Discover the life and career of champion bicycle racer and Indianapolis native Marshall “Major” Taylor. In this interactive experience, venture into the training room to learn how Taylor developed his speed and agility through a strict regimen of exercise and diet. Discover the pervasive racism that Taylor battled – from his competitors and in his hometown – and hear from great contemporary cyclists about how Taylor’s story has inspired a new generation of Black riders. See Taylor’s bicycle and many artifacts from the museum collection donated by his daughter Rita Sydney Taylor Brown, plus learn about bicycle safety and design, tinker with bikes and bike parts, test your skills and times on stationary bikes and more.

March 5 through October 23

This experience is located on Level Three and is included with purchase of museum admission.

Purchase admission

Get hands-on with bicycle mechanics in the Bike Shop. Build your own bike then test it on the test track. Take a quiz to find out if you were a bike, what kind would you be? Learn how to change a flat tire. Race Major Taylor’s world-record times as you pedal on a stationary bike.

Major Taylor was an accomplished, world-renowned athlete and a devoted family man. Learn more about his success through photographs and scrapbooks from the museum’s collection that detail his racing strategies and his determination to overcome racism on and off the track. Also, read personal letters written to his wife and daughter when he traveled abroad.

Major Taylor has left a lasting impact on the cycling world in many ways. See and hear stories from current pro athletes and hobbyists. Find out about the “Invisible Riders” in our community – the people who rely almost solely on bikes to get where they need to go. Learn how you can become more involved in ongoing efforts to make our city more bike friendly.

Photo courtesy of photographer Kit Karzen
Child pushing scooter in Major Taylor exhibit

GET HANDS ON

Visit the exhibit during one of the dates below to participate in hands-on activities with our partners.

Children racing on stationary bikes in Major Taylor exhibit

Nine13sports

Fridays: Sept. 16, Oct. 7, Oct. 21: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Hop on the multi rider Kids Riding Bikes race simulator with your friends and see if you are as fast as Major Taylor was when he set the world record! Coaches from Nine13sports will be there to cheer you on and provide tips and tricks so you can give your very best effort.

Freewheelin'

Sept. 23: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Join our partners at Freewheelin’ to learn about the different parts of a bicycle and how they operate. Then show off your creative side as you figure out how to repurpose bike parts to make some original art.

Child wearing helmet and playing with bicycle wheel
professional cyclists standing on podium

Panel and reception

INSPIRE: An Evening of Conversation with Today’s Most Compelling Cyclists
Friday, August 26, 5:30 – 8 p.m.

Indiana State Museum

Help us kick off a weekend of cycling in Indianapolis! As part of IU Health Momentum Indy’s weekend of bicycling activities, an all-star line-up of athletes will share their stories of perseverance, triumph and humorous moments both on and off the road. This event is free and is open to the public. Registration is required.

Learn more
children on bikes

Indy Crit

Sunday, August 28, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
University Park

Find representatives from the Indiana State Museum at the 2022 Indy Crit in the Kids Zone located at University Park. The festival features delicious food + drink, kids and family activities, and fun expo among thousands of cheering fans!

Made possible with the generous support of

With support from Indy Arts Council