Mary Jane Reoch

Mary Jane Reoch
Born (1945-01-02)January 2, 1945
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Died September 11, 1993(1993-09-11) (aged 48)
Dallas, Texas
Nationality American
Other names Miji
Occupation Cyclist

Mary Jane Reoch (January 2, 1945 – September 11, 1993) was an American cyclist. She won 11 national championships during her cycling career and afterwards worked as a cycling coach. She was killed in a road accident while training a client in 1993. She was posthumously inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1994.

Early life and career

Reoch was born on January 2, 1945, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1] She began cycling and racing in her mid-twenties.[2]

Reoch won 11 national championships in various cycling events throughout the 1970s and early 80s, and was on the world championship team 9 times. She received first place in the National Track Championship 7 times, between 1973 and 1980, and the National Time Trial Championship once in 1975. She also received second or third place in these events, as well as in the National Road Championship, many more times in different years. She was second place in the 3 km pursuit at the Belgium World Track Championships, in 1975, and third place in the 3 km pursuit at the Italy World Track Championships, in 1976. In addition, Reoch won the local Tour of Somerville and Fitchburg Longsjo Classic in 1976 and 1979, respectively.[3][4][5]

In 1977, she started to work as a cycling coach, coaching many individuals and teams for roughly the next 15 years. She is known in particular for coaching Connie Carpenter, who won a gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics.[3][5][6]

Personal life

At the age of 35, she rode 12 miles (19 km) on her bike to the hospital to give birth to her first daughter, Solange.[7][8] "I was snickering to myself as I'd passed people, thinking, 'If only they knew,'" she said. After her baby was born, Reoch said she arrived at the hospital with time to spare and that she had a "great time" biking there.[7] She married John Reoch, a lawyer.[9] The couple moved to Dallas and later divorced.[2]


Reoch was killed in a road accident on September 11, 1993. She was training a cycling student named Bill Seals at White Rock Lake in Dallas at roughly 9:15 am. While they were cycling, a pickup truck went into their lane, striking Reoch head-on and throwing her 95 feet (29 m) into the lake, killing her. Seals flew over his handlebars and landed on the pavement, out of panic.[3][6] The pickup truck driver fled the scene. He was arrested in Michoacán, Mexico, in July 1996 and charged with involuntary manslaughter.[6]

Posthumous honors

In 1994, Reoch was posthumously inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.[4][5] Fuji Bikes established the annual Miji Reoch Award for "the best young female rider under the age of 23", which includes a $1,000 cash prize.[10][11]


  1. ^ "Mary Jane -Miji- Reoch". el sitio de Ciclismo (in Spanish). Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Carpenter, Connie (2015), "From Silver Blades to Golden Bikes", in Clemitson, Suze (ed.), Ride the Revolution: The Inside Stories from Women in Cycling, Bloomsbury Publishing, pp. 54–55, ISBN 9781472912930
  3. ^ a b c "Champion U.S. cyclist killed by hit-run driver". UPI. September 18, 1993. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Hall of Fame". Valley Preferred Cycling Center. Archived from the original on February 11, 2014. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Mary Jane Reoch Inducted in 1994 for Modern Road & Track Competitor (1945-1975)". U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on June 9, 2017. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Suspect Nabbed In 1993 Hit-and-Run Death of U.S. National Cycling Champ". Associated Press News. August 2, 1996. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  7. ^ a b News, Weekly World (October 20, 1981). "Expectant mother pedals to hospital". Weekly World News. ISSN 0199-574X. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  8. ^ Chauner, David; Halstead, Michael (1990). The Tour de France Complete Book of Cycling. Villard Books. pp. 145, 146. ISBN 978-0679729365. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  9. ^ Holloway, Karel (September 2012). "Visit a Dallas house that was built to look old". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  10. ^ George, John (May 16, 2013). "Philly Cycling Classic sets teams, awards". Biz Journals. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  11. ^ "Fuji Sponsors Miji Reoch Award". Philadelphia International Cycling Classic. June 3, 2008. Retrieved September 26, 2018.