Saturday, April 11, 2009

Major Taylor Cycling Club

Pittsburghers are passionate about all things Pittsburgh. We are living through a tragedy that has had a tremendous impact on the entire community. Through bad times we see the good in people. Pittsburghers have come together to support and honor the three heroic officers who were senselessly murdered one week ago. The community also honored the victims families and fellow officers. We saw people lined up for hours at memorial services and funeral homes. At the Penguins game earlier in the week fans donated over $60,000 to the victims families and the Penguin players rounded that up to an even $100,000.

Today there was a really neat show of support by the Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club and the Western Pennsylvania Wheelmen. About 200 cyclist met at Highland Park and rode together to the Zone 5 Police Station, the home station of the three victim officers. Each of the cyclists donated money that was given to support the families. The cyclists were lead by a police escort and joined by bike cops. Some "bikers" (motorcyclists) misunderstood. They showed up on their bikes but were a bit surprised to see the event was for bicycles. Those bikers were meant to feel welcome and joined in.

The Major Taylor Cycling Club is a really cool group. I've met up with them many times during rides. The club was an offshoot of the Center for Minority Health. Originally the Center for Minority Health was asked to help Adventure Outdoors with a project to create an Underground Railroad Cycling Route. Ultimately a cycling club was started. Although the club is open to all, many of the members are African American. Like my club, Lou's Crew, Major Taylor provides a vehicle to promote a healthy life style for middle aged people in the city. Concerned about health risks to African Americans caused by a sedentary life style, the club provides a vehicle to get people back into cycling, meet new people, have fun and feel good about themselves. In addition Major Taylor has undertaken efforts to promote cycling to inner city kids. This has included overnight trips along the Great Allegheny Passage.

We have invited the Major Taylor Club to join Lou's Crew any Sunday for on of our group rides. We have a lot in common and I think it would be great fun. I have also joined the Major Taylor Cycling Club and hope to have enough time to ride with both groups. Here is a link to the Major Taylor website:

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