March is Women's History Month, and we're celebrating the wave making women that shape Emporia…
One of the things we’re looking forward to in 2021 is bringing some Major Taylor Club Kansas City Chapter riders out to Emporia to experience UNBOUND Gravel and the Flint Hills. We’ll be introducing the KC Chapter members on our social channels and blog every Monday, so get excited to meet some fellow gravel grinders!
Meet Mitchell Williams:
Hello, I’m Mitchell Williams! I am a father of 2 and a grandfather of 7. I’m enjoying my semi-retirement status from the financial service industry. I am a League Certified Cycling Instructor, LCI, and I teach bicycle safety to many different age groups in the community. I am also the current President of the Major Taylor Cycling Club of Kansas City!
As a child growing up in Texas, I rode my bicycle all of the time. I can still remember my 1st bicycle and the experience of learning to ride. I must have been 5 or 6 years old. I can remember as a young teenager using my bicycle to deliver the local newspaper to earn a few dollars to spend. I had it all tricked out with streamers and cardboard that would rub my spokes and make noise, I had my bell and my lights. I was the stuff. The sad part is that in my community, the bicycle was looked at as a toy and not as a means of transportation so as I
got older the bicycle rides faded. I didn’t pick up bicycle riding again until I was in my late 40’s. I went to a big box store and bought a mountain bike. I was hooked and the next year I went to a sporting goods store and bought a comfort bike. I purchased my first road bike in 2005 and used it to ride in my 1st charity event and the rest is history.
I am one of the original founders of the Major Taylor cycling club of KC! My favorite part about being a member is when we ride through the Black neighborhoods and the kids run out to wave at us as well as the adults. We always wave, ring our bells, anything. We do this to show people in my community that they can be healthy and vigorous by riding a bicycle. It’s a low impact sport and anyone can do it. You don’t need a $10,000 bike, nor do you need Lycra and spandex to ride a bicycle.
I enjoy riding gravel because it takes me back to my childhood in Texas. At that time, the city didn’t have much tarmac, but we had a lot of dirt roads and gravel. I would ride or walk out in the “country” and I always felt a sense of oneness and serenity. Riding gravel does the same for me now. I see nature. I hear sounds that take be back to my childhood. I can feel my heart beat, my breathing increase as I zone out.
My favorite snack to take on a ride, or eat at home, is PBJ. I love peanut butter, PBJ and bananas are my go to fuel.
My dream place to ride would be somewhere on the route of the Great Divide. I intend to do it soon!
Meet Cyrus Cruz:
Where he’s from: Detroit, Michigan.
How long he’s been cycling: I have been cycling for 10 years and I’ve been enjoying it since childhood.
Favorite part about being in the Major Taylor Cycling Club: I am humbled to represent our small Asian American community here in Michigan, where cycling is booming and attracting people from all walks of life.I am excited to ride with MTCCKC and to meet people and share stories of our common passion in cycling.
Favorite part about riding/riding gravel: Truth is that this is my first gravel event, and to be in Unbound Gravel, the grand daddy of them all, I am so pumped up!
Favorite snack to fuel a ride: Usually PB&J and rice crispies, but if I can have BBQ then who am I to refuse?
Dream Ride: Riding in Alpe D’huez in France.
Meet Denesha Snell:
Where she’s from: Kansas City
How long she’s been cycling: About 7 years ago I decided to get healthy to help control my diabetes. I already worked out quite a bit, but cycling added something fun and exciting to the mix. It’s been really fun watching people (myself included) progress with each passing year.
Favorite part about Major Taylor Club: My favorite part about riding with this club is that I have the opportunity to ride with people I wouldn’t normally get to hang out with. Riding with a variety of riders is fun as well! We have a range of riders from beginners to those who have ridden professionally and there is a place for everyone.
Favorite part about riding/riding gravel: I love riding gravel because it gets me out of the city. Sometimes we ride gravel as a group and even in those times I get moments of solitude where it’s just me and nature. I love those times because my mind can wander and I’m able to lose myself in my surroundings.
Favorite snack to fuel a ride: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, Dates, and Superstarch!
Dream place to ride: South Africa, winery ride anyone?