Urban Velo

The Cheetah: Nelson Vails

Nelson Vails got his nickname “The Cheetah” from an announcer at a race at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania early in his racing career—a career that includes racing professionally in Europe and Japan, induction into the Cycling Hall Of Fame, a silver medal in the 1984 Olympic Games, and it all began as a bicycle messenger. I met him at Toga Bicycle Shop in New York City, where Nelson Vails was having a party to preview his cycling clothing line and working with a film crew on a documentary film about his life called “The Cheetah: The Nelson Vails Story.”

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