Archive About MACC (Long text)

Written by Joseph Edwards

OurĀ  Mission: To promote cycling in the black community and build camaraderie among all cyclist.

The Metro Atlanta Cycling Club (or MACC as it is commonly known) was born in the mid 1980's out of the the now defunct Yellow Jersey Bicycle Shop in the South Dekalb area of Metropolitan Atlanta. It was a product of Larry Anderson and Dikobe McFarlane who envisioned bringing the sport of cycling back to the black community.

The group was basically comprised of the same type of riders which characterize the group today. This was 90s MACClargely a group of black professionals, men and women of various ages employed in many different fields ranging from law, to medicine, to computers etc. The one important thing that they all had in common was an enthusiasm for bicycle riding.

Some of the first members of the club included: Larry and Betty Anderson, Stan and Julie Foster, Art Durden, Marvin Anderson, Curtis Cobb, Dikobe McFarlane, Walter Williams, Stan Smith, Melvin Washington, Stefan Hood, and Fred Butler.

Rider ability varied, but most could have been considered fast 'tourists'. If you have ever participated on a MACC ride within the past few years, then you will know that this is no longer true of most menbers. Many MACC members can still be considered fast tourists, but the groups ability today is wide ranging. Members have participated in most types of bicycle riding including 100 mile century rides, criterium and road races, mountain biking, and even pedaling around on the local velodrome.

To become a MACC member was not terribly difficult. However, there was a basic test to join, and shortly after its inception, MACC Guidelines were drafted to govern riders on and off the bicycle. For example, members were expected to obey all traffic rules, to call out all road obsticles when riding in a group, and to be clean and neat at all times - even down to the socks! MACC prides itself on the conduct of its members and this is a distinguishing characteristic of the group in the Atlanta cycling community. Unlike most cycling clubs the club has never had outside sponsors. Members support the club entirely through yearly dues.

The Yellow Jersey bicycle shop was started for much the same reason as the cycling club - to bring the sport of cycling back to the black community. Originally the shop was located across from the South Dekalb Mall, but after some years it relocated to the Mall itself. The first MACC rides departed from the shopping center parking lot, directly in front of the bicycle shop. Later, it became commonplace for rides to leave from the library parking area at the neighboring South Dekalb Community College. A weekly ride became standardized on Thursdays at 6:30pm.

In the beginning, MACC rides were quite short ranging in distances from 15 to 25 miles. Over time as the overall group ability increased,rides gradually became longer. I remember my first MACC ride inwhich I borrowed a PUCH 10-speed bike, some cycling shorts, and a helmet from the Yellow Jersey bike shop. Decked out in sneakers and a t-shirt, I set out on, what was to me at that time, a 15 mile journey with about 10-12 other riders. Back then, I was a 15 year old kid used to peddling around on a 20 inch BMX bike, 15 miles was a long, long, way! Not only was this my first MACCride but I had not ridden a '10-speed' in years. Surprisingly, I finished the ride with the main group but not before 'kissing the pavement' in a minor fall after touching wheels with another rider.