Marshall W. “Major” Taylor
First Black Bicycle World Champion
Question: At the beginning of the 20th century who was the highest paid athlete in the world and what sport did he compete in?
Answer: Marshall “Major” Taylor and he was an African American World Champion Cyclist.
Born, Marshall Walter Taylor on November 26, 1878 in Indianapolis, Indiana, Taylor overcame racism to become a true champion. Nicknamed “Major” because of the bicycle tricks he preformed in a military suit as a young boy, Major was introduced to cycling at an early age.
In 1898, just two years after beginning his career, Major became the first black world champion cyclist at the age of 18. During his 16 years of competition, Major won numerous titles in the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand and established several world records making him the “fastest bicycle rider in the world”. Major was the first black athlete to receive a commercial sponsor and establish a world record.
As a cycling organization, MTCCVA seeks to promote health and wellness through cycling as a lifelong activity and is inclusive of all who wish to ride. Although most of the members are road cyclists, there are several that also participate in cyclocross and mountain biking and through our mentoring will look to include BMX Cycling.
We champion cycling safety and instruct all members on how to ride safely individually and collectively. Our organization advocates for good eating habits and supports its members with important information on the nutritional needs necessary to perform well before, during and after MTCCVA cycling activities.
We have regularly scheduled rides weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly, to bring members together to improve their riding skills, build fitness and also activities to fellowship. As an organization we often travel to participate in Major Taylor events across the country to promote cycling in support for a good cause or in support of another organization.
MTCCVA members reside throughout the entire state of Virginia with concentrations in Northern Virginia (NoVA), Richmond Virginia (RVA), and the Hampton Roads area.