Somewhere around the year 2000, the Tulsa Wheelmen officially became part of the Internet. Thanks to the efforts of Sid Parker and others in the club, the new site was born. For the first time, the club had a way to promote their sponsors and events, as well as provide race results to the masses. The site built momentum for two years growing as a valuable resource to cyclists in the state of Oklahoma and around the region.
2002 and 2003 was a challenging time. The Wheelmen were struggling as the lucrative Williams sponsorship ended and the club was having difficulty finding new leadership. During this time, thoughts and ideas started to take shape as the Wheelmen started the evolution into a racing focused club. Along with this evolution came the launch of a new website with the vision of fresh new content and a change in the way the club published information.
2004 saw the first major overhaul of the club in four years. The jerseys were redesigned with the orange and green colors, new sponsors stepped up to fund new initiatives and a racing team and club were born. During this time, the website provided vital information to current and potential members such as access to jersey order forms, race team and club team applications, and one of the most comprehensive list of cycling events in the region.
A changing of the guard happened at the end of 2004 when Kary Cummins became the new web master for the website. In addition to maintaining essential content like the events list, racing results, and a growing collection of pictures from cycling races, Kary brought new ways of organizing data and streamlining processes for updating content. By 2005, the site was averaging 20,000 page loads and almost 4,000 unique visitors each month. That’s 600 page loads and 120 unique visitors each day!
2006 ushered in another round of sweeping changes. A database became the next big leap for the website giving racers the ability to maintain their own contact information, indicating what races they plan to attend and recording race results in a centralized location. The events list was database driven for the first time which reduced time required to make updates to our already popular calendar. Suddenly the possibilities of how the data could be sorted and viewed became endless.
What does the future hold for the website? In the future, club members and racers will be able to check their membership status and renew their memberships online. Jeresys and other clothing/equipment purchases will be made on the website instead of in the race team directors garage, and new tools will be used to allow a wider range of club members to contribute content instead of just web savvy volunteers.
With the change in sponsors, the jerseys required a redesign. The new colors gave the perfect reason to makeover the old website. Jeremy Stitt put in countless hours and did a great job. Unfortunately, life took control and got in the way of further website changes. 2009 saw the least amount of changes to the web design. However, the behind the scenes work has started on a conversion to SQL Server and ASP.NET.