Cycling community keeps Major Taylor’s legacy alive




CHICAGO —The Major Taylor Trail honors a legendary cyclist who blazed a trail for others to follow. Cycling enthusiasts in Chicago are working to keep his legacy alive with engagement and community development.

At the turn of the 20th Century, Taylor was the fastest cyclist in the world. He was the first Black cycling world champion.

“It’s a real shame for America that we didn’t appreciate Major Taylor in his time,” Peter Taylor, president of the Friends of the Major Taylor Trail said. “He could have probably been so much more and he was a real good athlete, a tough guy, and he was highly principled.”

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The 7.5 mile trail runs from the Dan Ryan Woods to Whistler Woods. There is a colorful mural honoring his life on the Major Taylor Trail Bridge overlooking the Little Calumet River. It is one of the highlights of the African American Heritage Water Trail developed by Openlands.

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail and the Major Taylor Trail Keepers are working to bring much needed improvements to the trail and the Major Taylor Cycling Club of Chicago has more than 300 members who gather for long rides and camaraderie.

More information

Gaynor Hall and photojournalists Joshua Montoya and Steven Scheuer report in this WGN-TV Cover Story.

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