Major Taylor tattoo for Microsoft employee

On Thursday, Oct. 11, the Major Taylor Project participated in the Microsoft Non-Profit Organization Fair.  The NPO Fair features local and national non-profits as a part of the Microsoft Gives campaign  which takes place throughout the year, with a special push every October to encourage employees to explore and support a non-profit organization of their choice.  Employees can sponsor a non-profit organization and/or pledge their support, and Microsoft will match employee nonprofit donations and volunteering up to $12,000 per employee.

It's a pleasure to hear that  friend and fellow bike racer, Rew Adams, has chosen to sponsor the Major Taylor Project this month.

I met Rew 10 years ago on a random training ride.  In casual conversation and between threshold intervals, we discovered a common passion for cycling and sharing the sports benefits with youth.  We also discovered a common knowledge of Major Taylor.  Rew probably knows more about Major Taylor than I do, and, you could say, Rew and Major Taylor share common ground.

Growing up on Chicago’s Southside, Rew has a unique perspective of race and access. You see, Rew is of Irish heritage, and if you’ve ever been to the Southside of Chicago, you know it predominantly African-American. He knows what it’s like to be the only white kid in a predominantly black school. Being a white kid on a bike in the middle of Chicago’s Southside makes this 10 times as difficult. Much like Major Taylor, Rew persevered through the difficulty and pursued his passion for cycling and technology.

One thing I didn’t know about Rew is his passion for tattoos. Perhaps it’s my perception of life across the pond at Microsoft.  Or perhaps it’s my button-up, corporate background of the 1980s and 90s.   Or maybe I just need to get out of the house more often.  But I didn’t think a bike lovin’, computer wizn’, family guy would be so passionate about ink.

He is so passionate that during the Microsoft Non-Profit Organization Fair, Rew put a pledge challenge to his co-workers and to the Microsoft cycling community: If $5,000 is raised for the Major Taylor Project during the month of October, he'll get the Major Taylor Project logo strategically tattooed on his body! Strategic meaning that Rew will choose the least-painful part of his body for the ink. So unfortunately, no full-on Mike Tyson face tattoo, which, as I’m sure you will agree, would have been cool.

The neat thing about this story is that you never know in what form, or from whom, support will come.  We all have an event or experience in our lives that inspire us to act, to be involved or to give. If you see Rew on the bike or on campus, ask him about his passion and his support of the Major Taylor Project and maybe, just maybe, he’ll show you his new tattoo.

Thanks Rew. We appreciate your support!

If you'd like to support the Major Taylor Project, but don't work at Microsoft, you can give directly online anytime.