Churn pedals for a cause with Cascade's Major Taylor Spinathon on Thursday, Feb. 21

3rd annual fundraiser takes place at Allstar Fitness in West Seattle

The fine folks at Cascade Bicycle Club have their annual Major Taylor Spinathon coming up on Feb. 21. The Major Taylor Project helps bring cycling into the lives of underserved youth at nearby schools including Chief Sealth in West Seattle and Evergreen in White Center.

Here are all the details from Cascade Bicycle Club

Next Thursday, February 21, Cascade Bicycle Club, Allstar Fitness, and Live Love Flow, will be hosting the 3rd annual Major Taylor Project Spinathon!

The Major Taylor Project has started its 5th year and has reached over 500 underserved and diverse youth in Seattle!

Visit the Spinathon registration page today to learn more about the event and register to spin for a great cause on Thursday, February 21!

The Major Taylor Project transforms and empowers underserved youth through bicycling, by promoting leadership, personal responsibility, and positive physical & social development. The Major Taylor Project is a year-round, youth development program produced by the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation, integrating bicycling, healthy living, bicycle maintenance, road safety awareness, community activism, and the importance of working toward individual goals.

The Major Taylor Project Spinathon is a benefit to help us reach more students at our existing Major Taylor Project sites and to support the newly created Major Taylor Project Youth Leadership Retreat. You can show your support by Spinning 1, 2, or all 3hrs! To quote a participant from last years event, ''It's like a Dance Party on Bikes!" We'll have food, refreshments, and some amazing door prizes! Come, reconnect with friends, and have a great time!

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Plus, another chance to help out on Feb. 22: Cascade Bicycle Club celebrates diversity in bicycling with Nelson Vails

February is Black History Month and a time to celebrate diversity in bicycling. Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation's Major Taylor Project and the Rainier Riders are pleased to host a special evening with USA Cycling modern-day legend, Nelson Vails, on Friday, Feb. 22.

Come meet Nelson Vails on Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at REI Seattle. Tickets are available in advance through Brown Paper Tickets. Ticket prices are $10 for members, $12 for general public.

Vails was the youngest of 10 children growing up in the Harlem projects who triumphed over almost insurmountable odds to become the first African-American to win an Olympic medal in bicycling.

Growing up, Vails started racing in Central Park at a young age. He also worked as a New York City bicycle messenger to support his family, trained in Central Park after work, and raced locally on weekends. Nicknamed "The Cheetah", Nelson Vails rode furiously while working, training and racing.

In 1981 he earned a spot on the U.S. national team and won a gold medal in the 1983 Pan-American games in Venezuela. The following year he represented the U.S. at the 1984 summer Olympics in Los Angeles where he won the silver medal in the individual 1000 meter Match Sprints, becoming the first African-American to earn an Olympic medal in bicycling. Watch a video of him in action: http://youtu.be/8NXi04trxdE

“Nobody had more talent, charisma and just plain old class than Nelson Vails,” remembers Joe Platzner, a Cascade Bicycle Club Board member who idolized Nelson Vails growing up track racing on the East Coast. “Nelson was a consummate showman. You never knew what he would do for fun, but you could count on it. It wasn't all goofing around; Nelson could switch to ‘business time’ with the best of them and race his heart out.”

Vails continued to race professionally until 1995, and was inducted in the U.S. Bicycle Hall of Fame in 2009.

Ticket sale proceeds of the evening with Nelson Vails will benefit Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation’s Major Taylor Project.

Major Taylor Clubs are currently in Global Connections High School in SeaTac, The YES Foundation of White Center with Evergreen High School, Sand Point Transitional Housing in Seattle, Chief Sealth High School in Seattle and Union Gospel Mission / Seattle Urban Academy.

“Nelson Vails is a great example of where a bike can take you, and that’s what Major Taylor is very much about -- new experiences and adventures because of the bike,” said Ed Ewing, Major Taylor Project Manager. “For several of our Major Taylor students, the bike is allowing them to explore their world for the first time. They’re exploring and learning new things about their community.”

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