by Kevin Greene, representing the NoBell Committee
Harv Koplo received the 2015 NoBell Award at the Springfield Bicycle Club’s annual Winter Party and Awards Banquet on January 29. This is SBC’s lifetime achievement award, presented each year since 1982 to an individual or couple in recognition of significant contributions to bicycling and club activities.
Harv’s passion for bicycling started at a young age riding the streets of hometown Brooklyn NY. He participated in a three week AYH bike tour around the New England states and eventually earned the cycling merit badge. Harv rose up through the Scouting ranks and became a Scoutmaster and co-ed Venture Crew leader where he shared his bicycling knowledge with others, leading bike outings around Illinois & Wisconsin and teaching countless youth the ins and outs of long distance riding.
We are fortunate that Harv decided to join SBC in the late 90s, and bring his impressive set of leadership and organizational skills to the club. For the last four years, Harv has coordinated the Capital City Century. He guided the CCC through several transitions, including the new start location at the Knights of Columbus on Meadowbrook, a new route to Clayville and a special double metric (125 mile) challenge option. Harv also created a new jersey, and instituted a photo booth, route signage and other improvements at the CCC. Harv has led many club rides, with a special emphasis on promoting sustainability awareness, including the Earth Day and Jubilee Farm rides.
Harv’s most recent community project involved working with the park district, local businesses and individuals to install eight bicycle aid stations on the local trails to help cyclists make minor repairs on their bikes while on a ride. He has attended numerous city council and regional planning commission meetings to speak in favor of making Springfield a bike-friendly community.
Because of his hard work, creativity and dedication to bicycling, Harv was selected as the 2015 NoBell award winner.