We Ride Too – Black History is Now!

We Ride Too – Black History in the Making (every month)

 

Influential Black Bicycle Professionals, Pioneers, Advocates and Riders

 

 

Major Taylor

taylor-marshall_1900jpg

One of, if not the, most famous Black cyclist, Major Taylor broke color barriers while still burdened by racism. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Taylor

 

 

Kitty Knox

break-the-rules

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. 

https://bikeleague.org/content/womens-bike-history-kittie-knox

 

 

25th Infantry Bicycle Corps

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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.

http://www.fortmissoulamuseum.org/blackbicyclecorps.php

 

 

The 1928 Bike Tour

5 cyclists photo_0

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.

http://bikeleague.org/content/womens-bike-history-3-days-5-women-250-miles

 

Nelson Vails

nelson-vails-5

First Black Cyclist to win an Olympic Medal.  Vails was also featured in the movie Quicksilver and helped launch bike safety programs.

http://www.blackandlatinobicycling.com/nelson-vails-first-african-american-cyclist-win-olympic-medal/

 

Ayesha McGowan

ayesha

Aiming to be the first Black woman in professional racing, Ayesha McGowan is breaking all the barriers to win. 

http://www.aquickbrownfox.com/

http://bicycletimesmag.com/meet-ayesha-mcgowan-a-quick-brown-fox/

 

 

Courtney Williams

courtney williams

Through her organization, Brown Girl Bike. Williams is getting more Black and Brown folks on bikes and educating all on true equality.

http://www.thebrownbikegirl.com/

https://theestablishment.co/why-getting-black-and-brown-people-to-bike-is-courtney-williams-mission-744c3f32e695

 

 

Red, Bike and Green

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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.

http://www.rbgatl.com/rbg/

 

 

Monica Garrison

Monica-Garrison-4-e1495407850468-781x1024

After becoming a cyclists and seeing so few Black folks on bikes, let alone Black women, Garrison founded Black Girls Do Bike.

http://www.blackgirlsdobike.com/home

https://www.bikeradar.com/us/women/gear/article/interview-monica-garrison-founder-of-black-girls-do-bike-46568/

 

 

Veronica O. Davis

black women dc

Inspired to encourage more women to be healthy, Davis created, Black Women Bike DC.

https://blackwomenbike.wordpress.com/

 

 

Donna Iannicelli

donna

On her way to becoming the First Pro Black Female Downhill Racer. 

https://www.singletracks.com/blog/womens-mtb/roadblocks-becoming-first-pro-female-african-american-downhill-racer/

 

Tall Paul Bikes

tall+paul

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.

https://thebolditalic.com/this-man-is-transforming-oakland-one-awesome-custom-bike-at-a-time-the-bold-italic-san-francisco-37cf63115e31

 

Scraper Bike Team

scraper bikes

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. 

http://scraperbiketeam.org/

https://www.mercurynews.com/2016/06/16/east-oakland-youth-led-bike-repair-shop-opens/

 

 

 

Other notable organizations:

 

The National Brotherhood of Cyclists

http://www.thenbc.bike/

 

Major Motion Cycling

https://majormotioncyclingla.com/

 

 

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

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