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Monday, October 03, 2005
By Yokota Fritz


It's a day late and past the weekend, but there's a lot of news to catch up on.

Major Taylor Flaming Sprockets

100 years ago, Marshall "Major" Taylor was the fastest cyclist in the world, dominating at popular track cycling events. When he was allowed to participated. You see, the fastest man on two wheels was a black man.

Today, Major Taylor serves as an inspiration to black cyclists in Kansas City, Missouri, where the Major Taylor bike group works to encourage recreational riding among African Americans.

"I’ve lived in KC my entire life, and for more than half of it I’ve been riding a bicycle," group member Kenneth Walker said. "And I can’t recollect a time when I have ever seen a group of African-Americans riding a bicycle together in my city."

Read more.

Bike sales up

This story is all over the Internet.
More bicycles than cars have been sold in the United States over the past 12 months, with rising gas prices prompting commuters to opt for two wheels instead of four.

Not since the oil crisis of 1973 have bicycles sold in such big numbers, according to Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong, an industry association.

"Bicycle sales are near an all-time high with 19 million sold last year -- close to the 20 million sold during the oil embargo in the early 1970s," said Blumenthal.

Bicycles are back mainly because the sharp increase in gas prices has made them a practical alternative, said Paul Gaiser, owner of Scooter Commuter in Bethesda, Maryland.

Bike sales are booming even in far off Zimbabwe.
The humble bicycle is becoming a vehicle of choice as the Southern African country wrestles with its worst fuel crisis since independence in 1980.

"The fuel crisis is definitely having a major influence as more and more people turn to cycling," said Yunis Mahomed, owner of Manica Cycles, the capital's oldest bicycle shop.


More drugs in cycling

Retired Belgian cycling star Johan Museeuw and six other riders were charged with possession of performance-enhancing drugs and will have a first court hearing next week.

More bikes result in more conflict

More students are riding bikes at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. Taheerah Abdul-Rahmaan, who rides a bike, weighs in that cyclists should pay attention and obey the rules of the road.

Meanwhile, Jenna Hughes complains about all the cyclists riding around campus and writes that Sacramento State University should paint lanes on the roads to make it clear that cyclists belong on the road, not the sidewalk.

Holly Mullen in Salt Lake City reminds her fellow cyclists that they really should obey the rules of the road. "Proudly sporting their corporate-logo-emblazoned jerseys and shorts, they formed their own little peloton - which forced two riders outside the designated bike lane and into the road. When a vehicle gingerly passed them, those two responded with the middle-finger salute. Not one of the pack made any move to ride single file. Thanks, gentlemen, for all you did at that moment to build the public image of cyclists."



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