Annual Spriggs Lecture on Nantucket

African Americans and Massachusetts Cycling History

Suggested Donation: $10

There is a long but little-known history of African American cycling. High wheelers and tricyclists of the 1880s gave way to Cambridgeport’s Riverside Cycle Club and Kittie Knox, her cycling on Martha’s Vineyard, and protests against the “color bar” in cycling in the 1890s. They preceded Marshall “Major” Taylor, a world champion who joined with a “band of rivals” to form the first integrated professional sports team in America, and he then raced in Europe and Australia in the 1900s. 


Revere Beach racers of the 1910 and 1920s, included Hardy Jackson, a New York City racer and founder of the international cyclists, and a Barbadian
immigrant “second” Major Taylor – Ned Chandler – all had a role to play in both cultural and sports development.  

Beyond that, the bicycling renaissance of the 1970s featured the Backward Cyclists and the racing Bulldogs riding along Blue Hill Avenue, and Roxbury bike-commuters to the Charlestown Navy Yard, and the production of Rhygin bikes in Massachusetts.
Lorenz J. Finison will talk about his sequel to Boston’s Cycling Craze (presented at Boston’s African Meeting House in 2014) in Boston’s Twentieth Century Bicycling Renaissance. Both autographed books will be available for purchase. 

29 York Street, Nantucket, MA, USA