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Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota

Meet Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota

The Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota (MTBCM) was developed in the fall of 1999 and became a registered no-profit in the spring of 2000. The club was created by eight bicycling enthusiasts from the African American community in the Twin Cities who found camaraderie in a common love for cycling. It is the mission of the Major Taylor Bicycling Club to provide members of the Twin Cities’ African American community with opportunities for health maintenance and improvement, social engagement through cycling activities and an equitable voice in the growing alternative transportation movement. Members of other cultural communities are welcome, are members and collaborate with MTBCMn to create and lead rides, offer technical support and bike safety education and to ultimately get more people on more bikes more often. We are committed to diversifying the movement and maintain focus that our primary target population is the African American community. Major Taylor Bicycling Club has a core membership of experienced and dedicated cyclists and welcomes novice cyclists. The experienced cyclists support newer riders to realize their commitment to become confident, dedicated and successful in their cycling pursuit weather it be commuting, racing, health improvement or fun and recreation.

MTBCMn has a motto, “Come ride with us! We won’t judge you”.

Who is Major Taylor?

Marshall Walter Taylor was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 21, 1878. He received his first bicycle from the wealthy white family that employed his father. He earned the nickname of "Major" because of the soldier's uniform he wore while performing cycling stunts for a bike shop in Indianapolis. While working in the bicycle factory of a white elder cyclist and his benefactor, Taylor won his first amateur race at the age of 13. It wasn't long before he was competing in international races. He became the American sprint champion at age 18 in 1898. He went on to repeat that victory two more times. In 1899, he reached the top of the cycling world by winning the world title in the 1-mile sprint. With that, he became the first African-American world champion in cycling and the first American born black world champion in any sport. What made his accomplishments even more impressive was the fact that he was a Black man who overcame open racism and overt threats of violence by those who did not want to see him succeed because track cycling at that time was dominated by Europeans. He established several world records during his 16 years of competition. In the 168 races in which he competed, he finished first in 117 and finished second in 32. This record would have been even greater it not for his commitment to his Christian values to honor the Sabbath and not race on Sundays. "I would advise all youths aspiring to athletic fame or a professional career to practice clean living, fair play and good sportsmanship. I pray they will carry on in spite of that dreadful monster prejudice, and with patience, courage, fortitude and perseverance achieve success for themselves and their community". Marshall "Major" Taylor

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