Bicycle Tag

Major Taylor Iron Riders

Thoroughly enjoyed watching this and learning about the Major Taylor Iron Riders. I did this illustration of the original L&M Riders. As a former kid who loved riding and who has gotten back on in the past two years I’m really excited about riding again.

Dig this? Check out this piece about Tony Coleman (Bikes 4 Life) and this mini comic about BMX riding.

Black is Beautiful 2020 – Justin Williams

This is Justin Williams, one of the fastest people on a bicycle right now. Justin is from South Central Los Angeles by way of Belize. He grew up with cycling in his blood and started racing at the age of 14. He’s 30 now and has been a bit busy not only winning races but blazing a path for more Black folks and people of color to enter the very white world of cycling. After racing with many teams and trying to assimilate into this world, he decided to create his own team (Legion of Los Angeles) and just be himself. That means bringing some style the cycling world isn’t used to seeing. It also means providing mentorship and a home for more to start racing. As a young man he mentioned being inspired by Rahsaan Bahati (cyclist) and is inspiring countless people young and old. People are literally coming up to him and his younger brother Cory Williams (who also races) and asking them to sign their copies of Bicycling magazine (where I first saw him).

Justin described racing by not only using your legs, but your shoulders, you head, your mind, and your whole body to win. And win he does. Justin is the 2018/2019 Road Race National Champion, the 2018/19 Crit National Champ, a 10 time National champion, the 2018 UCI Cross Country Classic, 2017 PRT Dana Point Grand Prox, 2017 B.C. Superweek Ladner Grand Prix, and the 2017 Sprint Class Grand Prix winner. Known for his speed and power Justin has raced all over the US and internationally. Besides having family support he is also sponsored by Specialized Bicycles, Shimano, Rapha, and MedTerra CBD’s. Most people consider the Tour De France the pentacle of racing, but I think Justin is bringing more eyes to the “Crit” or closed circuit course where you have to be the first in shorter faster races. He is living Black history. Follow his journey.

Wanna see more? Check out:
Greg Liggins– Bmx rider

Sources: State Bicycles, Cycling Weekly, WSJ, Velo news, and Med Terra

Daddy Thoughts 4- Bicycle

I learned to ride a bike when I was very young. I don’t remember my dad or my mom showing me, although I’m sure they did. I remember teaching myself and my uncle Raymond helping me. I remember him pushing me to go and him telling me or encouraging me to fall. And while this idea scared my son, it worked for me. I fell hella times and I learned. I fell off the bike, I got back up. My son is now 8; got his first bike at the age of 3 or 4 and was never really interested in riding it that much. He really liked a scooter when he got to kinder-garden but was unimpressed by the bicycle at 5. And when I tried to take the training wheels off, forget it! He was adamant about leaving them to say the least. I also kind of told him to just fall first and get it over with. I said “you’re going to do a whole lot of falling so just do it now and get over any fear of it”. That didn’t work.

Fast forward three years later. I think I might have scared him just a little. Although I was a Bmx fanatic at the age of 7 or 8, I did not pressure him anymore about riding. I just thought “you’ll pick it up with some kids you want to ride with” someday. Low and behold, his Mami takes him to hang with his friends (Sister 6yrs /brother 5 yrs) and he learns in a day. No more awkward balancing. No more excuses or strange stares at the mention of riding bikes. Before I saw the video of the first ride he proudly shared the news with me when we got home to grandma’s house. I took out his old bike (which is very small for him now), took off the training wheels, and he took off.

There I was, in the midst of the day to day grind, thinking I knew what it meant to be a parent and to “see” my son; and I was blown away with amazement and pride again. It was like seeing that first step, feeling the first tooth, or watching him pull himself up. We must of rode for 20 or 30 minutes. It was great. I realized once again how strong his character is because I just gave him space when he asked for it. He came to the bike (which is really a metaphor for anything) when he was “ready”.

A week or so later we’re riding again. Racing up and down the hill on grandmas block. He’s triumphantly beat me down the hill several times already. But on a race with me, him, and Grandpa Gary he looses his handle. And bam, his first crash! Scraped up pretty good, but not life threatening he roars screaming in pure terror. This scrape, that burn, the feeling is brand new and it hurts. I quickly put on my Doctor voice picking him up and taking him to clean the wounds as he screams more. Amidst creams and pleading with me not to clean it with any disinfectants. After throwing his hands up, he tells me several times that he doesn’t want to die and I finally clean the wounds. Lord, I tried not to laugh. He’s a cancer, very very dramatic child. He then limps into the living room.

Two hours later he tells me he’s ready to get back on the bike. My smile inside, a sense of fatherly pride was so big I wanted to cry. At bedtime I told him as I put the covers on him how proud of him I was that he fell. And that he got back up.