During the pandemic year, a question was often asked:
Why don’t these Cincinnati-based Clubs ride together more often (or at all)?
The answer….because no one has planned a ride. Well, that time has passed and on September 17th and 18th, 2021 our first Unity Ride will take place.
Co-sponsored by the Major Taylor Cycling Club of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Cycle Club, we are coming together…to ride. We will have a conversation or two, make new friends, share some stories and share a common passion. It’s long overdue.
Is it Just an All Club Ride?
Nope. The Countryside YMCA in Lebanon has graciously offered use of their pool pavilion as Ride Central. We have a covered pavilion with seating for several hundred riders, restrooms, changing areas and showers, paved parking for several hundred and a fenced camping area. All dedicated to Unity Riders for Friday and Saturday.
We have two days of riding. Friday, September 17th a casual ride is planned around the beautiful Little Miami River Valley. For those arriving Friday, the YMCA has ample room for tent camping and the Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau will be providing information on hotels and local overnight accommodations. More information to be posted shortly.
A more formal All Club Ride will be launching Saturday morning September 18th, joining all local Cycling Clubs and our Major Taylor partners. Routes from 45 to 65 miles are planned in addition to a shorter bike trail route for a more casual ride. All routes will traverse low traffic and scenic Warren County cycling routes. Always wanted a police escort on a ride? We have one for you on Saturday as we depart Ride Central.
All routes will be posted one week before the ride (this allows us to avoid all newly chip sealed routes). Expect around 2,500 feet of gentle climbs for the 65 mile route, and 2,000 feet for the 45 mile route. Each route will have at least one Major Taylor and one Cincinnati Cycle Club ride leader as well as SAG support.
Is there Food and Entertainment?
Yes we have entertainment. Friday September 17th is the City of Lebanon’s last “Third Friday” celebration for the year. The Third Friday entertainment area is a short bike ride (on a dedicated bike trail) or walk from Ride Central. We are currently arranging for shuttle transportation from Ride Central to the Third Friday Entertainment Area for those a little leg weary from the Friday Ride.
Never heard of the Naked Karate Girls? They’re not naked, they do not know karate, they aren’t even girls …but they can make you move. Check them out here.
The City of Lebanon also has a wide variety of restaurants and eateries lined up for this event. We encourage all cyclists to patronize local small businesses as a part of this ride both Friday and Saturday. We will have limited food and beverage support at Ride Central, so all are encouraged to spend your hard earned dollars where they matter most…local small businesses. Invite a new cycling friend to dinner or lunch Friday and Saturday, enjoy your conversation and plan a ride together next week. That is what this event is all about.
Friday September 17th:
YMCA Ride Central opens at 12:00 pm
Casual Ride Starts at 2:00 pm
Return to Ride Central at 4:30
Time to shower, shave and…..
Third Friday entertainment and shuttles start at 6:00 pm
Ride Central lights out at 12:00 pm.
Saturday September 18th:
YMCA Ride Central opens at 6:30 am
Pre-Ride Announcements and Prayer for Unity at 7:30 am
All rides depart 8:15 am
City of Lebanon Beer Garden opens at 12:00 pm
Ride Central closes at 4:00 pm
$10.00 (yes…. ten bucks). We want all your hard-earned dollars to support those local small businesses, many of which have had a rough year. And…we want to be invited back next year! Local small business information will be posted soon! Shuttles from Ride Central to the Third Friday Entertainment Venue will be charged per round trip (cost to be posted soon).
SWAG: None. No T-shirts, no jerseys, no mugs, no socks. Take that hard earned $$ and invite your new cycling friends out for lunch or a post-ride beverage and support local small businesses. That’s what this ride is about.
It’s hard to believe after 36 years of teaching, this part of my life’s work will come to a close. It’s been an incredible journey that has taken me many places. As my teaching career nears its end, I’ve had a burning question stirring inside of me; “What more can I do?” There has to be more than just memories to leave behind. That’s when it struck me to establish a lasting legacy that could live well beyond my years. Something my former students, friends, family, and program partners could join in as one. So, I have decided to create a scholarship fund for Withrow High School students. l want this fund to shine and grow our community of young people and put them in a position to improve my life's passion for health and wellness.
Please join me on A Tiger’s Journeyby donating to the Michael Finnegan Health and Wellness Scholarship Fund. This will impact the Withrow student community well into the future. you can contribute by going to Cincinnati Scholarship Foundation website www.cincinnatischolarshipfoundation.org
Choose the donate tab on the upper right side. In the “In Honor Of” section, type in: Mike Finnegan Health and Wellness Scholarship Fund.
Item #: 201900421 RESOLUTION, submitted by Vice Mayor Smitherman, RECOGNIZING the extraordinary life of Marshall "Major" Taylor, the first African-American world champion in cycling and the second black athlete to win a world championship in any sport; and EXPRESSING the City of Cincinnati's support for and appreciation of the Major Taylor Cyclist Club of Cincinnati for celebrating his life and raising awareness regarding his remarkable legacy.
Marshall Walter Taylor was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 26, 1878. He received his first bicycle from the wealthy white family that employed his father.
He earned the nickname of “Major” because of the soldier’s uniform he wore while performing cycling stunts for a bike shop in Indianapolis. While working in the bicycle factory of a white cyclist, Taylor won his first amateur race at the age of 13.
It wasn’t long before he was competing in international races. He became the American sprint champion at age 18 in 1898. He went on to repeat that victory two more times.
In 1899, he reached the top of the cycling world by winning the world title in the 1-mile sprint. With that, he became the first African-American world champion in cycling and only the second African-American world champion in any sport.
What made his accomplishments even more impressive was the fact that he was a Black man who overcame open racism and overt threats of violence by those who did not want to see him succeed because track cycling at that time was dominated by the Europeans.
He established several world records during his 16 years of competition. In the 168 races in which he competed, he finished first in 117 and finished second in 32.
In 1902, he married Daisy Morris. His only child, a girl named Sydney, was born in Australia in 1904 (she passed away in 2005 at the age of 101 leaving one son, 5 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.)
In 1910, he retired from racing at age 32. His cycling fortune was drained quickly by failed business ventures and illness.
Major Taylor moved to Chicago in 1930 and tried selling his autobiography, “The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World.” He died penniless on June 21, 1932 at the age of 53 in Chicago and was buried in an unmarked grave.
Years later in 1948, Frank Schwinn donated money to have his remains moved to a more prominent area of Mount Glenwood cemetery.
The bronze plaque on the new site of his grave reads: “World’s champion bicycle racer who came up the hard way without hatred in his heart; an honest, courageous and God-fearing, clean-living, gentlemanly athlete. A credit to his race who always gave out his best. Gone but not forgotten.”
To celebrate his achievements, the Major Taylor Velodrome in Indianapolis, one of the world’s most renowned cycling venues, was named in his honor. He was posthumously inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1989.
In 1996, USA Cycling posthumously awarded Taylor the Korbel Lifetime Achievement Award which was accepted by his great-granddaughter, Karen Brown-Donovan. In 2003, he was posthumously named a Sports Ethics Fellow by the Institute for International Sport
To create a network of people and resources that promote an appreciation of cycling and its health and fitness benefits, particularly targeting those communities disproportionately affected by health issues. Second to identify, develop and support athletes who will compete in domestic and international cycling competitions for the purpose of bringing about more diversity in the sport of cycling.