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A Story about Kittie Knox: the First Black Person Inducted into the League of American Wheelman

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A Story about Kittie Knox: the First Black Person Inducted into the League of American Wheelman

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.

Undivided: Diné Bikéyah – Held by Our Land, Held by Our Ancestors

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Undivided: Diné Bikéyah – Held by Our Land, Held by Our Ancestors

The essay below was written for Bikepacking Roots’ Bears Ears Loops Landscape and Route Guidebook to provide bikepackers with one perspective about how the landscape in its entirety is sacred to Indigenous groups. The designation of Bears Ears National Monument marked the first time in history that a National Monument was created in response to the voices and advocacy of the Indigenous groups who call the landscape home. Leaders from the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Indian Tribe formed the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition in 2015 to represent a consortium of tribes unified in protecting and promoting the cultural, archeological, scientific, historical and natural resources of the Bears Ears region. Just 11 months later, the Trump administration reduced the Monument’s size by ~85%. And in a direct affront to the request of the Intertribal Coalition, the southern unit of the reduced Monument was named the Shásh Jaa’ Unit (using the Diné name for Bears Ears). The Coalition had insisted upon the use of the English “Bears Ears” name for the Monument rather than in any one tribe’s language in solidarity and unity.⁠

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Pedal Through

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.”

Outside Online: How We Can Build an Anti-Racist Outdoor Industry – Ayesha McGowan

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Outside Online: How We Can Build an Anti-Racist Outdoor Industry – Ayesha McGowan

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.”

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Team Onyx’s Jonny Moses Rode the GDMBR

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.

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Leo Rogers!

Our dude Leo got some love in this new video by cycling’s bad boy Lucas Brunelle. This one is worth the watch. Miss ya, Leo!

L39ION of Los Angeles: Pride of the People – Raised Over $50k to Help Bring Diversity to Cycling

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L39ION of Los Angeles: Pride of the People – Raised Over $50k to Help Bring Diversity to Cycling

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!

What You Can Be Doing Today: Read the Writings of Ayesha McGowan

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What You Can Be Doing Today: Read the Writings of Ayesha McGowan

I’ve been thinking a lot about what we, here at the Radavist, could do in light of the current events unfolding across the United States. Black Americans need our ears right now and our eyes should be coinciding with our minds to understand what it means to be athletes, or even just hobbyists in the cycling industry. One such voice that has resonated a lot over the past few years is Ayesha McGowan @ayesuppose. Her writings are important and we’ve also listed her podcast, which you can support on Patreon.

Read her writings at A Quick Brown Fox.

Thank you for taking this time to reflect on the current events and how we all can be better human beings.

Bike Racing, White Privilege and the Corona Virus

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Bike Racing, White Privilege and the Corona Virus

Today we’re pleased to share a wonderful essay by Cinthia Pedraza on bike racing, white privilege, and the Corona Virus. In these trying times, it’s important to adjust our optics, listen, and most importantly, learn from these experiences…

Bike racers have been sitting at home watching the increasingly violent protests happening around the nation thinking “What can I do to help support Black communities?” In my local Austin community, I have seen donations in support of Black Lives Matter on my teammates’ Instagram stories, racers (including myself) protesting in support of an end to police brutality, and a massive outcry for justice that includes cycling voices like Machines for Freedom and Tenspeed Hero. That being said most amateur bike racers are likely to be white upper middle-class liberals who have a work from home setup where they are not at risk of exposure to Covid 19 or the struggle of the Black community caused by Covid 19.

Bicycling: He Lost His Leg, Then Rediscovered the Bicycle. Now He’s Unstoppable.

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Bicycling: He Lost His Leg, Then Rediscovered the Bicycle. Now He’s Unstoppable.

Photo by Bob Croslin

Anyone that has met Leo Rodgers knows his gravity. The guy is a beacon of fun energy! Bicycling recently gave Leo some love and it’s an amazing article everyone should check out!

“It feels at this point both necessary and a bit superfluous to mention that Leo Rodgers is a tall black man with long hair and one leg. There is no pedal or crank-arm on the left side of his All-City bike; his left pant leg is neatly knotted a few inches below the hip. Rodgers, 35, lost his leg 13 years ago, the result of the sort of motorcycle crash in which you are lucky if it merely changes your life.”

Don’t miss this article by Peter Flax over at Bicycling!

Learning from Los Angeles: Into the Verdugo Mountains with SRAM

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Learning from Los Angeles: Into the Verdugo Mountains with SRAM

I was an architect in my previous life. Before I began documenting cycling culture. One of my favorite architectural theorists is a fella named Rem Koolhaas. In his book, Delirious New York, he claims that “A city is a plane of tarmac with some red hot spots of urban intensity”. While the book is an examination of New York City, many have applied this observation to the sprawling city of Los Angeles.

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Becoming Ruby

The latest from Patagonia is not to be missed!

A film about inclusion, identity, and hand-drawn heroes. If you can’t find a hero, create your own; for mountain biker, skier and artist Brooklyn Bell, that hand-drawn hero was a comic character named Ruby J. Using Ruby as a role model, Brooklyn set out to “live like her, breathe like her, be unapologetically black like her,” finding her own identity in a mix of dirt, snow, art and inclusion.

The State of Gravel Racing and the WTF Bikexplorers Gravel Program

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The State of Gravel Racing and the WTF Bikexplorers Gravel Program

The idea for a WTF Bikexplorers Gravel Program sprouted in 2019 as I spun back into the gravel race scene. I saw the same deficit in diversity that bike-touring had (and still has) when five friends and I decided to organize the first WTF Bikexplorers Summit in 2018. Despite gravel racing as a rapidly growing sport within cycling, it is still very grassroots. It is not controlled by the UCI – yet – or any other sanctioning bodies and therefore it has the opportunity to mold and change to be the way we want it to be.

Madness and Mud: Ruta Del Jefe 2020

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Madness and Mud: Ruta Del Jefe 2020

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

The world offers itself to your imagination,

Calls to you like the wild geese jaguar, harsh and exciting 

Over and over announcing your place

In the family of things.

-(modified) Mary Oliver “Wild Geese”

The weather matched the event in challenging the assumptions of what a desert landscape or a gravel race should be for most of the riders of the Ruta Del Jefe this year  which was hosted at the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch in Elgin, AZ. The imagination of a desert as a dry and sunny landscape dotted with saguaros, prickly pears, and cholla was expanded for those who held that thinking. Home to the Madrean Sky Islands ecoregion that includes the Santa Ritas, Whetstone, and many other mountain ranges, this area is a treasure trove for those who eat gravel for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sky Islands refers to the unique interplay between the low lying desert grasslands and the dramatic wooded mountains that become islands in the sky for their residents. Natt Dodge introduced this concept as “mountain island in a desert sea” back in 1948 which was then cemented by Weldon Heald’s book Sky Island in 1967. In the lowlands, this area is home to  many unique varieties of grasses who abundantly glow their sunshine and straw colors to her visitors.

Alexandera Houchin in Bicycling Magazine

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Alexandera Houchin in Bicycling Magazine

“When I cross the line, people seem stunned”.

“The sun is beating down from a relentlessly blue sky on an 80-degree late-May afternoon in Emporia, Kansas. Alexandera Houchin is joking with her friends and supporters at the starting line of the Dirty Kanza XL, despite the fact that she’s just ridden her bike a few hundred miles through rain and mud from Iowa, napping under a highway overpass to get here on time. The laughter masks her misgivings about this race. It’s not because the DKXL is a notoriously difficult 542km ride through the steep and sharp Flint Hills of Kansas. It’s the race’s name, “Dirty Kanza,” that gets her. Kanza is a nickname for the Kaw Nation, the “People of the South Wind,” who lived in this region long before white settlers arrived. To preface that with “Dirty” shows a disconnect of the history of place that is ironic to Houchin, whose mother is Ojibwe.”

Check out more at Bicycling Magazine!