History of James River Velo Sport
James River Velo Sport (JRVS) was formed in 1977 to promote bicycle racing on the peninsula. The founding members had been associated previously with the Tidewater Bicycle Association (TBA), the oldest bicycle club in Virginia, dating back to the 1950s. Although the club was founded specifically to promote racing, it also included members who rode for recreation or who were serious about touring.
Today, JRVS has established three main goals:
1. To provide a club environment for both entry-level riders and racers that promote the skills, development and the opportunity to meet and ride with other cyclists.
2. Assume an active role in promoting a positive cycling image in our community.
3. Assist in the development and promotion of individual and team racing skills.
In the early years between 1977 and 1983, the racing members traveled from Boston to Florida, with some excursions to the west coast in search of races. One member raced in Peru as part of a US Master's team and won the event. In the middle 1980s the sport had expanded enough to include more local racing in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. Because enthusiasm for the sport was increasing rapidly, riders did not have to travel so far to race.
As JRVS' reputation spread, the club began to focus more on developing elite bike racers but still maintained its reputation as a grass-roots organization, dedicated to promoting and developing new riders regardless of gender or age. The more accomplished riders won state and national championships and earned national rankings.
In 1988, JRVS underwent a major change. The elite riders formed a new club, exclusively for racers, now known as the HDK racing team. Several of the veteran riders remained with JRVS, dedicated to the grass-roots ideal. With only a handful of riders remaining, JRVS rebuilt and eventually boasted a squad of fifty-two members.
In the early 1990s, a small group of masters riders gained recognition for the club with placings in major racing events as well as proving themselves to be formidable competitors on the local scene. These riders coach and encourage club members in the other United States Cycling Federation (USCF) categories. In 1994, two JRVS masters riders went on to win the state championships for their age group. Riders also competed in the national masters championships in Augusta, GA.
From 1991 to 1997, JRVS promoted a series of training races for local atheletes including a large criterium held in Downtown Hampton, VA, the Bay Days Criterium. But that ended in 1997 as Hampton no longer supported the Criterium. Also in 1997, as both JRVS and the HDK racing teams had grown smaller, the two teams have decided to reorganize and merge as HDK/Sentara.
From 1998 to 2002, the combined team was rated the number one team in District 42 based on Best-All-Around rider points and second in the 2003 season. Also in 2001, the team name was changed from HDK/Sentara back to JRVS.
During this 1998 to 2003 period numerous people won the overall BAR in their category including 2001 Sam Vasquez Jrs 15-16 Omnium; Dave Cornelius Men Cat 3 Omnium; Dan McNichol Jrs 17-18 BAR; Pamela Raines Womens Cat 4 BAR; 2002 Dan McNichol Jrs 17-18 Omnium and BAR; Dave Cornelius Men Cat 3 Omnium; and 2003 Michele Holland Overall Women's Omnium. In 2007, they won the Overall Team VA BAR again, and in 2008 the Juniors took first place. The Junior team continued that trend in 2009, while the Overall Team ranked second in Virginia. In 2010, the Men's Team shined to take second in the VA BAR. The Juniors and Overall team both ranked a strong third.
2011 saw a JRVS sponsorship change as American Pride Automotive took over the reins with a three year commitment to the club. This changed the race team name to JRVS/American Pride.
JRVS is committed to the spirit of working together, training together, and functioning cooperatively. The results of this can be seen in the sense of comaradery among the riders. These riders continue to motivate one another as they move into the more advanced ranks, and they will continue the tradition of coaching by passing that knowledge on to other riders just entering the sport.