Major Motion Cycling Club, named after the 1899 world 1-mile champion Major Taylor, has always had a knack for finding and developing talented junior riders. Current US Pro Criterium Champion Rahsaan Bahati and Under - 23 Criterium Champion Justin Williams are two of the clubs most notable alumni.
Damon Turner and Dave Pullman are two men that have committed time, energy and resources to give young riders the opportunity and support to shine. We spoke with Damon Turner.
Acura LA Bike Tour: What does the man Major Taylor mean to your club?
Damon Turner: Major Taylor inspired the guys who started Major Motion, an adult club, in 1975. He means everything when you think about what he had to experience, the discrimination he endured. He was focused, determined and he was an amazing human being. It is his spirit that has allowed for the success of Major Motion Development, the junior team that grew out of the adult club.
ABT: Does he not get enough credit in terms of what he accomplished in the sport?
DT: I don't believe he is receiving the credit he deserves, but I feel now that he's getting some credit. There are bicycle clubs around the country naming themselves after him or who are inspired by his accomplishments. His hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts has raised a statue of him, and a Worcester non-profit, the Major Taylor Association, holds an annual bike event , the George Street Challenge, that is held on a street where he trained.
ABT: You guys have done an incredible job of getting African-American kids on their bikes. Tell us about the history and the methods to get kids riding.
DT: Dave and I started Major Motion Development with two juniors in 1997. We noticed that there were very few kids from our neighborhood in the sport of cycling. Basketball, football, sure, but not cycling. This is a sport that allows a kid to express his or her individuality and we wanted to see these kids have that opportunity. The very first kid was Rahsaan Bahati (currently of Rock Racing) and it just kind of started growing from there. Other kids saw his success and wanted to be a part of it. It was really word of mouth and when we'd compete at races kids want to be a part of the program. We knew there were plenty of potential Bahatis and we wanted to help them enter and excel in the sport. We never stop looking for new talent and any chance we get to expose young people to the Major Taylor legacy, we take it.
ABT: Any future talent we should be aware of?
DT: Yes, Cory and C J Williams, younger brothers of Justin Williams are placing in the top 5 of the senior races they're competing in. They're definitely keeping up the family tradition. Morgan Ryan, he's a great stage racer and Aasin Taylor, who has only been in the sport for a little over six months is another rising star. He recently placed 2nd in his first CAT-4 race. He's an incredibly smart rider, who we are really excited to be working with. And let's not forget the girls, Alexis Ryan, who's 15, and is doing Pro 1/2 women's races.
ABT: What's next for Major Motion?
DT: We are headed to Junior Road Nationals, Track Nationals and we got our 6th invite to the Le Tour de Abitibi, which is a UCI stage race in Canada. We're working hard and hope to be on the podium at all these!
ABT: Favorite Ride?
DT: I like Montrose, its a proven training ground that is bound to make you a better rider.
ABT: Favorite Shop?
DT: Shout out to all the bike shops that have supported Major Motion Development. We are grateful for the support and encouragement.