Before Lance There was Major

You may not have heard of him but if you’re into cycling, you should. In stores now is Major, the story of turn of the century cycling champion Major Taylor. Originally from Indy, Taylor made Worcester, Massachusetts his home during his cycling heyday. As an African American athlete during the late 1800’s/early 1900’s, Taylor faced rascism and opposition at every turn. Taylor cited this in his 1926 autobiography The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World. “I was in Worcester only a very short time before I realized that there was no such race prejuice existing among the bicycle riders there as I had experienced in Indianapolis.”

Today Worcester holds an annual cycling race to honor the great Taylor up a short, two block street in the middle of downtown Worcester: The George Street Bike Challenge. Taylor used this street as his personal training ground, repeating the short 500 foot sprint up the hill. Yes, it’s only two blocks but it is straight up. With an average grade of 18% it’s the longest two blocks of your life.

To honor Major Taylor, 3 time Tour de France winner Greg Lemond and Olympic Medalist Edwin Moses will be on hand at the Worcester Public Library this May 21, 2008 for a statue unveiling ceremony. It’s not to be missed! –Karen


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

5 responses to “Before Lance There was Major”

  1. cyclepod says :

    Brilliant, I am going to get that book.. Thanks for bringing to our attention.

  2. cyclepod says :

    I can’t get it on Amazon… maybe it’s out of print..

  3. Karen says :

    try bnDOTcom it should be there, just released in the States.

  4. Lynne Tolman says :

    You can get Todd Balf’s book “Major” from Amazon by clicking on the link on the Major Taylor Association site:

    And a percentage of your purchase will benefit the Major Taylor Association.

    — Lynne (board member of Major Taylor Assn.)

  5. Karen says :

    Thanks Lynne! I had no idea!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: