Cascade announces new south end fundraiser ride for Major Taylor Project

MTPCascade has announced a brand new ride, and it sounds a lot different than their standard events. The Ride for Major Taylor starts in West Seattle and heads down through White Center, SeaTac and Burien, neighborhoods where the club’s Major Taylor Project is most active.

“We see this event as an opportunity for people to get in touch with a part of Seattle they might not otherwise see,” said Ed Ewing, Cascade’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion in a press release (posted below). “To discover the richness and diversities of these communities while supporting the community building and youth-empowering work that the Major Taylor Project is doing in these communities.”

The ride costs $30 to register, and there are youth rates for people under 18. But on top of registration, riders can also donate to help fund the Major Taylor Project. The various donation levels and rewards are outlined in the press release below.

From Cascade:

The Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation is pleased to announce an exciting addition to our spring line-up. Come explore new communities and improve lives through bicycling with the Ride for Major Taylor on April 18.

A fundraiser for the Major Taylor Project, Ride for Major Taylor is a 25-mile urban journey through West Seattle, Delridge, Burien, Seatac and White Center.

With this new ride we invite you to explore the culturally rich and diverse communities of Southeast Seattle where our Major Taylor Project is introducing underserved youth to the joys, recreation and empowerment of cycling.

“We see this event as an opportunity for people to get in touch with a part of Seattle they might not otherwise see,” said Ed Ewing, Cascade’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion. “To discover the richness and diversities of these communities while supporting the community building and youth-empowering work that the Major Taylor Project is doing in these communities.”

Now in its seventh year, the Major Taylor Project is a year-round youth development program focused on introducing youth from diverse communities to cycling and creating an inclusive culture of bicycling that will continue to future generations. The Major Taylor currently serves eight schools in South Seattle and two in Tacoma.

“I think this new event is a great idea,” said Rick Harwood, Principal at Global Connections High School where the Major Taylor Project has been active since 2009. “Cascade riders get to experience what our Major Taylor students do when they go on their after school group rides and see the schools where our clubs are based. Most exciting will be that the Major Taylor students will get to host this Cascade event at their schools and in their neighborhoods which will get them a strong sense of pride.”

“As a resident of White Center, I am really excited that the Ride for Major Taylor is coming through our communities,” added Pat Thompson, Executive Director of the Yes! Foundation. “So many White Center kids have participated in the Major Taylor Movement and I’m happy the greater community gets to see what these young people have been up to.”

Somewhat removed from Seattle’s popular bike routes such as the Lake Washington Boulevard or the Burke-Gilman Trail, Ewing is excited to introduce this new route to avid riders.

“There is some great riding, great roads and great climbs in this part of town,” said Ewing. “I hope people will ride to the startline, explore the area’s great businesses and maybe incorporate this route into their training rides.”

At the same time, Ewing hopes this ride will bring out new riders.

“We really hope neighbors, parents, friends and teachers of the Major Taylor Project students will ride,” Ewing commented.

With a beginner-friendly distance and a low registration fee, Cascade aims to make this event more accessible, and hopes to see a diverse ridership.

The Ride for Major Taylor is the biggest Major Taylor Program fundraising event and donations and pledges are encouraged.

“It’s easy to underestimate the bicycle. You think it’s just for fun but it’s about kids getting independence and gaining confidence, awareness about the city and access to different places and experiences,” said Thompson. “I think the Major Taylor Project is one of, if not the, best youth programs in the city because its impact is so multi-tiered. There isn’t any reason not to support the Project by riding, donating to or sponsoring this event.”

Donations are rewarded at the following levels:

  • Bronze donation level – Base registration fee plus an additional $40. You’ll get ride entry, food, a water bottle plus a pair of Major Taylor socks.
  • Silver donation level – Base fee plus an additional $80. You’ll get ride entry, food, a water bottle plus a Major Taylor T-shirt.
  • Gold donation level – Base fee plus an additional $200.You’ll get ride entry, food, a water bottle plus a Major Taylor T-shirt and Jersey
  • Platinum donation level – Base fee plus an additional $450. You’ll get ride entry, food, a water bottle plus a Major Taylor T-shirt, Jersey and an Ortlieb Velocity backpack.​For everyone who reaches the platinum level they will be entered in a drawing to win a bicycle. The top fund raiser for the event will be awarded two Alaska Airlines flight certificates valid for travel anywhere Alaska flies, including Mexico and Hawaii.

Donations for the Ride for Major Taylor help support:

  • Bike programs that support more than 120 underserved high school students annually 20 weeks of riding instruction during the school year
  • Field trips like the Youth Action Retreat, cyclocross racing and velodrome classes
  • MTP student sponsorship for Cascade rides, including the Group Health STP and Flying Wheels.
  • A safe environment for students to build self-confidence, make friends and develop healthy communication skills

About the Communities:

Delridge: The Delridge neighborhood is located on the eastern side of West Seattle and cradled between Camp Long Ridge and Puget Ridge. The Delridge Neighborhood has a long history of many different ethnic groups forming a just-get-it-done attitude. Residents pride themselves with a strong work ethic. Whether it is long shifts at the steel plant or back-breaking work cleaning up Camp Long, you will find a deep sense of satisfaction. The Major Taylor Project and Chief Sealth High School have operated in partnership since 2011.

Burien: Since its incorporation in 1993, Burien, has been busy defining and redesigning itself as a vibrant King County city. Its residents see Burien, a 100-year-old community with a rich heritage, as a friendly community with well-established neighborhoods and a small-town atmosphere. The Major Taylor Project and Burien’s Highline High School have operated in partnership since 2011.

Seatac: Just 10 square miles in size, the city of SeaTac is located halfway between Seattle and Tacoma and has a population of about 25,000. Military Road was originally part of the Fort Steilacoom-Fort Bellingham military road, and was built to facilitate travel between the forts. Prior, the SeaTac area was traversed by Native American groups traveling between saltwater shorelines and the interior, and The Duwamish and Mukleshoot tribal people had utilized the area since ancient times. The Major Taylor Project and Seatac’s Global Connections High School have operated in partnership since 2009.

White Center: White Center has the distinct characteristics of an historic streetcar-era suburb, and has retained most of the original buildings constructed during 1912-1933. During WWII, White Center garnered the nickname: Rat City. The possible origins of this name are diverse. The local wartime military establishment was called the Reserve Army Training Center or the Recruitment and Training Center, depending on who tells the story. The Major Taylor Project and White Center’s YES! Foundation have operated in partnership since 2009.

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