Diversity in Cycling

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Heltor Chasca, 9 Jul 2019.

  1. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    For the past couple of years I have been making an attempt to get up to speed with inclusivity in cycling. I have been most interested in female equality perhaps because I want the best for my daughters and I have been interested in black and minority ethnic groups (BAME). This has links to my 20+ years living in Africa and witnessing first hand inequality due to ingrained white privilege. And no I didn’t live in South Africa.

    I listened to a really progressive podcast by Look Mum No Hands today and wanted to share it with you. https://www.lookmumnohands.com/events/diversity-in-cycling It really was a breath of fresh air and I learned a lot. Download it wherever you normally get your podcasts from.

    The previous episode has 3 young guests. Two young white men and a young Indian woman who is the youngest RTW female cyclist to date. The difference in maturity, and culturally cemented white privilege was all too obvious. I was embarrassed by and for the young men and in awe of the young woman. She was streets ahead on every level and had the grace of a very wise person. You need to listen to the podcast and make your own mind up.

    I want to support diversity in cycling. What can I do as a 45 year old, white male do to support the progression of diversity?
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2019
    mudsticks and lane like this.
  2. Drago

    Drago Flouncing Nobber

    Easy. Ride your bike, respect the rights of others, and be seen to do both. It'll come.
  3. pjd57

    pjd57 Über Member

    Where I live in Glasgow, one thing I have noticed is the low numbers of working class men who cycle.
    Other groups are under represented and a lot of good work is being done to encourage more people on to bikes, which is great to see.

    But the task of getting your average Glaswegian bloke on a bike remains a huge one.
  4. simon.r

    simon.r Person

    When? I’ve been doing that for decades. It hasn’t happened yet.
    mudsticks and glasgowcyclist like this.
  5. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    Perhaps it has and you've not realised it. I've been a 'cycling enthusiast' for 20 years. When I got my first serious roadbike, there did t seem to be that many people out there..period, nowadays there are lots. Similarly it was very rare to see women out on roadbike, I see them regularly now. 10 years ago I dont think I'd ever seen a black guy on a roadbike, I see there are at least a couple hereabouts now. Just my experience mind.

    Quite honestly though, surely cycling one of the most accessible pastimes to get Into. I'd consider myself working class in attitude, I dont have a big social circle and cycling is the perfect pastime if you want to keep fit, you enjoy bicycles and can quite happily ride alone....and none will judge you for what you're riding or even what you're wearing. It needn't cost a lot to get into and is within reach financially of most people already.
    Perhaps you can lead a horse to water....
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2019
  6. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy The Monch

    Inside my skull
    How do we get more horses cycling once they've drunk some water?
  7. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    And to expand on the above....
    Lots of people have bicycles but not many I'd have thought are 'enthusiastic cyclists'
    IIMHO, as said, it seems to me there is no financial or social barrier to those choosing to cycle and yet, cycling, as much as its appeal has grown in the time I've been an enthusiast, it just will not appeal to the majority of people, whatever their social, ethnic or financial standing. Surely, we are a minority ourselves, us 'enthusiastic cyclists'
  8. Heltor Chasca likes this.
  9. annedonnelly

    annedonnelly Girl from the North Country

    Perhaps get involved with a group/charity that is promoting it? Some do beginners rides, training, etc.

    I volunteer with a bike charity that recycles bikes, sells the refurbished ones cheaply and also does servicing & fettling. We keep a lot of people on the road by using second hand parts to offer a cheaper option to fix their bike. We see a huge variety of clients & bikes - the occasional full service on an expensive carbon road bike helps to fund the extra hours we might put in to get someone's Halfords Apollo back on the road.
  10. swansonj

    swansonj Guru

    One of the factors discouraging greater diversity in cycling is the image it has of being the natural preserve of white males. And not just white males in general, like any activity that has a strand that is about physical prowess, cycling has a tendency to attract "laddish" behaviour, which by its assertive nature can then come to dominate. Those of us who fit that demographic, and those who don't but have broken through and become part of the in group, find it very difficult to recognise how subtle elements of our behaviour and our organisation are offputting to outsiders to our culture, i.e. many of the very people we need to attract to increase diversity. Indeed, we often - probably unconsciously- act to preserve our own comfortable occupation of the high ground.

    So one of the things we can do if we are serious about improving diversity is have a hard think about which aspects of and which activities within the cycling world we lend our support to, and perhaps be willing to exercise small amounts of self sacrifice by questioning our involvement in activities that are (or that become) centres of laddishness or other exclusive behaviour rather than centres of inclusion.
  11. Heltor Chasca likes this.
  12. greenakina

    greenakina New Member

    At most traffic lights or when riding as a 'herd' in zone 1 I often tend to be the rare POC cyclist amongst the group.

    I'm looking forward to this event to learn and discuss how cycling can be made more accessible and inclusive.
    Heltor Chasca likes this.
  13. How do you know the people riding the bikes now are not working class men?

    Im a working class man and have high end bikes and wear Rapha.
    gbb, Heltor Chasca and RoadRider400 like this.
  14. RoadRider400

    RoadRider400 Regular

    Thats rather a sweeping statement. What is your specific objective?

    Perhaps arrange meetings with certain groups that you feel are under represented out on the roads.

    But I would suggest one of the first questions you should ask to each group is "are you interested in cycling?" Because if the answer is no, then you can promote/support it until the cows come home. If it doesnt appeal they are not going to get involved.

    However I feel for some communities and particulary women in those communities the reason will be deep rooted into their accepted norms and with all the good will in the world, one person is not going to change that.
  15. woodenspoons

    woodenspoons Über Member

    North Yorkshire
    There’s a fair bit going on in North Yorkshire, around me, for inclusion. People with additional needs led out on side by side trikes along railway cinder tracks; woman-specific bike rides, clubs, repair sessions; community interest companies set up specifically to tackle inclusion via bikes.
    Heltor Chasca likes this.
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