The Reason for the Long Weekend: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Olympic Project for Human Rights by Griot Magazine

The first month of 2016 is halfway over, and that means our first long weekend of 2016 is just around the corner! The birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr is January 15, and the day will be observed on Monday the 18th.  

There’s rain in the forecast in San Francisco, but as you know we’re open daily – rain or shine – in case you want to celebrate Dr. King by enjoying the freedom of a bike ride! We have ponchos for sale in case you didn’t pack rain gear, though often the rain is more of a light mist than a downpour. If you’re looking for more silver linings in the rainclouds, remember that the threat of rain will keep the fair-weather crowds away… so you might even get the Golden Gate Bridge all to yourself!

In case that wasn’t enough to convince you to come out and ride, it’s OK. You can use the long weekend as a chance to read about “Major” Marshall Taylor, an American cycling legend who broke the color barrier and became a professional racer in 1896 at age 18. Smithsonian Magazine has a great introductory piece on the "Black Cyclone," and the Major Taylor Association website has tons more resources. 

Still want more civil rights and sports history? Read this fascinating Griot Magazine article about Peter Norman, the white Australian sprinter who won the Olympic bronze medal in 1968, just months after Dr. King was assassinated.  Norman wore a human rights badge in support of his fellow medalists, Tommie “the Jet” Smith and John Carlos, who raised their black-fisted gloves as a salute to Black Power. [photo credit: Griot Magazine]

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