We Ride Too – Black History in the Making (every month)
Influential Black Bicycle Professionals, Pioneers, Advocates and Riders
One of, if not the, most famous Black cyclist, Major Taylor broke color barriers while still burdened by racism.
Around the same time as Major Taylor in another part of the country, a woman was making waves too. Kitty Knox challenged both race and gender norms of the era.
25th Infantry Bicycle Corps
In the same era as Taylor and Knox, an all-Black cycling regiment for the US Army was put together. Testing the use of the bicycle for military purposes, these men rode their bikes through and over everything.
The 1928 Bike Tour
Marylou Jackson, Velma Jackson, Ethyl Miller, Leolya Nelson and Constance White, five black women, rode their bikes from New York City to Washington DC one Easter weekend.
First Black Cyclist to win an Olympic Medal. Vails was also featured in the movie Quicksilver and helped launch bike safety programs.
Aiming to be the first Black woman in professional racing, Ayesha McGowan is breaking all the barriers to win.
Through her organization, Brown Girl Bike. Williams is getting more Black and Brown folks on bikes and educating all on true equality.
Red, Bike and Green
Founded by Jenna Burton in 2007 and now headquartered out of Atlanta, this organization offers a safe space for Black riders with four chapters nationwide.
After becoming a cyclists and seeing so few Black folks on bikes, let alone Black women, Garrison founded Black Girls Do Bike.
Veronica O. Davis
Inspired to encourage more women to be healthy, Davis created, Black Women Bike DC.
On her way to becoming the First Pro Black Female Downhill Racer.
Tall Paul Bikes
For years “Tall” Paul Brown has been building bikes free for kids in West Oakland who show them they did well on their report cards.
Scraper Bike Team
Empowering youth in East Oakland, Tyrone “Baybe Champ” Stevenson and Reginald “RB” Burnette II have opened a youth-led bike shop. After years of helping youth fix and create bikes, they now operate the (repair) shed and work with Oakland Public Library to keep youth riding.
Other notable organizations:
The National Brotherhood of Cyclists
Major Motion Cycling
This is in no way a complete list of all the Black cyclists continuing to contribute, inspire and ride through the bicycling industry. If you know (or are) a Black cyclist anywhere within the industry, please let us know!!
We see you! We recognize you! Our history is now!
Black history every month.
Main image is Pro French BMXer Manon Valentino