Major Taylor Project

Bike Hugger attended the Major Taylor Project kickoff last night.

The Major Taylor Project is dedicated to creating a multicultural community where teenagers have equal opportunity to spend time outdoors and on a bicycle.

The teenagers selected for the program will form a racing squad and ride Redline Bicycles. We’ll feature the MTP with a podcast and more of the back story next month.

Marshall Walter (Major) Taylor, the 1899 world cycling champion, was known as “the Worcester Whirlwind.” He broke through the color line half a century before baseball player Jackie Robinson. An international phenoeman, Major promoted the value of “clean living.” Years ago during a trip to DC, I saw the Major Taylor display at the Smithsonian and was impressed to this day.


More Major Taylor


nice - here in Chicagoland there’s a Major Taylor rail trail, find info with…

from Elmhurst, a favorite route is a 76 mile round trip on the Salt Creek Greenway and across Chicago’s southwest and south sides past Midway Airport to the little known “East Side” of Chicago (ride a couple blocks east of there and drop a toe in IN) to ride south down the Burnham Greenway and after a bit of dicy overpass, return north on the Major Taylor Trail

some good stopping points are Rainbow Beach at 79th and the lake, Calumet Park at 95th and the lake, and the Beverly neighborhood along the Major Taylor Trail

a rest stop shot from Rainbow Beach looking back at the Chicago skyline across 10 miles of Lake Michigan

a rough map of the route

kevlar and patch kits recommended, a great variance of types of neighborhoods on that route - have done it solo early Sunday morning, recommend a group at some other times

plan to lead such a ride for as it warms


I read Major last year and it was a great book. He was an amazing dude that overcame an amazing amount of obstacles and stayed in the US even though he was hated by many when he could have moved to Paris and gotten treated like the king of the world.

That’s right. The Smithsonian show as really impressive. Also note that this is a Seattle program.

The project won’t really be about racing squads, as you say. The youth will be encouraged to choose the type of cycling they pursue, and set their own riding goals. The object is to encourage teens from all cycling backgrounds to feel comfortable in the project, not necessarily to compete.

Thanks for being at the kickoff!


Is that a gray T-shirt shown with Major Taylor art above? If yes, where can I get one?


It is indeed. We’ll have more on the Major Taylor project next month. It just launched.

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