Last night was the premiere of the roundtable discussion Swift Industries hosted called Black in the Saddle. Head back to this post for more information and watch the whole video here.
Swift Industries is proud to announce Black In The Saddle, an online panel discussion moderated by Devin Cowens exploring the Black cycling experience, as told by featured panelists Lydia Moore, Kaiden Nia-Ali, William Lloyd, Duncan Benning, and Erick Cedeño.
This virtual event takes place on Thursday, September 3rd, at 5:30 pm PST / 8:30pmEST, and is free and open to the public.
Expect a lively conversation around the panelists’ cycling origin stories, their most memorable adventures, and how they’ve been handling this tumultuous year. You won’t want to miss this! The culture-shaping events of 2020 have awakened the Cycling and Outdoor industries to the existence of the many BIPOC communities whose incredible stories and experiences for too long they’ve ignored. Black In The Saddle is Swift’s effort in helping to amplify these important perspectives. This project invites the brand’s fast-growing audience to get to know amazing personalities and athletes core to our adventure-cycling community. Fans can set a reminder and/or tune-in for the live-streamed virtual event by visiting the YouTube event page.
Meet the panelists below!
Over the past few months, we’ve seen a lot of organizations formed to grow diversity within the cycling industry, and this week, Grow Cycling Foundation was formed. This is their mission statement.
“There is inadequate diverse representation in Cycling competition, business, media, and development opportunities. To sustainably grow our industry, we must first build authentic foundations of diversity from within that don’t employ superficial or exploitive solutions. With ears on the ground in these communities, we can provide the education, access, and opportunities that directly address the barriers they face. We will start in North America and expand globally because this is a global problem.”
Head to Grow Cycling Foundation to learn more!
This September, John Shackleford, a 25-year-old NYC bicycle messenger, will traverse 1,114 miles on a bicycle along a mixed-terrain route known as the Underground Railroad, all to inspire the Black youth of America to experience cycling. Who else is hyped for this one?
Head to Underground Railroad Ride to find out how you might be able to help John on this life-changing experience.
Kittie Knox might not be a name you’re familiar with and that’s ok! Let’s learn about her today. She was a bike racer at the end of the 19th century, the first black person to be inducted into the League of American Wheelman, and pushed the paradigm at the time by wearing clothing only associated with males, like pants! Kittie fought for the rights of black Americans as cyclists, pushing for the ability for more to be allowed into the League of American Wheelman.
Head to Medium to read this great story.
When you’re done there, head to Bicycling.com for more stories by and about black cyclists.
REI‘s latest video showcases a group of female black cyclists as they embark on their first-ever bikepacking trip. Watch the premiere here with a panel discussion with the film makers after.
“Despite never having camped or ridden a bike off the pavement, Analise Cleopatra sets out to take on a week-long backcountry mountain biking adventure in Central Oregon on a journey of self healing and growth. Along with fellow beginner Dejuanae Toliver and professional mountain biker Brooklyn Bell, she discovers the joy of sleeping under the stars, the power of biking and the strength that comes with pedaling through.”
We should all take the time to read this article by Ayesha McGowan on Outside Online if you haven’t…
“It’s been just over a month since George Floyd was murdered in the street by the police. After eight days of marches and protests all over the world, the four officers involved in Floyd’s death were arrested and charged. That glimmer of hope for justice is too little, too late. The Black community has endured centuries of witnessing Black death at the hands of the law enforcement officials who are supposed to protect us.”
In 2019 Jonny Moses biked the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The GDMBR is a 2700 mile off-road bike tour that follows the continental divide along the spine of the Rockies from Banff Canada to Antelope Wells New Mexico. He rode this route in order to both challenge himself and to challenge the narrative of who does or doesn’t belong in the outdoors. His aim is to encourage kids of color that the outdoors and outdoor recreation IS for them.
For decades, the little mountain overlooking my mother’s childhood home held a massive secret and my dad was in on it.
At just under 2,000 feet, Mount Weather sits along the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the rural Virginia town of Bluemont. It served as the backdrop to my childhood memories of time spent at my grandmother’s house. These days, whenever I visit the area on my bike and ride by the house, I look up at the mountain knowing it’s the reason I’m here.
And what my dad once told me, this mountain might be the reason we are all still here.
The Black Foxes is a collective of black cyclists and outdoors-people who have created a platform to share and control their own narratives. Check out their introduction video here and then visit theblackfoxes.com for their manifesto.
We’ve been reading, watching, and listening, as the world’s largest push for civil rights has unfolded in front of us this week and in that time, fundraisers have smashed expectations, surpassing their goals. L39ION, a road racing team, based in Los Angeles, and founded by Justin Williams has raised over $50k to help bring diversity to cycling in LA and beyond. This fundraiser is still going, so let’s do our best to keep pushing it! Donate to their GoFundMe if you have the means and give the team a follow on Instagram!