Marshall Major Taylor
The legacy of Indy icon Marshall "Major" Taylor, the world's first Black sports superstar, is celebrated across the Circle City. Taylor was born and raised in Indianapolis before becoming the first Black world-champion professional cyclist. Major Taylor not only had success in cycling but also paved the way for minority athletes to be vocal about both racial and social justice.
His story is told through interactive museums, public art pieces, special events, and places and spaces that celebrate cylcing in Indy. With the newest expansion of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and the anticipation of city-wide festivals in 2022, there's never been a better time to explore Major Taylor's legacy in the city.
Bicentennial Legends Mural
Dedicated on September 9, 2021, this five-story mural of internationally recognized cyclist and Indy native Marshall “Major” Taylor (1878-1932) adorns the east-facing exterior of the Barnes & Thornburg LLP building, located at 11 S. Meridian St. The massive creation marks the first mural in the City of Indianapolis’ “Bicentennial Legends” series and is being completed by Chicago-based artist Shawn Michael Warren.
Major Taylor - Fastest Cyclist in the World
Indiana State Museum
Discover the life and career of the first Black world-champion professional cyclist, Major Taylor, in a new exhibit at the Indiana State Museum. The unique display will allow guests to see artifacts from Taylor’s career, learn about bicycle safety and design, tinker with bikes and bike parts, and test their skills and times on stationary bikes. The Major Taylor exhibit will open on March 5 and run through October 23. The exhibit is included with general admission.
Major Taylor Velodrome
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Major Taylor Velodrome is a 333-meter-long bike track that is home to the Major Taylor Racing League. The Velodrome plays host to races and cycling events year-round and has regularly hosted USA Cycling Track National Championships. All races and events at the Velodrome are free to attend.
"Talking Wall" Sculpture
525 N. Blackford St.
African American artist Bernard Williams pays tribute to Major Taylor with his sculpture titled “Talking Wall.” The outdoor sculpture is a collection of symbols fused together to tell a story and promote a discussion around African American history in Indy. Major Taylor is depicted in the sculpture on his bike.
Markers on Public Trails
Monon Trail and Fall Creek Parkway Trail
Major Taylor has recognition on two Indianapolis public trails. You can find the first marker on the Monon Trail at the 38th St. intersection and the second marker on Fall Creek Parkway Trail just east of 31st St. These plaques recognize the rich history of cycling in Indianapolis, including Major Taylor’s one-mile record at Capital City Track and the construction of Newby Oval,which attracted many prominent cyclists to Indianapolis.
"World Record" Craft Cocktail
Cannon Ball Lounge
Cannon Ball Lounge at Hotel Indy celebrates the legends of Indianapolis through specialty craft cocktails. Pay homage to Major Taylor by imbibing the “World Record,” a sparkling, cranberry gin cocktail, at the rooftop lounge.
"Road to Deliberate Dreams" Mural
Indianapolis International Airport
Muralist Marcus Akinlana created “Road to Deliberate Dreams” to showcase the unique spirit that Hoosiers bring to the industry of transportation. Major Taylor is featured speeding across the 40-foot mural alongside traditional modes of transportation of trains, planes, and more. The mural celebrates Indiana’s growth, and the prevalence of Major Taylor’s legacy adds character to the story.