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VeloNews Podcast: L&M Tourers, one of New York City’s first clubs for Black cyclists

On this week's episode of The VeloNews Podcast we hear the story of L&M Tourers, one of the first cycling clubs for Black riders in New York City.

On this week’s episode of The VeloNews Podcast we hear the story of L&M Tourers, one of New York City’s first clubs for Black cyclists.

Mildred Smith-Evans (center) and Mel Corbett (right) during a ride with L&M Tourers. Photo: Mel Corbett

The club was founded in the early 1970s by sisters Lucille Smith and Mildred Smith-Evans as a way to bring together the city’s burgeoning population of Black riders. The club morphed from a social club into an organized group with regular rides, routes, and cycling mentorship programs.

Mildred Smith-Evans during a ride with L&M Tourers.

Eventually, the group changed its name to the Major Taylor cycling club. Today, New York City’s Major Taylor Iron Riders club traces its lineage back to L&M Tourers.

Mildred Smith-Evans and Mel Corbett, one of the first club members, join the podcast to tell the history of the club and explain how it grew into Major Taylor Iron Riders. The two discuss the racism and bias they faced as black riders on the roads of New York City. And, they discuss the ways in which cycling can make itself more available to Black cyclists in 2020 and beyond.