Member of the Month for January 2013

Bill Blackford joined the Wheelmen in 2011 and quickly became a very active member of the Club. He has been the Woman Hollering Creek ride starter since 2012 and has also started the New Berlin ride. He volunteered to help with the Rider Education Series and will work with the Road Riding 101/201 series that starts in late February, 2013. He is also a member of the Easter Hill Country Tour Committee where he is co-chair of the Rest Stop Subcommittee. That is a very impressive record of quickly becoming one of our most active Club members.

Bill describes his bike as “a 1985 Lotus Challenger, steel-frame, 14-speed lead-sled”! He says he has yearly thoughts of trading the bike in but is too emotionally dependent on it to carry through. Since he is a very strong rider, the bike must be a perfect fit. When asked what bike he would like to ride he said “None. I’m afraid if I did I would never want to ride my Lotus again”.

Bill started road cycling in the mid 80’s when he borrowed his brother-in-law’s Raleigh 10-speed. He soon bought the Lotus, but after a few years kids, responsibilities, and other grown-up things intervened. Here is his description of how he started riding again. “Twenty years went by and forty pounds came on and that pesky doctor won’t lay off and I’m sick and tired of hearing about it! Why won’t you just butt out and leave me alone . . . but I digress. Pondering the need for some physical activity, I resurrected that two-wheeled dinosaur I had kept hang in the garage. That was about seven years ago. For the first few years I rode by myself in the ranch country north of Flower Mound and gradually met some riding buddies. Since then I have ridden many charity rides, the Hotter’N Hell 100 three times and the 2012 RAGBRAI.” In May of 2011, Bill found the Wheelmen web site and thought it would be a good way to meet other riders and he has been an active Club member and rider since then.

His favorite Wheelmen ride is the Kendalia 52 mile route. He likes the great scenery and the hills on Crabapple Road which he describes as “short but brutal and the downhill’s are unbelievably fast”. His favorite ride in general has been the Rock & Roll Marathon bike ride which is 22 miles through downtown San Antonio. He has been a Ride Marshal for the past two years working SAG. Although the ride is slow and flat, he enjoys riding in the back talking with and helping people who are struggling and need encouragement.

In addition to cycling, Bill has several other interests. He is an avid reader mostly of non-fiction American History and enjoys working on and around the house. While living in the Dallas/Ft Worth area he took up acting in some community theater productions but has been too busy to get involved again since moving to San Antonio 2 ½ years ago.

Bill has been married to his wife Karen for 33 years and they have two adult children and three grandsons all living in San Antonio. He grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska but lived in Albuquerque for five years and Texas for the last 15 years (6 years in San Antonio and 9 years in the Dallas/Ft Worth area). He has worked for an electrical distributor for 22 years and is currently the National Accounts Operations Manager.

Join Bill on one of the rides he starts or on any of the other rides he does. You can probably talk him into leading a moderate-paced stay-together ride.