photo courtesy of Greg Masterson
Greg Masterson walked into the Yellow Jersey Bike Shop (now closed) in South DeKalb County, Georgia back in the early 1990s when he first moved from the northeastern United States to Metro Atlanta, and has barely gotten off his bike since (or so it seems when imagining his average total miles). Greg rides about 7,000 miles a year and has served as the president of the Metro Atlanta Cycling Club for the last fifteen years or so. (For perspective, I ride an hour or four almost every day and I log about 2,300 miles a year. Granted, I stop a lot to talk to people, take street photography, do leaps of faith, and otherwise lollypadoodle.)
Known as MACC (with the website URL maccattack.com), the club’s stated mission is to promote cycling in the Black community and to build camaraderie among all cyclists.
In order to be a member of MACC, there is a pre-application seven-ride requirement with MACC members, including demonstration of specific riding skills, plus a riding education test, an application, and a small annual membership fee. The club members are proud that they exemplify bike etiquette and community while out and about on their bikes and serve as rolling educators to others.
We had a chance to chat the other night, and Greg told me the Major Taylor events in schools (when youth are taught about this famous Black cycling champion) have been curtailed for now; and the annual MACC fundraiser, One Love Century, went online this year, which was a fun and successful event. Here’s a little summary about it from a MACC Facebook post:
From the 3-jet flyover start, through the La Flamme Rouge, to the Finish line, it was an awesome fun experience. Riders traveled the real world elevation of a 25-mile classic One Love Century route including the infamous Big Ugly climb. Along the way riders, some decked out in our One Love Century kit, were cheered on by sideline spectators and visually reminded of our generous sponsors via road signs and billboards. Some riders expectantly raced to win prizes while others rolled at moderate paces enjoying the scenery and fellowship. On the rider’s chat stream folks called out “don’t forget to hydrate”, “hole left”, “catch my wheel”, “see you at the finish”, etc. The only things missing from this ride was our famous hospitable rest stops and festive after ride party!
Greg, who lives in Stone Mountain, is not doing any of the big in-person group rides right now but is continuing with a smaller one. He prefers not to ride alone, and he loves the community and increased safety he finds in cycling together.
In closing, I would like to draw your attention to Greg’s powerful and poignant letter on the MACC website in relation to the club’s support for Black Lives Matter. Additionally, you can “meet” the nine-member Board of Directors for the Metro Atlanta Cycling Club here.
Thank you, Greg, and all the members of the Metro Atlanta Cycling Group, for all you do.