Meet our Officers
President, Bob Vano
Bob is self-employed as a Doctor of Chiropractic and enjoys both road and trail riding. He leads road rides out of Gibsonia, PA on Saturday mornings. In the past, Bob has completed the ride on the GAP and C & O Canal trails from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC three times, most recently in July 2016. He also participated in the RAGBRAI event in Iowa, the Bon Ton Roulet in the Finger Lakes region of New York, as well as many other events in PA, OH, and in the Shenandoah Valley.
He particularly enjoys planning and coordinating weekend events that he refers to as The Cycling ExperienceTM and is committed to making the Premier Bicycle Club the best club East of the Mississippi and recognizes that every beginner cyclist is only a few rides away from truly falling in love with cycling. He knows first hand that cycling is more than just pedaling...that to truly enjoy cycling, there are other factors such as nutrition and mental conditioning that need to be part of your lifestyle. As he puts it, "I'm in preparation mode about my upcoming Saturday ride, on Monday. My food choices through the week get me ready both mentally and physically. I have 100% faith that the Premier Bicycle Club will help others enjoy cycling more by being a positive inspiration in making consistent, healthy lifestyle choices."
Bob has had tremendous success with cycling and establishing a lifestyle of better health. "I was 344 pounds at one point. Having lost more than 100 pounds so far, I would not have been able to do it without establishing a healthy lifestyle through cycling and healthy eating." Bob continues, "Switching to a whole foods plant-based diet has helped me accomplish even more significant progress...and it is not as hard to do as you might think it is."
Vice President of Technology & Ride Leader Development, Leo Gayle
“I am a Mechanical Engineering who found riding after fighting with trying to lose weight. My interest in cycling became my new-found love after purchasing my first road bike January 2016, and I haven’t stopped”. Since making cycling a part of his lifestyle, Leo has lost 65 pounds. He contributes part of his success to eating a healthy diet of lean proteins and vegetables. Leo continued, “I’m excited to take on this new role and to help grow the club even more. I look forward to the challenges ahead.”
Vice President of Fundraising, Sponsorships, & Events, Richard Thomson
I am a retired business owner, fitness professional, and corporate executive. I feel honored, privileged, and challenged to work alongside Bob Vano, the other Officers and Board Members of Premier Bicycle Club in helping them achieve the Club's Mission, and am committed to using my gifts, talents and experience in service to the Club's members.
I've been a cyclists for as long as I can remember. My interest in cycling became a passion when I was about 11 years old as I hung out at an outdoor velodrome in Milwaukee, Wisconsin watching world class athletes train and compete on their fixed gear self-propelled speed machines wearing funny looking shorts and leather "spaghetti" helmets". I've cycled throughout Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland, and France in the early 70's…Yup, I was a cycling hippie…Have cycled for endless miles in the Australian outback, have even attempted a couple of competitive events, and have captained numerous teams for the MS-150 including our Club's Team for the 2017 event.
In retirement I've been able to travel and enjoy rides like the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, the George Hincapie Gran Fondo, the GAP/C&O Towpath, the Going To The Sun Road in Glacier National Park, the Park Loop Road and Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park and The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia, …And I've even competed in a 3 day stage race…But got "DQ'd"…Ask me about that some day.
Treasurer, Tom Rudy
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to ride. And I remember all my bikes, from the 20” Huffy my grandfather brought me, to the Schwinn Varsity my father gave me when I was 12, to the used $8 Schwinn heavy duty balloon tire bike I brought myself and bounced over curbs with a 100 lbs. of newspapers. While some of my friends were enjoying Woodstock in 1969, I was riding my new lightweight Raleigh bike coast-to-coast, Vancouver to Boston. But then I got busy with my academic career, neglected my physical fitness, and even gave away my last bike.
In the past 15 years, however, I’ve made a big comeback. I resumed my love of long-distance backpacking and logged over 5,000 miles. After my arthritic knees could no long handle hiking, I rekindled my love of riding and discovered cycling is like being a perpetual kid. I threw my lightweight hiking equipment on my new touring bike and discovered the beauty of trails like the GAP and C&O Canal. I now ride Pittsburgh to DC and back every Spring and Fall, an advantage of being retired. I’ve done it over 10 times and never tire of it. I love turning kids on to trail riding, and took my 9 year old granddaughter on the GAP from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, what a great adventure we had. I have ridden nearly all of the rails-to-trails in Western PA, some many times. I hope to connect with other PBC members who like to ride the trails as well, perhaps even for multi-day tours.
Two years ago I resumed road cycling and enjoy the excitement of riding in a pace line with fellow cycling enthusiasts. I’ve even renewed my love of riding hills, once I got over some training and mental blocks. As a psychologist specializing in behavioral medicine, I have been a longtime student of how thoughts, attitudes, and cognitive schemas affect physical performance specifically, and more generally well-being. I hope to make a contribution to PBC in this regard. I am honored to serve as Treasurer of PBC, and am committed to diligent financial management and transparency.
Membership Concierge, Marianne Desmond
Marianne is a certified group exercise instructor specializing in spinning (indoor cycling), Silver Sneakers Classic, Circuit and Yoga, and 55+ active adult programs. She currently teaches at the Baierl YMCA, North Boroughs YMCA and Pine Community Center. Her motivation to be an indoor cycling and active adult exercise instructor is not only her passion for cycling but as a cancer survivor to show others what one can accomplish. Marianne and her husband Scott have done over 15 cycling trips in 10 countries. “In the Premier Bike Club, I have found a welcoming, friendly group that both challenges me and supports me as I work to be a stronger cyclist”.
Event Buffet Coordinator, Peggy Jopling
Peggy has played a role in assisting the club leadership since the founding of the club and has seen the hard work and dedication it takes to make each event successful. Peggy brings to the club her organizational skills and background in catering. She has graciously agreed to take on the role of our Event Buffet Coordinator.
© 2018 Premier Bicycle Club