Four legends of American cycling have been voted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame. The Class of 2021 inductees are: Bunki Bankaitis-Davis (Modern Road & Track Competitor), Paul Deem (Veteran Road & Track Competitor), Myles Rockwell (Off-Road Competitor), and Richard Bryne (Contributor to the Sport). Including the Class of 2021, there are now 165 Inductees in the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame.
“The U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame is proud to honor these talented individuals,” said Bob Bowen, board president. “Each of them were selected by the voters because of their supreme accomplishments in cycling. Their induction into the Hall of Fame will serve as a perpetual reminder of their dedication and sacrifices related to pursuing the sport of cycling at the highest levels.”
Normally held in Davis, CA, the 35th Annual USBHOF Induction Ceremony for the 2021 Inductees will be held in Colorado Springs, CO on November 6, 2021. This is part of a year-long commemoration of the 100th anniversary of USA Cycling. Induction Ceremony tickets will go on sale at usbhof.org in July.
Since the 2020 Hall of Fame Induction was postponed due to coronavirus restrictions on large gatherings, the 2020 Inductees will also be honored on November 6th, in Colorado Springs. The Class of 2020 inductees are: Jeff Pierce (Modern Road & Track Competitor), Marianne Martin (Veteran Road & Track Competitor), Leigh Donovan (Off-Road Competitor), and Joe Breeze (Contributor to the Sport).
The Class of 2021 Inductees are:
Bunki Bankaitis-Davis – Modern Road and Track: Bunki Bankaitis-Davis’ career highlights include being a five-time member of the US World Championship Team, member of the 1988 US Olympic Team, and seven-time member of the US National Team (Women’s Team Captain and National TTT Champion in 1992). Her most treasured result was winning the 1992 World Team Time Trial Championship alongside teammates Jan Bolland, Jeanne Golay and Eve Stephenson. A consistent standout on the international stage between 1985 and 1992, Bunki accomplished multiple Top-3 individual results in the premier women’s events of the time, including the Tour de France Féminin, Tour of Molenheike, Post Giro World Cup, European Spring Classics, Coors Classic, Tour of Texas, Ore-Ida Women’s Challenge and the U.S. Olympic Trials. She raced for some of the top trade teams of her era, including 7-Eleven, Centurion and Look. Sadly, Bunki passed away on January 29, 2021, following a seven-year cancer battle. Bunki made a habit of tackling every stage in life, sport and business with spirit, determination, excellence, kindness and good humor.
Paul Deem – Veteran Road & Track: Paul Deem burst onto the scene as a young rider, and in 1977 he won national championships in Time Trial, Individual Pursuit and Team Pursuit. In 1978, Deem was part of a pioneering American amateur team that represented the US internationally as part of the first major US Team tour of Europe. The team survived entirely on its own prize money for months, and competed against some of the world’s finest racers. A 1977 rule passed by the Italian Cycling Federation mandated that foreigners could only race in Category A International Events, which meant that each and every race was against the best in the world. The field typically included eastern European teams, which were essentially made up of professional riders. Among his other accomplishments, Deem was a member of the 1976 Olympic Pursuit Team, won a gold medal in the Team Pursuit at the 1975 Pam Am Games, and was a 1977 World Championship Road Team Member. Deem’s career was cut short by a progressive muscle disease, which weakened his calf muscles.
Myles Rockwell – Off-Road: Myles Rockwell is a notable and influential figure in downhill mountain biking. His professional career began when he was signed by Yeti in 1993, and he would go on to win the prestigious Reebok Eliminator event that same year. That was the beginning of many achievements in Rockwell’s illustrious career, which included victories in the 1995 Kamikaze Downhill and the 1995 Grundig World Cup Downhill event in Kaprun, Austria. Rockwell’s most significant results included bronze medals at the 1993 World Downhill Championships and 1995 Grundig Downhill World Cup (overall), and gold medals at the 2000 World Downhill Championships and 2000 Winter X-Games. He remains the last American male to hold the Downhill World Champion title. Racing as part of the groundbreaking Volvo-Cannondale team, Rockwell was instrumental in the testing and development of many cycling design breakthroughs, including the Cannondale Headshok, early disc brakes by Sachs, and the original SRAM GripShift product. In 1997, Myles and Cannondale developed a revolutionary triple chain, dual-suspension downhill racing machine, named The Fulcrum.
Richard Bryne – Contributor: Richard Bryne has had a hand in the development of three major products used still by cyclists all over the world. In 1980, following years of elite-level racing, Bryne invented and patented the Turbo Trainer, one of the first portable stationary trainers to attach to a bike. In 1991, he designed the innovative Speedplay pedal system. The Speedplay X was the first dual-sided road pedal to use the cleat as the tensioning mechanism, thus taking substantial weight off the pedal itself. Speedplay pedals have been used in the professional peloton for nearly 30 years, and have helped riders race to victories in the World Championships and all major Tours. They have also been used to break the hour record multiple times. In 1984, with help from frame builder Bill Holland, Bryne designed a place for riders to rest their upper body, using two drop bars and forearm supports. These were the first aerobars, and were used to win the Race Across America. Bryne also promoted the La Jolla Grand Prix, which instantly became one of the biggest criteriums in the country. Early editions of this race drew spectator turnouts of 10,000 to 15,000; remarkable at the time, and even today. The 1987 edition of the event expanded to two days, and thanks to Bryne’s support, was televised nationwide and in many international markets.