American Resilience

Remembering Major Taylor – Pro Biker Who Won First Race at Age 13

Marshall W. “Major” Taylor is the fastest man to ride a bicycle you’ve probably never heard of.

When an NYC pro racing team signed him in 1898 at age 19, bicycle racing was huge – consistently selling out Madison Square Garden.

Major Taylor – a name he got in his early days performing bicycle tricks in full military garb – won his first race at 13. His then boss Louis “Birdie” Munger, a former pro cyclist and bike manufacturer himself, decided it was time for the big fish to leave the small pond of Indiana. He became a professional biker at the age of 18.

 

Photo: Unknown

 

Birdie became Taylor’s race manager and father figure in The Big Apple. He stood up with him in the face of the sport’s widespread racism. During races, Taylor faced verbal and physical attacks from other cyclists but never lost his nerve. He went on to set several world records in the sprint discipline.

In 1828, a few years before his death, he published a memoir called The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World. He died poor, but he’s honored in both Indiana with the Major Taylor Velodrome, and in cycling clubs across the USA.

Sometimes it takes time until you shine.

You want do know who else is fast? This here kung-fu nun biker gang

JP Sears American Resilience

JP Sears: Comedy and Sincerity Go Hand in Hand

Making fun of yourself can be the opening to truly understanding yourself.

You may have stumbled across JP Sears’ comedy videos taking loving pokes at ‘New Age’ lifestyles. He’s a Youtube sensation who first caught the eye of folks online in 2013. Now, with more than 600k subscribers, he makes fun of everything from the essential oil fad, gluten intolerance, astrology, and Bitcoin.

His jokes are good—sometimes too good—and make us question ourselves a bit. That is exactly his point, these jokes roast himself too. Humor keeps us humble, it is the opening of a new conversation stripped of ego.

After dropping out of college, Sears began studying holistic cultures at age 18, going on to become a life coach. After gaining recognition as someone with an acute sense of humor, he went on to write a book called How to be Ultra Spiritual – “a 12 1/2 Step Guide to Spiritual Superiority”.

 

 

“I needed it for self-therapy because so much of the New Age culture and New Age practices are a part of my life and a very beneficial part of my life, yet there’s another side to the beneficial coin for everything,” Sears told the Charleston City Newspaper.

“I was finding myself having egotistical agendas and judgments hiding within my new age and spiritual practices. The videos and the book [How to be Ultra Spiritual] became a way for me to shine the light of awareness on the shadow side of me.”

Sears compares his humor and sincerity with his left hand and right hand—both are different and don’t work quite as well alone.

Feature photo: Jonathan Boncek / Scott Suchy

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