Bobby Walthour IV and the Dixie Flyer Experience

Bobby Walthour with the Dixie Flyer bicycle



Recently, I had the privilege of working with Bobby Walthour IV, his wife Kelly, and cousin Matt, on a design project for a new line of track bicycles. Bobby’s name is familiar to most track enthusiasts, and if you study American bicycle racing history, his great-grandfather and his grandfather, both also named Bobby, were world and national track bike champions.

July 12-14, Bobby will be in Portland, Oregon, for the Alpenrose Challenge.

He will be introducing a new line of his own track bikes, called the Dixie Flyer, the nickname of his great-grandfather, Bobby Sr., who hailed from Atlanta, Georgia.


Blog Bobby Walthour Senior


According to Wikipedia, “Bobby Walthour Senior started his career as a sprinter, and developed into a formidable six-day rider, but achieved his greatest fame as a fearless motor-pacer. Walthour turned professional in 1896. He won America’s greatest race, the six-day race inside Madison Square Garden, with his partner, Canadian Archie McEachern, in 1901. Walthour again won at the Garden in 1903, with fellow American southerner Bennie Munroe. In 1902 and 1903, Walthour won American motor-paced championships. Walthour won the motor-pacing World Championships in 1904, in London, and in 1905, in Brussels. Walthour’s cycling career continued until the early 1920s.”


Bobby Walthour, Jr.


Bobby’s grandfather, Bobby Walthour, Jr., had an equally stellar career. According to the US Bicycling Hall of Fame: “In 1921, he won the U.S. National Match Sprint Championship. Between 1924 and 1937, he won eight major international six-day events, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Ottawa.”

Today, Bobby Walthour IV, age 48, carries on the family tradition. A former member of the US National Track Cycling Team, Bobby is in his 28th year of professional track racing. Over the past 20 years, he’s earned multiple Elite National Championship and National Masters Champion medals.

These wins were drug-free, the result of years of hard work and dedication to keep the sport clean.

Bobby owns Rocket Fitness in Carmel, California, and is a frequent speaker on sports and ethics.


Bobby Walthour IV



That same dedication and focus went into his Dixie Flyer track bike, introduced this year.


My small contribution to the Dixie Flyer was the design for head tube badge.  As in my previous blogs about the “process of process,” I’d like to show the series steps to develop image that lead up to the final art.

The lettering and general graphics were already designed to blend the aesthetics of the late 1890s and 2013. My assignment was to take the existing font, and produce a simple graphic that would not only be consistent with the look of the bike, but could also easily translate into a clean, contemporary headtube badge – possibly one that could be produced in the future as a metal laser-cut badge.

This is the blueprint graphic.


Dixie Flyer scorcher




Here are some of my preliminary designs using the initials DF and the star element.

blog replace first row of logo designs

Then we considered a contemporary shield shape and the words, “American since 1895” placed in a ribbon below.


Blog Add send row of logo ideas


We tried some other configurations: rectangle, ruled lines, stacking type.



blog HT graphic and photo



After experimenting with a number of different designs, we all came back to the simplicity of the initials, the star and the slogan.


Bobby on track


Here, Bobby is testing out the first Dixie Flyer at the Hellyer County Park Velodrome, in South San Jose, California.


Dixie Flyer test in San Jose



Put the Alpenrose Challenge, July 12-14, on your calendar. Come to the Alpenrose Velodrome to cheer on Bobby and Portland’s local favorites  – and be sure to check out the brand new Dixie Flyer track bike.


To keep up on the latest about the Dixie Flyer, visit Bobby’s Facebook page.


4 Responses to “Bobby Walthour IV and the Dixie Flyer Experience”

  1. Mike Dayton says:

    Interesting history lesson, thanks Karl. Mike

  2. Richard jenkins says:

    wonderful story,excellent graphics….would love to ride the bike.

  3. Joe-balobadingdong says:

    Great writeup, Karl. The head badge looks outstanding – definitely like the “American Icon…” slogan added. That’s one serious looking bike…and rider. I’ll be there this weekend for sure to cheer Bobby on. -Joe

  4. Pete Stasney says:

    Very interesting to see the badge design process from start to finish. Terrific final result!

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