Northbrook Cycle Committee History – Mr. Andy Englelhard

The organization that is responsible for the staging of the weekly series of races here at the Northbrook Velodrome each Thursday during the summer is known as The Northbrook Cycling Committee. Let us take a look at the history of this organization.

Shortly after the construction of this Northbrook facility in the early 60s, it became apparent to those in the Chicago cycling community that a team of individuals was necessary to program and officiate bicycle racing on the new track. It also became apparent that although the road events held in the Chicago area during the 1950s and earlier were quite professionally handled, the staging of the weekly track races might demand more imagination, technique, and discipline. Meetings were held and a small, dedicated group of officials were founded and soon modest periodic programs were held on America’s newest and probably finest enclosed bicycle racing facility.

Mr. Andy Englelhardt, a former Junior State Champion cyclist, provided leadership during the early years of the new Northbrook Velodrome. Andy Englehardt was a natural to assume the presidency of the new Northbrook Cycling Committee. Andy had the experience of a former competitor, the advantage of business and organizational backgrounds, plus a natural aptitude for organization and leadership that proved to be so beneficial to institute and develop the events that would introduce competitive cycling to the beautiful new racing track at Northbrook, Illinois.

Andy Engelhardt built an organization that would program weekly bicycle races at the track. He developed assistants that would register the riders into their respective class events before the opening race. He selected a chief judge and a team of judges to officiate each evening. He selected a referee and assistant referees to enforce the rules of bicycle racing during all contests. He assured that an announcer was on hand each evening. Furthermore, a race starter was necessary as well as clerks of course, supervisors of the ready circle to alert the riders as to the upcoming races. A prize custodian became an important task. A bell man was selected and lap card attendants were appointed. Many of these responsibilities were accepted by individuals that possibly had never witnessed track racing prior to the construction of the Northbrook Velodrome. Andy’s natural leadership abilities enabled him to motivate his assistants to function quite competently despite their lack of experience.

Thus, the first Northbrook Cycling Committee was founded. The techniques and procedures established during the early years of the Northbrook Velodrome set the precedents for the cycling committee to operate over the years. The principals set forth by Andy have been used, with some modifications, by the Northbrook Cycling Committee to run weekly bicycle races successfully for almost twenty seasons of exciting and challenging competition. Such as sustained athletic program is a true tribute to Andy Englehardt, the members of the committee, and those dedicated and responsible individuals who have followed in the late Mr. Englelhardt’s footsteps in accepting the responsibility as presidents of this organization: Mr. Dick Broscovak, Mr. Jim Rossi, Mr. Torchy Pedan, …