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Highlights from the 2024 Major Taylor International Cycling Convention

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining the Major Taylor International Cycling Alliance for their annual convention, this year held in my hometown of Chicago.

The Major Taylor Convention brings together Major Taylor cycling clubs from across North America to celebrate the life and legacy of Major Taylor, perhaps cycling’s greatest champion despite enduring a lifetime of racism and challenges coming to fame in the Jim Crow Era.

Learn more about the life and legacy of Major Taylor via our recent webinar here!

Hundreds of riders enjoyed excursions to Chicago’s Major Taylor Trail, Major Taylor’s final resting place, and other landmarks throughout the south side including Bronzeville, Chicago’s Black Metropolis.

Major Taylor supporters also learned event planning best practices, bike maintenance tips from SRAM, bike club leadership skills, and how to advocate for bicycling at the federal level in engaging workshop sessions. Of particular advocacy focus this year is the bill, now in the House and Senate, to award Major Taylor the Congressional Gold Medal — the highest honor Congress can bestow. This is legislation the League has been advocating for since US Representatives Jonathan Jackson (IL-01) and Jim Baird (IN-04) introduced the bill earlier this year. Convention attendees heard an update on the bill’s progress from Representative Jackson himself, whose district includes much of the South Side. 

We are glad to see bipartisan support for this long-overdue recognition of Major Taylor’s legacy, but there’s still work to do. You can join this effort to honor Major Taylor by emailing your representative and asking them to co-sponsor HR 6672, a bill “in recognition of his significance to the nation as an athlete, trailblazer, role model, and equal rights advocate.” 

The League is proud to have once again sponsored the Major Taylor International Cycling Alliance’s convention. Big thanks to the MTICA for hosting us!