Cyclists gather and chat near the 18th and Vine District’s Gregg/Klice Community Center in March, where the Major Taylor Cycling Club of Kansas City prepared for its first Monday night group ride of 2022. When Mitchell Williams first joined the area’s bicycle scene, he didn’t see a lot of other people of color. It’s one reason he helped found the Major Taylor Cycling Club of Kansas City, and hosts Monday night rides open to anyone.
Growing up, Mitchell Williams was taught that bikes were toys. Once you reached 16 years old, it was time to put down the kickstand and pick up a set of car keys.
It wasn’t until he was in his 50s, and looking for a lifestyle change that could help keep him sober, when he realized riding his bike was still a lot of fun.
“When I was a kid, you’d ride a bicycle and you get that feeling of going downhill,” Williams said, “and the speed, and the rush, and the ‘WEEEE!’ I still get that ‘weeee’ experience now.”
Since picking it back up in middle-age, Williams’ riding has taken off. After retiring from a job in financial services, he eventually became the first African American president of the Kansas City Bicycle Club, now know as Cycling KC , one of the metro’s biggest bike nonprofits.
Back then, he said, “I did as much as I could to try to invite people of color and women to ride our club rides. It was difficult. I mean, they just […]