Ep. 40 Meet Shequaya Bailey, president of the Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club

Named for Black cyclist Marshall “Major” Taylor, this nonprofit wants to make sure all Pittsburghers recognize the joy and health benefits of bicycling

by Stephanie Brea
August 11, 2020

Shequaya Bailey & Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club

Named for African American cyclist Marshall “Major” Taylor, the Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club is a nonprofit dedicated to “bringing the joy and health benefits of cycling to Pittsburgh’s inner city urban neighborhoods.” In this episode, we talk with club president Shequaya Bailey about their history and their current slow roll rides that are open to anyone — even someone without a bicycle — thanks to an arrangement with Healthy Ride. Bailey also shares her thoughts on biking in the city and lists some of her favorite places to go post-ride. Additionally, she explains how being a member of the Black Foxes, an “international collective of unapologetically Black cyclists and outdoors people” focused on representation and reclaiming their narratives, brings her joy, energy and feelings of empowerment, “almost like a battery pack…revving each other up” especially now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBQj4SylBGi/

Who was Major Taylor?

Major Taylor [The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1898)]
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 26, 1878, Marshall “Major” Taylor was a competitive cyclist who at one point in his professional career was the best in the world. In 1899, he became the first Black American to win a world championship in cycling for his first place finish in the one-mile sprint. In his autobiography “The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World: The Story of a Colored Boy’s Indomitable Courage and Success Against Great Odds. An Autobiography,” Taylor details the racism and injuries he suffered while competing to serve as inspiration for other Black athletes who were trying to overcome prejudice and discriminatory treatment in sports. In addition to his autobiography, there are many books available to learn more about Major Taylor’s life and career, including one for kids. The University of Pittsburgh has some digital content, too. 

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Cycle through the PMTCC socials

Stop for a latte, leave with an LP

Most (all) small businesses have found themselves making changes to adapt during the pandemic, and coffee shops are no exception. In this episode, we highlight some of the “extras” you can shop for when you stop to grab a coffee from your favorite barista, including records, jewelry, and bouquets of fresh flowers.

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About this episode: This episode was hosted by Aadam Soorma, recorded remotely, engineered and edited by Epicast Studios.

Stephanie has been organizing events since 1998, starting with a series of motorcycle rides through the Arizona desert to support her father’s business. She’s probably crossed your name off a presale ticket list or served you a beer somewhere around town. An undergrad degree in poetry means she has lots of unpractical knowledge about iambic pentameter, while a brief stint as a copy editor for Alternative Press taught her that twenty one pilots is stylized in all lowercase letters. Wanna throw a party in a vacant parking lot? She’s interested. At the onset of COVID-19, Stephanie took on the role...

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