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Bahati to visit Naparville

Old 05-06-08, 03:28 PM
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Bahati to visit Naparville

Bahati to visit Naperville
May 2

Last week I was contacted by Marc O’Shea (Turin), an English teacher at Naperville Central High School. One of his classes has been immersing itself in legendary American cyclist Major Taylor. In addition to reading everything they get their hands on about him, they’ve learned about cycling and have even monitored their own cycling performance to get a feel for the racing experience. “The students are reading everything on Taylor and analyzing his motivation, perseverance and so on,” O’Shea says. “They’re studying his bike racing tactics and movement in and out of Chicago during his life.”

It gets cooler: The unit inspired the students to design and produce wristbands that they will sell to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief. “They’re pumped,” O’Shea says. “They have become so appreciative of bike racing. The power of the bike in life on man and the lives of many in need has marveled them as they’ve read.”

Here’s where it gets really cool: When O’Shea learned that Taylor was a major influence on Rahsaan Bahati (Rock Racing), he invited Bahati to come speak to the class -- and he accepted. Next week the sprinter and former national champion will spend two days with O’Shea’s students, meeting with them in small groups to discuss Taylor, bike racing and minorities in sports.

Bahati, fresh off a win at the prestigious Athens Twilight Criterium, is bringing their studies to life, O’Shea says. “He is the bridge between the past and the present.”

Paying the bills to get Bahati here? None other than Rock Racing owner Michael Ball.

Say what you will about Ball and Rock Racing, I think we all can agree this is a pretty awesome gesture. I’m so impressed by the project that I’ve offered to publish an edited interview conducted by the students. They’re preparing their questions at this moment. Look for the results in the next week or two.
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Old 05-06-08, 03:40 PM
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I wish I had cool teachers in middle school...
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Old 05-06-08, 03:42 PM
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Well played by Rock Racing, Bahaati, and Ball.

Naperville Central blows goats, however.
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Old 05-06-08, 04:07 PM
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I'm glad to see that Major Taylor is finally getting some props out there. He has had a few (the velodrome and the bike trail in Chicago), but that isn't enough.
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Old 05-06-08, 06:23 PM
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That is awesome, props to everyone involved.
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Old 05-06-08, 06:35 PM
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Great stuff! There are so many positives to this.

I look forward to reading the interview.
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Old 05-06-08, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Frunkin View Post
I wish I had cool teachers in middle school...
Some of my students say that now. Others think that they do. I've never brought Bahati in to speak, although I have thought of asking him, I've just never bothered to coordinate schedules. Last year my brother in law came to speak to my elective class and brought a bunch of cool Discovery schwag.

Last edited by redal; 05-06-08 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 05-06-08, 10:21 PM
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This is awesome!
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