating in the world-wide Ride of Silence, Ride to School, Ride to Work, and Ride with the Mayor. Club business meetings are on a quarterly basis. And, 2013 marked the 40th anniversary of the ERV100 ride, which gets stronger every year because of the involvement of our club members in making this one of the “best rides of the southeast.”