Clinton River RIders and Blue Water Ramble history as written by founding member Sue Pavlat:
The History of the CRR and the BWR by Sue Pavlat
In the late 70's/early 80's Jerry Pavlat and I owned Pavlat's Prestige Cycles in Clinton Twp. There were two cycling clubs in the area: 'The Wolverines' who's riders were mainly racers. If you went out on one of their club rides and couldn't keep up or got a flat, they would leave you in the dust with no one turning back to help.
The other club was 'The Slow Spokes of Macomb.' Their rides were just the opposite, extremely slow averaging 8MPH after a 25 mile ride. It took a good portion of the day to complete it.
Both of these clubs fit specific riders but there was no organized club for the majority of riders in between who liked to ride a 15-17MPH pace.
I put a large note pad on our counter at the bike store and mentioned to every person who came in that we were trying to start a new bicycle club for the intermediate rider. People who were interested signed their names with phone numbers. (email didn't exist back then).
After we had about 30 names, we held a meeting on the lawn at the bike store talking about what direction we wanted to go, what to name the club and what colors to pick out, how often to do group rides, etc. We asked people to write down some ideas and return for a discussion and vote.
Several weeks later we held another meeting with many more folks attending and voted on both the name of the club and the color of the jersey. The name that won was great; the 'Clinton River Riders' as it designated the area where the majority of the folks lived who were attending the meeting.
However the colors that were selected were just terrible; mainly Grey with a red accent. At the time, custom jerseys were very difficult to come up with especially with Grey in them. Also Grey blended in well with the cement we rode on so they weren't very visible. We managed to find a clothing manufacturer in CA who could make them; however they were light weight wool. The pattern was simple; grey front & back and red down the side panels and around the collar. Designs for the logo were submitted and then voted on.
Over the years the original jersey was changed as the club added more red along with black. The jersey fabric selection became wider and along the way sublimation was created so the logo was no longer silk screened on the back.
Doris Mulligan was one of the original club members. Her designs always won when it came time to vote on changing the jersey. Doris is still young in heart and in her mid 80's. I also believe that Duane Nieman was an original member too.
A couple of years later the CRR members wanted to put on an organized century. We found an area to hold the event with both parking and low auto traffic roads to ride on. It was held the first Sunday of October so it didn't conflict with other well established organized rides.
Again names were submitted for the ride and Blue Water Ramble won the contest as the riders went back and forth over the water into Canada. The BWR was originally started in a small shopping center in Port Huron as it had restroom facilities . Ken Koch (now living in AZ) was the member who came up with the different routes and was a huge part of the organization. The BWR was so popular the riders took over the entire parking lot of the small shopping center and the merchants were angry. I believe there were 300 riders for the first event. So the following year it was moved into the High School and the entrants doubled and continued growing year after year until we finally had to put a limit of the number of entrants. The hot apple cider and warm chili dogs were a huge favorite among the riders during the years when there was ice in the bird baths the first Sunday of October.
The BWR is now run in the summer months as weather is more predictable.
I hope I have given a clear beginning of how the CRR and BWR was formed. Thank you for taking the time to consider this piece of history.
Clinton River Riders