Major Taylor Project Resumes March 22
Bike clubs will resume at 12 or more locations in Seattle and Tacoma.
“We hope that we can provide at least a little bit of relief to families and youths who have suffered from isolation and inactivity over this incredibly trying year.”
The Major Taylor Project (MTP) is preparing for the resumption of its youth bike clubs the week of March 22 at multiple locations in Seattle and Tacoma.
In Seattle, roughly six clubs will meet in Magnuson Park and in the Rainier Beach, White Center and Meadowbrook neighborhoods. In Tacoma, six clubs will meet at the IDEA, SAMI, Mount Tahoma and Chief Leschi schools.
“An incredible amount of work has gone into developing new community partnerships and COVID protocols to provide youths with a safe way to exercise and explore their community” says Cascade Education Director Stephen Rowley. “We hope that we can provide at least a little bit of relief to families and youths who have suffered from isolation and inactivity over this incredibly trying year.”
MTP consists of leadership development, weekly rides, local park explorations, opportunities to train for and ride in bicycling events, and a chance for students to build and keep their own bikes. In a typical year, the project reaches hundreds of youths annually in underserved Seattle-area and Tacoma neighborhoods where residents speak more than 70 languages and represent more than 80 nationalities. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the class sizes are smaller this spring.
MTP staff are now brainstorming how to safely transport students to rides and events outside of their community, with the goal of providing opportunities to explore new areas by bike. Other ideas being considered include bringing MTP students to a trailhead to try mountain biking, riding on gravel roads, or collaborating with the Seattle Pedaling Relief Project to make food bank deliveries.
The Education team is also working out details for a capstone ride, possibly ending by participating in the Ride for Major Taylor in June. Previously, students would end the season by riding STP, which will be a virtual ride again in 2021 due to COVID-19. “We want to figure out a big season-ending ride to finish the season with a bang,” Grant says.
Adds Tacoma MTP Coordinator Josh Stowell: “It's been so exciting to get MTP up and running and getting youths back on bikes."
Many graduates of the program return to become paid ride leaders for MTP. Learn more about the fun and rewarding aspects of being an MTP ride leader by reading our story, “Teaching the Joys of Bicycling as a Major Taylor Project Ride Leader.”
Learn about legendary Black bike racer and world champion Marshall “Major” Taylor.