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I just finished reading Major, by Todd Balf. The book is a great read -- tons of drama.

"Major" Taylor's parents left the south for Indianapolis after the civil war. Through an odd series of events, Taylor, as a young child, was not only insulated from most of the era's prevalent racism, but he also got a bicycle. He became, arguably, the fastest cyclist in early track racing -- at the time a sporting phenomenon.

Taylor's story is fantastic. Also amazing is the speedy evolution of bikes in their early years. Balf looks at how bikes helped roll over gender, race and class barriers in the Gilded Age. And it's an interesting and lesser-known story of race relations in America.

Leslie