Author Topic: Burdens of Race and History  (Read 6056 times)

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Offline sbthomas

Burdens of Race and History
« on: July 05, 2004, 08:36:58 pm »
The "burdens of race and history"... see below:

Bicyclists in Louisville, Ky., are about to right a wrong committed there 105 years ago.
It was in Louisville in 1894 that the League of American Wheelmen, then the governing body of bicycle racing, voted to ban blacks.

http://www.majortaylorassociation.org/LAW.htm

Stephen

"Be the change you seek in the world", Stephen

Offline sbthomas

Burdens of Race and History
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2004, 09:28:37 pm »
Hi Stephen:

Major Taylor was an incredible athlete, yet the discrimination and
treatment he received on the track were horrendous.  He specialized in
track racing at a time when it was quite a popular spectator sport in
the US.  He was highly paid, but was refused lodging in many towns on
the racing circuit and, despite being a non-team sport, opponents would
"team" up against him in races.  Still he won... and won .... and won.
He was amazing.  There is a book about him that I have seen, but do not
own.  Starting a Major Taylor club in Pittsburgh would be an excellent
idea.  Regarding the other parts of your message, I have a couple of
suggestions:

1.  The Virginia ride is flat but it will be challenging for newcomers
to the sport.  That is a lot of miles (341) for people who have little
experience on a bike.  Many people can "tough it out" for one day, but
the daily grind of seven days of riding (saddle sores, etc.) could
easily discourage new riders.  Also, I believe most of the Virginia ride
is on roads and, despite the support from Adventure Cycling, riders
still have to contend with cars and traffic.  That can be intimidating
to new riders.  Do you plan training rides before the trip?  I'm
thinking that it would be good to organize some rides of increasing
length along the many bike trails in Western PA.  Then move on to roads.
If it would be helpful, I'd be happy to come along on these rides and
provide some tips on gear, bike handling, managing traffic, etc.

2. Yes, the cost of the Virginia ride is quite high.  I wonder if RKMF
might be willing to entertain a supplemental grant to help support the
trip.  Of course, you would know more about that.

3. You note that many of these men do not have bicycles.  Last year
Bicycling Magazine (Bicycling.com) teamed up with the TREK bicycle
company to provide TREK bicycles to a small community (I can't remember
where) to test the proposition that cycling could make a difference in
the quality of life in that community.  I heard that they planned to
continue this program.  I can't think of a better way for them to test
their theory than with your group.  Getting free bikes from TREK would
be a tremendous boost to your program.  Would you like me to find out
more about this initiative?

Kevin

"Be the change you seek in the world", Stephen

Offline mbrowne

Burdens of Race and History
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2004, 05:56:50 pm »
Dear Dr. Thomas and Kevin:
I would like to help in some way to make bikes available to those who do not have them. Kevin, what can I do to help you with soliciting Trek as a partner in this venture?


Offline sbthomas

Burdens of Race and History
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2004, 06:07:52 pm »
Mario,

I spoke with Rachael Gooen today from Adventure Cycling.  They will take the lead to help us get bikes.  They have an existing relationship with TREK... and we will work through them so as to avoide any confusion.

Stephen

"Be the change you seek in the world", Stephen

Offline sbthomas

Burdens of Race and History
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2004, 02:37:35 am »
Smithsonian Magazine.  Here is another excellent resource on the underground railroad.

"Traveling the long road to freedom, one step at a time"
http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues96/oct96/undergroundrr.html



"Be the change you seek in the world", Stephen

Offline sbthomas

Burdens of Race and History
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2004, 06:43:03 pm »
Dear Dr. Thomas,

I note with great interest your past efforts to bring attention to the
health concerns for minority Americans, and specifically, the recent
initiatives to encourage cycling as part of the solution.

Over the last year, I have been working on the same track, and have tried to
enlist the assistance and attention of the cycling industry.  My most recent
effort was to issue a "challenge" which was sent to over 20 cycling industry
leaders.  I have attached my paper for your perusal.  I am currently in
discussion with one cycling organization with the intention to pursue some
of my recommendations.  I would be very interested to hear your feedback.

If, in the future, it becomes beneficial to work together toward this common
goal, I would welcome the opportunity.

Yours Sincerely,

Marc de Rochefort
Rochefort Enterprises Inc.
Advertising/Special Projects/Marketing
P.O. Box 907
923 Washington St.
Port Townsend, WA  98368
United States
tel. +360-379-2640
fax. +360-379-2641
rochefort@waypoint.com





"Be the change you seek in the world", Stephen